HALLETT Peak
Route: Better Than Love (5.8-5.9, 7p) 

AUG
9
2020
TR #: 443

Category: Colorado      Summit Elev: 12,713 ft (note: the top of the route is not the summit)       Rock Type: Gneiss & Biotite Schist

Partner: Nate Arganbright

A quick morning lap.


INTRO

Better Than Love climbs the Second Buttress in 6 or 7 pitches. It is an independent line that borrows its fourth and fifth pitches from the Love Route. Nate and I climbed this route in 4 pitches with some simulclimbing. For the final pitch, we cut left onto the Love Route to climb the steep black 5.9 corner that offers great climbing and also the crux of the route. The climb took us just over 2 hours and we were back to Estes Park before noon. It's fun to move fast.

The following page gives a trip report for the climb. Enjoy!


TIME STATS

Bear Lake Trailhead to base of route: 52 minutes
Climb route: 2 hours 16 minutes
Descent back to trailhead: 1 hour 43 minutes
Car-to-car time: 4 hours 51 minutes


ROUTE OVERLAY



PITCH BY PITCH PHOTOS

Photos:
Photo descriptions:
Approach
From Bear Lake Trailhead, follow the trail to Emerald Lake. Go left around the lake, scrambling through talus and then on a climbers' trail under the base of the wall. Hike up snow or talus beneath the North Face to the triangular buttress at the lower left side of the Second Buttress. Scramble onto a ledge at the lower right side of the buttress, just left of a huge right-facing dihedral. The start is to the left of the Love Route.
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1. A crowded Bear Lake parking lot at 6am on a Sunday morning.
2. A tree aflame in the morning sun.
3. Hiking up the trail.
4. A view of Hallett across Emerald Lake.
5. Approaching the base of the Second Buttress. Nice gneiss in the foreground.
6. Alpine columbine.
7. Racking up at the base of the climb.
8. Enjoying a belay in the morning sun.
9. A queue of climbers at the base of Culp-Bossier.

Pitches 
1-2
Pitches 1&2:
Better Than Love
We linked these two pitches with some simulclimbing. It is possible we took some variations but that's the nature of climbing on Hallett. See guidebook for details.
Pitch 1: 5.6.
Pitch 2: 5.8.
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10. Nate starting up Pitch 1. There also may be a way to start this pitch from a bit further left.
11. Belay shadow.

12. Pitch 1 somewhere. 
13. The Pitch 2 corner. 
14. Lots of old pins on ths route.
15. Nearing the end of our fist simulcimbed pitch. This is somewhere around the end of Pitch 2 or start of Pitch 3 as per the guidebook breakdown.


Pitches 
3-4
Pitch 3: Better Than Love
Pitch 4: Love Route
We linked these two pitches with some simulclimbingIt is possible we took some variations but that's the nature of climbing on Hallett. See guidebook for details.
Pitch 3: 5.7. 
Pitch 4: 5.6. (Same as Love Route)
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16. Where we started our second simulcimbed pitch. This is somewhere around the start of Pitch 3 as per the guidebook breakdown.
17. Nearing the top of the triangular buttress. I continued to well above the white band until I set a belay.


Pitches 
5-6
Pitch 5: Love Route
for first half of pitch, 
Better Than Love for second half
Pitch 6: Better Than Love
We linked these two pitches (no simulclimbing needed). It is possible we took some variations but that's the nature of climbing on Hallett. See guidebook for details.
Pitch 5: 5.7. (First half of pitch is same as Love Route)
Pitch 6: 5.8 or 5.4. (5.4 if you finish with the complete final 5.9 pitch of Love Route, 5.8 if you continue higher on Better than Love).
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18. Looking up our third pitch. This is somewhere around the start of Pitch 5 as per the guidebook breakdown.
19. This is somewhere around Pitch 6 as per the guidebook breakdown.


Pitch 
7
Love Route
5.9. We climbed the final pitch of the Love Route for this pitch, rather than joining it midway up. This pitch climbs a vertical corner in a black dihedral and offers great climbing that is the crux of the route.
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20. Looking up at the black corner.
21. There are several old pins on this pitch.

22. Looking down after pulling through the roof at the top of the corner.
23. Looking down from my belay at the top of the pitch, on the long summit ridge of Hallett.


Top!
The route tops out on the ridge well below the actual summit of Hallett. It would be easy to scramble to the summit from here, but we felt no great need to do so so we headed down.
(no photos)
Descent
From the top of the route, hike downwards along the ridge, following cairns. At the end of the last big buttress before a big descent to the next one, look for the chains that mark the first rappel. Make two raps (single 60). Then scramble down a gully eastward, and then jog back westward and scramble down a gully to the base of the Second Buttress. You end up a few hundred feet below the start of the route (5 minutes back to base). Note: The descent does NOT go down the huge gully to the east. This is apparently quite loose and harder than it looks. 
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24. The first of two rappels.
25. The second of two rappels.
26. Scrambling down the descent gully below the rappels.
27. Climbers on Jackin' the Johnson (5.11c). This route is on my to-climb list.
28. Nice gneiss.
29. Trail to Emerald Lake mid-morning on Sunday. Fortunately it was still early enough in the day that we were against the flow.