Stairway to Heaven
Avg: 3.6 from 49 votes
|Type:||Ice, 1000 ft, 10 pitches, Grade III|
|FA:||Jim Knight & Mark Ward 1975 (P1 to P4). Lou Dawson & George Vicenzi 1976 (P1 to P5).|
|Page Views:||12,261 total · 90/month|
|Shared By:||John Ross on Oct 29, 2006|
|Admins:||Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq|
DescriptionP1 (WI3, 190'): The reliably forming first pitch is also known as "The Apron". This area is popular for beginners and top-roping. Belay from either of two sets of chains on a truck sized boulder. Scramble up the slope to the base of P2. P1 can be bypassed via a walk-around to the west.
Safety Note: There is a set of chains on each side of the truck sized boulder above the first pitch ("rock-strewn ledge"). Because of the large amount of loose rock on the sloping ledge there is significant rock fall danger if you rappel from these chains when there is no snow to hold the rocks in place. An easy walk-off to the west via a short (10') down-climb is best under most circumstances. In addition, while approaching and using the anchor chains, kicking loose any rocks on the ledge can be a hazard to climbers below on "The Apron". To avoid the falling rock and ice, most people at the bottom learn to "stay in close" or "well away" from the base of the climb.
P2 (WI4): Pillars in early season later turn into a fat curtain of steep ice. Over the top hike up the slope to two sets of anchors at the base of P3 (Anchors #1: Left side of P3 and often ice covered, Anchors #2: right side)
P3 (WI5): Wide steep curtain (pillars in early season)
P5: Forms late.
P7: Pillar. Usually the last pitch to form. Walk around this pitch if needed by hiking east along the ledge, up a short 5.5 chimney, then traverse back west to the ice.
Descent: It is possible to two-rope rappel down the right side. Rappel to the bottom of P2 then walk-off to the west.
Warning: Sluffs occasionally cascade down the route from snow built up on the ledges between pitches. A rapid warming for instance can loosen up the snow sending it down on unsuspecting climbers. Could be enough to knock a leader off the ice.