The Notch Couloir
Avg: 3.7 from 58 votes
|Type:||Trad, Snow, Alpine, Grade III|
|FA:||J.W. Alexander, 1922|
|Page Views:||23,687 total · 114/month|
|Shared By:||Andrew Wellman on Dec 31, 2000|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac|
DescriptionThis is another classic mountaineering/alpine route on Long's. It climbs the cool, windy couloir that splits the East Face from the prominent Notch to Broadway It is a bit more difficult than the Kiener's Route, and requires a larger amount of skills. I think that it is a more asthetic line than Kiener's, though, and is more of an accomplishment to get to the top of.
As opposed to Kiener's, which can be climbed in almost any condition, this route needs to be in condition to climb. It is notorious for sending huge amounts of snow rocketing down between its narrow walls and shooting out over the Diagonal Wall below. The main danger time is in spring and early summer when the snow is melting and sluffing. The winter can also be dangerous because it is on the leeward side of the mountain, windloading can easily occur. Be very aware of the conditions of the snow before you commit to the couloir and climb Kiener's or something if conditions look dangerous.
To get to the bottom of the route hike to Chasm Lake and climb the Lamb's Slide to Broadway. Traverse across Broadway to the bottom of the couloir. See the Kiener's Route for a more thorough description. The couloir is above and climbs for about 1000 feet to the Notch. To break this up pitch by pitch would take forever and result in probably about 10 pitches. It is quicker to simul-climb. Place pro early in the first lead to safegaurd against falling and sliding over the edge of the Diagonal Wall.
About halfway up the couloir narrows and then doglegs to the right. In full condition this section will be snow and ice, but in late summer could be rock. From here traverse up and right to another rock bulge that is also sometimes covered in ice and then straight up to the top. From the Notch you can drop down the back side by rappelling and then meet up with the Loft route, or climb to the summit.
To get to the summit, traverse across rock on the east side of the ridge to the bottom of a chimney. This chimney, the Staircase, is the rock crux, especially in mountain boots. It is about 100 feet tall and weighs in at 5.4 or so. Climb this to the ridge and then scramble 4th class to the summit.
This route can be done in summer and winter, but always beware of conditions. This route takes quite a bit longer than Kiener's because of the amount of roped climbing, so if a winter ascent is done, be prepared to benighted on route. This is the best Alpine ice route on Long's and is a classic anywhere. Enjoy!
LocationPer Clayton Laramie The Notch Couloir is impossible to miss when looking at a picture of Long's from the east or north. It is the big notch to the east of the summit and Diamond.
The Notch starts from Broadway, left of the Diamond. Approach via Lamb's Slide, Alexander's, or something similar.