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South Mineral Creek
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Campground Couloir 
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Direct North Face 
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Direct North Face 

WI4

   
Type:  Trad, Ice, 1500', Grade IV
Consensus: WI4 [details]
FA: 
Page Views: 4,019
Submitted By: eDixon on Nov 22, 2007
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The top of the first real pitch of steep ice.

Description 

The Direct North Face is a Silverton area classic that follows a series of ramps and steps up Peak 12,579'.

Start by heading up the drainage, directly to the base of the first steep curtain/pillar. Depending on the conditions, this can be short, easy ice steps (WI2) or snow slogging (easy to solo or simul). Climb the first pitch of steep ice up to a ledge (~70', WI4) and an optional belay. Continue up more steep ice (~100', WI3/4) to a large terrace. Some snow slogging leads to the base of the next pitch of ice. Climb moderate ice (~75', WI3) up to the next ledge system. From here, it is a lot of snow slogging and a few short ice steps that lead to the summit.

Descend the route by walking off to the left after any of the steps, or V-thread and rap off.


Location 

Follow FR 585 for about 4 miles. The Direct North Face is the next route after passing Cataract Creek. It should be easy to spot off to the left of the FR 585.


Protection 

A selection of screws.



Photos of Direct North Face Slideshow Add Photo
DNF as of Nov 22nd '08.  Photo by Trask Bradbury.
DNF as of Nov 22nd '08. Photo by Trask Bradbury.
Poked a hole in the pirate ship on the Direct North Face on Nov. 22nd.  This is how warm it was.   Photo by Trask Bradbury.
Poked a hole in the pirate ship on the Direct Nort...
The last real pitch of the DNF on Nov. 22nd '08. <br />Photo by Trask Bradbury.
The last real pitch of the DNF on Nov. 22nd '08.
P...
Matt Tuttle rope gunning it in easy conditions.
Matt Tuttle rope gunning it in easy conditions.
Hell of a slog up there.
Hell of a slog up there.
P. Tschannen leading a fun variation.
P. Tschannen leading a fun variation.
Hardest section of DNF.
Hardest section of DNF.
Rope cluster entertainment.
Rope cluster entertainment.
Lower pitches of DNF. The very bottom pitch is covered with snow in this picture.
Lower pitches of DNF. The very bottom pitch is cov...
Direct North Face, November 2013.
Direct North Face, November 2013.
Comments on Direct North Face Add Comment
Show which comments
By Jason Nelson
From: SLC, UT
Oct 31, 2008

This is usually one of the first climbs to form up in the Ouray/Silverton area. It's good to do this early season so that you can drive to the base, and hopefully avoid avy danger too. It's never been that fat (as in the photo) when I've done it, and that snow chocked gully below the ice has a couple hundred feet of fun WI2-3 to get you warmed up with.

By Trask
From: colorado springs, co
Nov 5, 2008

Hey there Jason.....so am I correct in assuming that you have already done this route this Oct. and that it IS in???

By Trask
From: colorado springs, co
Nov 24, 2008

Did this climb with my brother Slade on the 22nd of Nov. 08 and man was it warm. A little wet on the last two pitches (come now heir doctor surely you have no objections to and early morning shower) or something like that...after we got off we went and checked out some things in Silverton and Stairway is lean, Whorehouse Hoses is sweet looking. Gully 1 and 2 are really lean, but people were getting a 3 in the afternoon start on it. Sweet.

By Adam Derick Andrade
From: Silverton, CO
Nov 11, 2010

DNF is in!!!

By eDixon
From: Durango, Colorado
Nov 14, 2012

Lower steep pitch is still not in as of 11/13/2012. It is starting to form up but needs some time. The upper pitches appear to be in good shape.

By Princess Mia
From: Vail
Nov 16, 2013

The ice is fantastic right now. Just cruised the whole thing yesterday. A few sections are thin with somewhat exciting top-outs. I used a few stubbies to save the head. The walk-off (skier's right) is obvious with a well-defined trail. It is super steep and does require lots of sliding down through thick saplings... but overall not a bad descent.

By Garret Nuzzo-Jones
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 20, 2013
rating: WI4

Skipped the first "pitch" of thin ice and slogging to start at the WI4 pillar. Awkwardly placed bolted anchor can be found above that pillar, on the left. Past that next pitch, there is a tree with tat, which was pretty deeply buried.