Type: Trad, Mixed, Snow, Alpine, 500 ft (152 m), 4 pitches, Grade III
FA: JD Merritt and Erik Rieger, 2013
Page Views: 2,501 total · 18/month
Shared By: Erik Rieger on Mar 8, 2013
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

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Description Suggest change

This route climbs four pitches up the chimney system on the steep upper wall of Flattop's southeast face. It makes for a good mid-late winter climb, especially in windy or cold weather due to its generally sheltered and sunny aspect.

To reach the climbing, gain about 1,400' of vert from Emerald Lake via easy snow and some moderate rock to reach the upper southeast couloir. After surmounting a large chockstone, the couloir continues up and right whereas this line breaks left onto the steep wall below another car-sized chockstone.

Pitch 1: Climb past the chockstone on the left, then trend up through broken terrain interspersed with harder moves toward the arete. Surmount the arete with great exposure, using face holds to pull onto an angled ledge (35m, M5).

Pitch 2: Climb straight up from the belay toward a large corner system swinging into a smattering of frozen turf and ice. Pull over a large chockstone and continue up a snowy chimney (30m, M4).

Pitch 3: Continue straight up the right-facing corner and chimney system, pulling two short but steep cruxes with good gear (30m, M5/6).

Pitch 4: Continue up the chimney and over a loose bulge and climb an easy slope to the summit (30m, M4).

Overall, a good mixture of easy vertical and some technical climbing. Expect a half to full day round trip, some loose rock, large snow mushrooms, and of course there can be considerable avalanche hazard.

Descend the Flattop Trail to Bear Lake.

Location Suggest change

Choose your own adventure to reach the narrow couloir below the center of the headwall on the southeast face.

Protection Suggest change

Standard winter rack.