McHENRYS Peak
Route: Dream of Babylon Burning (5.10, 7p)

AUG
19
2020
TR #: 447

Category: Colorado       Elev: 13,327 ft (summit of McHenrys, route ends lower a top of East Buttress)      Rock Type: Granite

Partner: Nate Arganbright

A nice alpine route up the east face of McHenrys Peak.

INTRO

Dream of Babylon Burning is a lesser-known route that follows cracks and corners up the prow on the east face of McHenrys Peak. It is a nice alpine adventure at a moderately difficult grade on one of the park's big walls. 

There is some discrepancy between the guidebook difficulty (5.11a) and the mountain project difficulty (5.10- to 5.10) for this route, and Nate and I felt most pitches felt about 5.9ish with maybe a 5.10- move here and there, and the crux "Gold Corner" seemed more like 5.10 than 5.11a. To cover all bases, I've just put most pitches at "5.9-5.10".

Nate and I climbed Dream of Babylon Burning as the first of two climbs on an overnight into the spectacular McHenrys basin nestled under the East Face of McHenrys and the South Face of Arrowhead. On Saturday we climbed Dream of Babylon Burning on the East Face of McHenrys, descended and spent the rest of the day reading/studying/relaxing at our bivy. On Sunday we climbed Goldfinger (5.11d, 3p), on the South Face of Arrowhead. This was a great to spend a couple of days....until I injured my knee quite badly on the descent of Arrowhead.....

The following page provides a trip report for the climb of Dream of Babylon Burning. Enjoy!


TIME STATS

Glacier Gorge Trailhead to bivy in McHenrys basin: 2 hours 40 minutes
Bivy to base of route: 20 minutes
Climb route: 3 hours 17 minutes
Descent back to bivv: 1 hour


OVERLAY



PITCH BY PITCH PHOTOS 

Photos:
Photo descriptions:
Approach
Hike the Glacier Gorge trail to Black Lake. Approach as per Arrowhead, but once in the basin below Arrowhead, head towards the base of McHenrys East Face. 
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1. Glacier Gorge trailhead. Smoke from recent forest fires.
2. Approach above Black Lake into McHenrys basin.
3. Approach above Black Lake into McHenrys basin.
4. Fireweed.
5. Fireweed.
6. McHenrys. The route climbs near the prow.
7. A bit of 4th to low 5th scrambling to the base of the route. There may  be an easier way around left.

Pitch 
1
5.9-5.10 (Rossiter guidebook:5.9+). Right-facing dihedral.
8.    8. Start of Pitch 1.

Pitch 
2
5.9-5.10 (Rossiter guidebook: 5.10c). Right-facing corner.
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9. Start of Pitch 2.
10. Looking down dihedral of Pitch 2.
11. A nice belay at the top of Pitch 2. Arrowhead in distance.



Pitch 
3
5.9-5.10 (Rossiter guidebook: 5.10d). Up. Kind of nebulous. Follow your nose. Variations possible.
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12. Pitch 3. We went leftish, which fit the mountainproject description for this pitch but not Rossier's.
13. This was part of our Pitch 3.


Pitch 
4
5.9-5.10 (Rossiter guidebook: 5.10c). Up. Kind of nebulous. Follow your nose to a belay near the base of the giant left-facing corner ("Gold Corner"). Variations possible.
14.    14. This was the start of our Pitch 4. A fun flake but much too short.


Pitch 
5
5.10 (Rossiter guidebook: 5.11a). Climb the giant left-facing corner ("Gold Corner"). Enjoy the nice features on the arete to the right of the corner. This is the crux pitch of the route. It's a nice stretch of climbing.
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15. Nate traversing towards the corner. From this belay spot you can make it to the top of the corner in a 70m pitch.
16. The Gold Corner.


Pitch 
6
5.7-5.10 (Rossiter guidebook: 5.10). Up. Either directly up the chimney (~5.7) or left (5.10?) or right (5.10?) of the chimney. After that head for the prow.
17.    17. Looking up  the chimney. Apparently you can go left, up, or right here at various difficulties. We went directly up the chimney.


Pitch 
7
~5.7 (Rossiter guidebook: 5.moderate). Angle up and left on moderate terrain. Variations possible. This pitch could share its finish with a route called Dog Star. 
18.    18. Our Pitch 7.

Top!
The route tops out on the East Buttress. The summit of McHenrys is still a ways off.
19.     19. Looking towards the summit of McHenrys from the top of the route.

Descent
Scramble down Stone Man Ridge (3rd) to the basin below McHenrys.
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20. The descent to Stone Man Pass via Stone Man Ridge. Chiefs Head in distance.
21. Descent back into McHenrys basin.

22. Some cool rock on the descent.
23. Looking back up the descent gully.
24. Relaxing at camp. Coffee and views.

PHOTOS FOR BIVYING IN GLACIER GORGE

On a previous climb of Arrowhead earlier that summer, we had spotted a nice bivy cave in the basin between McHenrys and Arrowhead. We bivied in this cave for two nights. What a spectacular place to spend a couple of days.

Photos:
Photo descriptions:
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1-2. Our bivy cave. Arrowhead behind.
3. Water near the bivy. It was about 5 minutes left of the bivy at about the same elevation.
4. Plenty of room inside the bivy cave to hang packs.
5. An old piton in the roof of the bivy cave.
6-7. Pretty rainbow above Longs and Spearhead.
8. Evening light from the bivy.
9. Nate made a yummy looking sandwich for dinner.
10. Part of my dinner.
11. Citronella candle with a couple of dead bugs in it.

12. A cozy night at the bivy.
13. A cozy night at the bivy.
14. A nice morning from the bivy,
15. Nice light on Spearhead.
16. Some big mica crystals.
17. Flowers.
18. I found an old summit register for McHenrys in the boulder field below McHenrys. It entertained me for an hour at camp.