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8-July-2010: Swiss Arete on left, U Notch and Nort...
The North Couloir of Mt Sill can be reached via Glacier Notch, which is the notch between Mt. Sill and Mt. Gayley. Glacier Notch is reached by crossing the burgschrund of the Palisade Glacier and climbing the steep gully between Sill and Gayley. Once the notch is gained, head southwest and climb the large, snow filled gully(North Couloir) to the gap between Sill and Apex Peak. From this gap, traverse across the north face about 100 feet to a steep chute. Climb straight up this chute to the northwest ridge. From the ridge, climb the large blocks on the northwest face to the summit.
Ice axe, crampons, helmet.
North Couloir (aka L-Shaped Couloir) Descent Beta
Head down the ridge towards North Pal, then descend from the ridge before it levels off (just before a split pinnacle), usually in a series of rappels to an exposed traverse across to the notch at the top of the L-Shaped Couloir. This is all very exposed and an unprotected slip would be fatal. One can breathe a little more easily once down the couloir. The last real iffy bit is descending back down the Glacier Notch couloir. From here enjoy the hike back down to the comfort and greenery of Sam Mack Meadow (early season glissades back to the meadow are ideal for the weary Alpinist).
BETA PHOTO: West face of Mt Sill, 06/2011
BETA PHOTO: North face Mt Sill, 06/2011
BETA PHOTO: Davi Rivas on North Couloir, Mt Sill, 2011.
By Chris Owen
From: Big Bear Lake
Jul 15, 2015
rating: 4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b X
Good picture of the couloir here.
This is the standard descent route from the summit - and can be problematic during a descent, finding where to get off the ridge and using the rappels (take note on the way up). There has been at least one fatality on this route during a descent; check the rappel slings. The crossing from the top of the couloir to the start of the upper section is extremely exposed, needless to say in both directions - don't underestimate the route.