Cowardly Lion

I did a post-Challenge bag of West Lion yesterday.  As glorious as the views and day were, the climb is not recommended for casual baggers without climbing experience and/or ropes and psychological fortitude. It would be crazy to attempt it in anything less than perfect weather conditions: a hint of rain or ice would make the traverse very unpleasant and dangerous.

The scariest part of the climb is at the base, where one must traverse east along a series of 75 cm-wide shelves that slope gently towards a near-certain deadly fall on the rock slopes 45 metres below.

Until October 2009, there was a fixed steel cable line along this portion. Although it would have been foolish to lean on the line for support, it provided some reassurance. The line was cut down last October:…

As it is no longer within the target range (“peaks requiring a non-technical class 3 scramble or less, with minimal exposure for a careful person in good conditions”) it will be removed from the contest next year (or at least demoted to unofficial status).


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