By Fred McGuinness
The Super Arete on Mount Colonel Foster
*** Super Arete: 5.10+ 1200m (V)
This route climbs the prominent steep buttress directly below the main summit between the upper buttresses of the Culbert Route, and Into the Mystic. The climbing is exposed and excellent with very little loose rock, and the route sports a spectacular crux pitch of a very high quality. The first ascensionists climbed the route on a whim, after they climbed the lower half of Into the Mystic, and where drawn across the directissima couloir by the irresistible line. A more direct start from the very tow of the buttress would be a very feasible and attractive option for future parties. The route, as described here, gains the buttress crest 100m above its base.
After the initial two pitches to the terrace, climb the main buttress of Into the Mystic for about four hundred metres (8-10 pitches, 5.8), to ledges where the angle lessens. Traverse left and up slightly on these ledges, and enter the direttissima couloir just above a huge jammed block (100m, 4th class). Climb a short distance up the couloir, and belay 10m below a steep section.
1. Traverse up and left along a faint weakness in the steep wall for 15m (climbing above and right of a prominent rock scar), and continue up a corner/groove system above to gain the ridge crest. (50m, 5.9)
2. Move up, and traverse left along a ledge system, to a belay below a cracked slab. (30m, 5.6)
3-4. Climb two pitches above through weaknesses left of the ridge crest, and belay below the white headwall. (90m, 5.8)
5. Two prominent cracks split the right side of the headwall. Climb the left crack to a fixed piton belay at a good ledge in an exposed position atop the headwall. A steep and sustained pitch with good protection and rock throughout. Stellar! (30m, 5.10+)
6. Easier angled terrain gains the top of the steeper lower half of the buttress. (50m, 5.7)
Three hundred metres of mostly 4th class scrambling gains the main summit. Two steeper 5.7-5.8 steps may require a belay.
FA: Fred McGuinness and Alik Berg, September 6, 2006.