Type: Trad, Mixed, Snow, Alpine, 1500 ft, 10 pitches, Grade III
FA: Destaebler-Harlin-Hemming-Kendall, 1958
Page Views: 375 total · 4/month
Shared By: Ken Trout on Sep 18, 2011
Admins: Kate Lynn

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Information for this route description was referenced by Putnam to the 1958 Stanford Alpine Journal.

This expedition used the Canadian Pacific Railroad to get to Stony Creek, below Rogers Pass. Then they hiked 30 miles to the Beaver Glacier, where they climbed out of the Duncan Trench. A high route was taken to get to a base camp (map). I didn't mark a route up the Beaver Glacier because it is not used regularly.

The ascent of the north ridge began from a camp on the pass northeast of Mount Butters (see map). First, a fine snow ridge is followed to a sub-summit. "Thence descend south on rock and follow mixed rock and snow ridge which blends into N ridge. Route wanders back and forth from N ridge to NE face on steep snow and rock. Crampons used. Reach saddle on ridge just below summit. Enter left of three chimneys via tension traverse. One rope length to the summit. Camp to summit 9 h."

The 1914 team climbed the east glacier and ridge from Butters Lake. No mention of the how the Californians descended. Descending the route climbed back to the col seems best.



The FA team described the route as "difficult" There is no rating in Putnam's book, so 5.8+ is my estimate. I'm not sure if the tension traverse and chimney are the inferred crux. But when Yosemite climbers, who have off-widths in Chamonix named after them, call a chimney difficult, then 50+ years of technological advancement may not make the route much easier today. So I suggest panicking: Bring the Half Dome rack!

For the descent, there might be better things to leave as anchors than your expensive cams. For example, some knotted slings, instead of sewn.