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Topic - Orion Direct - Route guide

Sean Toms - on 09 Apr 2013
Hi there we recently climbed Orion Direct ( normal route )

Most of the guides give fairly minimal descriptions so this might be useful to any aspiring first time ascenders.

Pitch 1 start 20 metres left of Zero Gully, left of an in situ rope. Climb short 70 degree wall 8 metres then trend right into a 55 angle slope to a belay ( if on 60m ropes ) continue up a short 3 metre 75/80 degree chimney . Ice Screw belay stance tight but suitable for 3.

Pitch 2 , climb a shallow chimney 70 degree for 5 metres then trend left onto the face left round a corner & follow a 70 degree slope trending left upwards to a belay and stance , rock nut & ice belay room for 3 & with room below for a following team.

Pitch 3 , move up right from the belay up a 65 degree ice slope into the lower part of the basin c60 degree + .On 60m ropes you can belay on the left side but we followed & marginally lead through rightwards to an ice wall & better belay, ice screw belay.

Pitch 4 , move up the wall c70 degree & either continue trending slight right or go straight up towards the top of the basin & then traverse hard right ( & if you go to high even slightly down ) for 10 metres across easy ground to a good rock belay & sling belay before the overlap pitch.

Pitch 5 , ( crux ) step right onto the face , delicate 70 + angle & either move straight up after 3 metres , ( steep & poor screws ) or ( much better ) continue on a rising traverse right , note no gear & a 50 foot run out to better ice & a pull through to easier ground & a belay on screws on the left above the overlap.

Pitch 6 , continue up the face on 65 degree ground then either A ( the right way ) trend left to an exit chimney climb this to a belay on the left , on rock / peg

OR wrong way ( as we went ) donít traverse left enough & climb a short vertical ice wall 3+ metres with a free standing not fully formed icicle start on left ( not so recommended , I fell 4 times ! )

Pitch 7 , trend up & right on easy ground c55 degree to the rim , passing through slightly steeper ground 60 near top , possible dead man runner but otherwise no gear , 60 metre run out.

Have fun

Cheers Sean

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