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Prusik Peak
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West Ridge 

West Ridge 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ British: MVS 4b

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches, 400', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ British: MVS 4b [details]
Season: Spring - Fall
Page Views: 14,378
Submitted By: Karsten on Mar 22, 2006
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You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (53)
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Climbers coming up the West Ridge Photo by Michiel...


This climb mainly goes up easier terrain on solid rock. The most distinctive pitch is near the top and goes up a short exposed slab (5.7). Otherwise the climbing is 5.5 or easier. Stay fairly close to the ridge proper looking for easiest path. Spectacular position and fun climbing make this a classic. It would see 100X the traffic if you didn't have to hike 6 hrs to get to it.


Coming up from Icicle canyon traverse the west side of the lake and climb to the top of the saddle on the west side of the peak. The route begin to the right up the prominent ridge.

A few rappels on the north side of the peak will get you back to easier ground. Downclimb the route.


Nuts and pro to 3 inches. There are no bolts but may be slings for anchors.

Photos of West Ridge Slideshow Add Photo
Traversing along the ridge.
Traversing along the ridge.
West Ridge of Prusik Peak
West Ridge of Prusik Peak
W. ridge
W. ridge
Easy but exposed climbing on Prusik's West Ridge
Easy but exposed climbing on Prusik's West Ridge
OW Last Pitch of West Ridge.
OW Last Pitch of West Ridge.
The upper pitch of the route traverses out right and avoids the wide crack.
The upper pitch of the route traverses out right a...
West Ridge is the ridge on the left. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
BETA PHOTO: West Ridge is the ridge on the left.
Photo by Blit...
West ridge and south face of Prusik.
West ridge and south face of Prusik.
Looking out into the Enchantments from the base of the route.
Looking out into the Enchantments from the base of...
W. ridge
W. ridge
Bob Margulis styling the slabby crux moves.
Bob Margulis styling the slabby crux moves.
Comments on West Ridge Add Comment
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By rpc
Mar 21, 2008

My wife & I did this in a car-to-car effort the summer we started climbing. A nice route up a great peak.

By sqwirll
From: Las Vegas
Aug 4, 2008

Climbed it car to car in 12 hours. For gear, we brought a single run of .5 to 2 camalots, a half dozen nuts, and a 60 m twin doubled over. This setup worked well and let us hike with very light packs.

By chrishar
From: Bishop, CA
Jul 29, 2009
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b

There are slings at all belay stations, and the descent consists of 5 - 60m single rope rappels from the summit - very straightforward. Also, it should be noted that there appear to be bail slings from most belay stations so getting down is very possible if you can't complete the route for any reason. It's a surprisingly friendly route from that perspective, and probably due to the sheer amount of traffic it draws.

By Stephen Davis
Feb 27, 2011

We did this route with a 50 meter twin rope doubled in half, and it was very doable (including rappels). You can also save time on the rappels if you just down climb a few short sections, we only did three of them. You don't need to bring a number 3 camalot; and if I brought doubles of any sizes it would only be #1 and #2. Though doubles are not really necessary if you're a 5.8-5.9 climber, this route takes great gear wherever you want to put it.

By Justin Johnsen
From: Sacramento, CA
Sep 3, 2012

Just a note for future West Ridge seekers. We used a topo from Fred Beckey's guide, and it showed a left-facing dihedral to start. If you follow it, you will be off route on something 5.7+ below the white horn. The warning sign which we should have noticed was too much lichen, moss and loose rock for such a popular route. Instead I assume a clean, lichen-free right-facing dihedral closer to the "balanced rock" puts you on the 5.5 ridge climb.

[edit: in hindsight, Beckey's topo may be correct. We started the climb too low and east, but there may be a left-facing dihedral higher up at the real route start.]

By 419
From: Denver
Sep 26, 2012

Route Description:
Pitch 1 - Begin at the highest point on Prusik Pass. Looking at Prusik Peak you will see a distinct 5.6ish crack that will take you through blocky climbing to the West Ridge. Belay when the ridge levels out or when you hit a flat trail. This is a long pitch
Pitch 2 - Follow the flat trail around the Northside of the ridge. Climb up 15 ft to the southside of the ridge. The exposure is great here. Stop and belay at a "slingable" block before the 5.7 slab crux.
Pitch 3 - Clip the pin and pull the crux. Ascend back to the southside of the ridge for more exposure then drop onto the northside of the ridge, down climb and traverse the trail to the start of the last pitch. Belay from a large ledge system.
Pitch 4 - There are two options. The OW climbing on the left (see pic) requires pulling a small bulge on hand jams (5.7ish) and protects with nuts and a .75 cam at your chin. Option 2, to the right, is a layback crack. You can belay the second through a notch at the Peak.

Make 4 single raps to the northside of Prusik Peak and walk back over Prusik Pass. You can easily recover gear from the base of this climb.

If you are really lucky you will run into great people on this climb, they will give you water, let you pass and watch you grovel up the offwidth section. You will owe said people beer in trade for "Alpine Water." Thank you Alie.

Your Alpine Friend,
Jonathan Ramirez