Type: Trad, Mixed, Snow, Alpine, 800 ft, 3 pitches, Grade III
FA: Perhaps Chris Reinholt and Chris Sheridan, but more likely someone long ago
Page Views: 4,816 total · 38/month
Shared By: Chris Sheridan on Feb 8, 2009
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route


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Description

The Wham Couloir ascends a narrow gully immediately to the right of the namesake spire on the south face of Otis Peak. The crux first pitch is followed by easy but enjoyable terrain in a beautiful setting. Add in the relative proximity to the trail head, warm southern exposure and you get a great, fun route without a lot of alpine suffering.

Hike, ski, or (God forbid) shoeshoe past The Loch and head right up the Andrew's Creek drainage. After a short ways, you will come face to face with the featured south face of Otis Peak and The Wham Couloir.

When viewed from this angle, the direct start is the only one visible, while the WI4 start is hidden on the left.

We climbed the direct start through a steep chimney, finishing with a steep M5 bulge. The climbing was good, but the rock was loose in several places. Not recommended for the faint of heart.

Upon finishing the direct start, I noticed a great water ice flow coming up from the left. A quick peek down made it look like a less than vertical, but thin WI3+ pitch (to be confirmed). This start will likely be the more popular of the two.

Afterward, the technical difficulty decreased considerably, but the climbing was still enjoyable, Easy step kicking is occasionally interrupted by short rock steps and mixed climbing, the first of which was about M3.

Descend by walking east, until trees can be spotted towards the top of a south-facing slope leading back towards the Andrews Creek drainage. Follow trees down in order to avoid potential avalanche terrain, then bend right to get back to the base of the route.

I have not been able to find any record that this route has been climbed, at least as a winter alpine route, though the route could easily have been climbed before. One older rappel anchor was encountered at the top of the direct start. It is more likely that this anchor was set by a party descending from Wham.

Protection

Stubby screws, and a light rock rack should do well for the standards start. Add some pins for the direct start.

Photos