Type: Trad, Mixed, Snow, Alpine, 600 ft, 3 pitches, Grade II
FA: 2 lines: Erik Werner and Chad Volk (variation written here) 5/14/11. Greg Sievers & Brian Verhulst (similar line in area, 2 months earlier)
Page Views: 1,804 total · 18/month
Shared By: Erik Werner on Jun 5, 2011
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route


3 Opinions

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Description

P1. Climb the short but cruxy dihedral (M4-5) to a tiny bonsai tree at the top, then work your way up several short rock steps, trending slightly left, to a large snowfield with trees. Belay at farthest tree or rock outcrop on the left you can reach, 60m, M4-5? (I'd like to hear what others think of that opening dihedral, so we can give it a consensus grade. I felt it was substantially harder than Wham Couloir or The Cleft, both M4, but I was also occupied with a ton of moss excavation on lead, so who knows? Maybe with subsequent ascents/cleaning, it'll deserve an easier grade. Let me know what you think.)

P2. Take the incut dihedral directly above the rock island belay, and work your way straight up to an overhanging block/corner, which you'll climb and exit on the left (watch for loose toaster oven). Continue straight up, passing numerous bouldery steps, toward the tip of a snow finger that perfectly exits on the upper snow slope, find a tree to belay from (might require some simul-climbing to find a good one), 70m?, 5.5 M3-M4, depending on line.

P3. Head right across snow to a large slab. There are 3 finger cracks here, take the middle one, and when it levels out, take a left straight up the fall line, passing a short bouldery step en route to the top, 40m, M3+/4-.

Descent: downclimb the back of the summit block, and descend to trees on right. Either downclimb the couloir, or rap using sling + biner we left on lowest tree. Snow conditions were somewhat suspect when we did it, so we opted to be careful. The couloir is ~500 feet, with many options on wall for additional anchors if snow is really sketch. Skirt the base back to the boulderfield.

Location

Hike up to Emerald Lake, head up the climber's trail to the left of the lake, and veer straight for face (we racked up at Memorable Tree, see the pic). In front is a face with a snow gully on the left and then three clear snow fingers going up, Steeplechase starts in the third one from left (see the pic). Hike up snow finger to below steep dihedral with moss remnants outside of the crack, belay here (you can bypass this step via continuing up snow finger to easy step).

Protection

4-5 medium nuts and a single set cams to #3 Camalot. A pinky tricam protected the crux move on P3, but you could do with a small cam possibly.

Photos