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Matterhorn: West Face Wall 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c A3

   
Type:  Trad, Aid, Alpine, 1500', Grade V
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c A3 [details]
FA: Dave Jensen and Dave Coughlin in 1974
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 1,763
Submitted By: Billcoe on Feb 12, 2009

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The awe inspiring West Face of the Matterhorn. Pho...

Description 

These bold gentlemen did this line in 1974. Dave was known for climbing much of the hard rock and bold lines in the area. Finding out about these routes were often only via word of mouth, rumors and luck. More than one aspiring climber has told the tale of telling their buddy's about a new line they did over a beer, only to hear something like "I think Dave Jensen and (insert a lot of names here) did that in the early 70's. For this route, hard aid climbing in a remote location on poor (limestone) rock with a hammock bivouac followed by a ledge bivouac. Dave Jensen had this to say about the 2 routes he did on this large face: "Poor rock and dangerous on both climbs. A lot of work hauling in there. Mark Hauter of LaGrande tried unsuccessfully to free the V back in the 1990s--got up 300 ft. It is about 1200 ft. in all."

Mark had this to say about his later free attempt: "the line I attempted was a different variation from the left hand route. I managed to free an alternative start after awkward drilling of two bolts and making some scared moves on rotten, wet rock. I have been thinking of that face ever since (that was in 88') and believe it would make a killer winter mixed route; a burly undertaking given the approach exposure and remoteness. Maybe a fly by would be in order, it could save a lot of energy. I have been climbing on that rock type a lot and it is definitely better/more secure when frozen. It is permeable!! It would be a good adventure!"

Location 

Inside of the Eagle Cap Wilderness Area

Protection 

Pins were Rurps, knifeblades with Chocks to 4".

  • IMPORTANT NOTE* about the bolts used then. During that time period: the bolts which everyone used were acceptable for the time and common on all rock. They were short 1/4 Rawl studs and in this case placed in relatively soft rock. There was a bad batch of Rawl studs that had failures at low breaking points and these may be of that batch. After 30 plus years of hard freeze thaw cycling and weathering, do not expect or plan on any of the fixed pro to be other than total shit, and possibly not even able to hold body weight. A bolt kit would be of great importance to repeat this line as it could be likely that even the belays will only marginally take body weight. These bolts, more than any others you will likely encounter, need replacement.


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