Avg: 3.8 from 28 votes
|Type:||Snow, Alpine, 5000 ft (1515 m), 10 pitches, Grade IV|
|FA:||Hans Wittich & Otto Stegmaier, 1931|
|Page Views:||16,686 total · 127/month|
|Shared By:||Monomaniac on Dec 28, 2010 · Updates|
|Admins:||Dave Rone, Tom Gnyra|
While by today's standards this is a trade route, the climb should not be under-estimated. After repeating this route in the late '70's, famed North American climbing historian Chris Jones famously remarked about the era, "Never underestimate a route done in the 1930s; mountaineers back then were often fast and competent." There is plenty of loose rock around, pro is tricky to place and the corniced ridge can be unstable on warm days.
East Ridge Topo.
Start a few feet left of the left nose of the buttress, and follow two or three pitches of steep 5.6 climbing on generally excellent rock to the top of the Big Step. More moderate scrambling works up the ridge to another low angle section.
Hike easily along the ridge, mindful of loose rock, until the dark gray bands of the Black Towers are reached. At this point locate a prominent ledge system and traverse left several hundred feet, eventually wroking up & left to the next higher ledge system, and traversing another several hundred feet (snow may be encountered depending on conditions). Continue the west-ward traverse until below a pair of similar-sized, conical towers.
A gully splits these towers, and another gully goes around the right-most tower on the right side. Follow this, right-most gully for a couple pitches on relatively solid limestone at low 5th class to regain the crest of the ridge. Occasionally the upper half of this gully is filled with snow.
Don the appropriate snow gear and follow the corniced ridge to the summit, mindful of crevasses and soft cornices.