Type: Trad, Snow, Alpine, 6000 ft (1818 m), Grade IV
FA: Ed Cooper and Walt Sellers, July 1958
Page Views: 16,816 total · 132/month
Shared By: max hux on Aug 28, 2013 · Updates
Admins: Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick, Zachary Winters

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Description Suggest change

Traverses the jagged skyline from Mt. Torment to Forbidden Peak.

From the base of Torment, ascend the S. Ridge or the SE face (both loose 4th/low 5th class) to a prominent grassy ledge leading to a V-shaped notch climbers right. Packs can be left here as you summit and downclimb (or rap, though downclimbing is manageable) back, eventually following the grassy ledge to the notch.

From the notch, an overhanging rap on obvious slings takes you to a glacier on the northeast side of Forbidden.  Bypassing the moat on the first rap can be tricky.  From the bottom of the first rappel, determine the best route to bypass the bergshrund.  There are rappels available on skiers left and right sides of the glacier, and this can be really simple or quite complex depending on the moat, schrund, and general glacier conditions.  After getting over the schrund, traverse hard to skier's right and regain the rock at the obvious notch/ramp system.

Follow this rock around the corner, and then begin going up and gently left, aiming for the snowy saddle at the beginning of the snow traverse.  You'll need to go nearly to the top of this sub-peak to access the saddle at around 8,000 ft.  This section is mostly 4th class and some easy 5th, and the rock improves as you get higher.

From the saddle, begin the traditional snow traverse.  Descend slightly under the obvious small buttress, and then go up and left to the large saddle on the other side of the pinnacle.  Depending on conditions this can be icy front-pointing or easy step-kicking.  There is also a rock option available here which avoids the second (steeper) portion of the snow section by climbing up and over the pinnacle from the north and rappelling to ledges on the south side, but the author of this description has not completed that option.  Steph Abegg has some good beta on her website.

From the end of the snow traverse, cross over to the south side, and follow easy scrambling along heathered ledges to the "Sidewalk in the Sky" ridge traverse section.  There is quite a bit of ground to cover in this section but the climbing is very easy so it goes quickly.  Stay off the ridge proper for the easiest travel, until just before the knife-edge section, or rappel into it from above.  FOllow the fantastic knife edge, bypassing the first gendarme on the left side at about the same height as the sidewalk.  Go up and around the second gendarme on the right side, and then traverse easy terrain to the "West Ridge Notch" where you join the standard Forbidden climbing route.

This classic route is followed to the summit, via 4th/5.easy terrain to a 5.6 tower pitch, then further to the summit. Downclimbing and rappels take one back to the notch, where the standard Forbidden peak couloir/gullies can be descended (downclimbed/rapped) back to the glacier, and back to Boston Basin.  The waterfalls slabs below the glacier can be dangerous, and there have been fatalities here.  We stayed to skier's right until the terrain eased off around 6400 feet, but other routes may exist.  Familiarity with the West Ridge descent is a bonus when doing this route.

Location Suggest change

Mt. Torment is located on the far West side of Boston Basin, the peak with double summits. Descent from the route is really only feasible from Torment, Forbidden Peak's West Ridge notch, or the summit of Forbidden. Rapping the SE face of Torment has been done (but watch the bergschrund at the bottom!)

Protection Suggest change

Alpine rack, a picket or two and or screw for the snow traverse or crevasse/bridge issues in late season.