West Face Indirect
Avg: 3.7 from 3 votes
Routes in Ishinca Valley
|Type:||Alpine, 3000 ft, Grade IV|
|Page Views:||2,603 total, 24/month|
|Shared By:||Evan Sloane on Mar 11, 2009|
Don't know if this route has been climbed prior to '06 when I climbed this with Dave Turner, but it's not in the Brad Johnson '03 guide. The line is pretty obvious and compelling as seen on the approach to the Northwest Ridge route, so I'd be a bit surprised if it hadn't been done before.
The route is located on the lefthand edge of the face and follows a backwards J shaped slope that runs clean from the bergschrund to the northwest ridge, intersecting that route around halfway to 2/3 of the way up. Cross the glacier from high camp as though approaching the northwest ridge. Look straight up as you cross the glacier, before you cut hard left below the face, and you'll see it. Post-hole your way straight to the 'schrund directly below the route. Crossing this to get established on route was a bit tricky (overhung snice; snow+ice mix of goodness) and might require a bit of snaid (snow+aid). Once established on the route head up for 5 or so pitches of 55-70 degree frontpointing. Gain the ridge, and the Northwest Ridge route, by passing some seracs up high on the left. Follow the ridge to a technical section near the summit. One pitch up leads to a 2nd pitch that traverses straight out left to a small saddle. The exposure here is spectacular as thousands of feet of air drop below your feet to the broken glacier of the neighboring valley. Continue up a final short steep section to a belay, then easy terrain for the final bit up to the summit.
Descend by rapping off the anchor just above the last steep section near the top. Then head down the ridge past the point where you joined it on the way up. Keep going until just before the ridge gets significantly steeper. From here you can make two raps (one if you've got double ropes) to regain the glacier. This will land you very near the normal route across the glacier so follow the well worn path back down. Be psyched, you just climbed a great route on a beautiful peak.