|Loch Vale & uphill
This excellent 300 meter route is located on the Cathedral Wall above Loch Vale. To access the route, approach as for The Petit Grepon and Sky Pond. Just before the trail steepens to gain the Glass Lake/Sky Pond cirque, turn right and head towards the Cathedral Wall. Womb w/ a View is the left-most of the two deep clefts splitting the wall. To begin the route, start far left and down of the large tunnel at the bottom of the cleft. The first 200 feet of the route takes the path of least resistance up moderate rock to gain the cleft proper. The next 250 feet is casual snow and ice steps to the base of an awesome 50 foot, Grade 4/5 ice flow. This is where the meat of the route begins. Above this ice pitch is a cave belay and the mixed crux. Diagonal up and right out of the cave towards the hanging and improbable looking ice curtain (M6). Once you gain the ice, if it is connected through, you will need to punch through it to access the outside aspect of the curtain (an exhausting process). If a hole has already been punched in the ice, burrow through (hence the route name). The far side of the curtain provides and exhilarating, hanging corner of grade 5 ice. One more long, fun and moderate mixed pitch through another tunnel brings you to a saddle at the top of the wall. Rappel the route or trend left from the top, to gain a gully that will put you back at Glass Lake.
This is definitely one of the best alpine ice routes I have done in the Park.
NOTE: The cleft immediately right was climbed by Edward Corder and Steve Su in 2004. They called it Tunnel Vision because of a 100+ foot pitch in a tunnel.
A standard alpine mixed rack. Pins are not necessary.
|By Edward Corder II|
Apr 29, 2004
[Climbed] Womb with a view a few days ago in the 50 degree temps. The climb became very unstable around 10:30 and began falling apart, it may not exist any longer. [Luckily], we finished the ice pitches before the sun finished them.
|By Leo Paik|
From: Westminster, Colorado
Apr 9, 2005
A few bits for the timid (like me): Starting up a rock slot to the chimney in search of ice may leave ya disappointed. Looked way hard & unprotected so stay L for P1. Yeah, the last rap (may mislead ya) goes down over this chimney but the climbing is to the L. Use longs slings on the 'next 250 feet [that] is casual snow and ice steps' so ya don't get horrendous drag (like me). 3 raps (60m ropes) from the cave pitch gets back to the base in case you started too late due to kid duties. Was in '04 til at least May.