Type: Trad, Alpine, 800 ft (242 m), 6 pitches, Grade II
FA: Dick Jones, Spencer Austin, Ruth Dyer, Ray Ingwersen, Joe Momyer - July 1938
Page Views: 34,178 total · 154/month
Shared By: Chris Owen on Mar 9, 2006
Admins: Chris Owen, Lurk Er, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer Ski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Description Suggest change

Although not quite as spectacular as its namesake climb on the Matterhorn, the rock is so much better, in a more remote setting too.

From Sam Mack Meadow climb the left-hand gully at the back of the meadow, bear right under the Palisade Glacier moraine, through another shallow gully just to its right (Thunderbolt Peak framed in the notch) and so gradually gain the crest of the moraine. Follow it until it peters out (wonderful views of North Pal) then work across the Glacier towards Glacier Notch - climb the Glacier Notch couloir (loose in low snow). About 1.5 hours from Sam Mack Meadow.

Wander across to, then up the L-Shaped Couloir until a convenient place is found to access the ridge. One usually ends up a pitch before the steepening. Although the arete can be climbed from much father down.

The climb consists of about 6 pitches of moderate climbing up steep steps using cracks in perfect granite. The crux is at P4 where an impasse forces a tricky little sideways excursion onto an exposed slab on the right, followed by a steep crack at the back, after which two more pitches lead to the summit.

Location Suggest change

Descent is down Walter Starr's infamous Class 4 North Coulior (aka L-Shaped Couloir). 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).

Protection Suggest change

Alpine rack, plus ice-axe and crampons.