All Locations > Maine > j. The Maine High… > Katahdin > All Winter Ice Routes - Chimney Pond & other Sub-Areas
Pamola West Ridge(Pamola III)
Avg: 2.5 from 2 votes
|Type:||Trad, Mixed, Ice, 1700 ft, 5 pitches, Grade IV|
|FA:||1975 Mark Whitton and Dennis Grabnegger(FWA)|
|Page Views:||318 total, 15/month|
|Shared By:||Simon Thompson on Mar 10, 2016|
|Admins:||Ladd, Jonathan Steitzer, Robert Hall|
Special rules apply for winter camping & climbing in Baxter State Park and on Mt Katahdin Details
Consult Baxter State Park for details on winter camping & climbing. Minimum group size, minimum length of stay, and requirements for staying at specific places on the trip in may apply.
Winter climbing/hiking/mountaneering requires a permit Details
ApproachFrom Chimney Pond, take the standard approach toward the bowels of the basin. After 10 or so minutes past the pond, spot the route and bust hard Left toward the ice slabs. There is avy potential on the approach and the lower part of the route, so use caution.
DescriptionThe West Ridge(also called Pamola III) of Pamola Peak is the next most prominent ridge on Pamola next to Pamola IV. From Chimney Pond or the approach further up in the basin, Pamola IV will be the most prominent ridge in front of you to the Left of the Chimney. Look Left from Pamola IV and you will see a shorter/steeper ridge that starts about halfway up Pamola IV and then a little further Left a longer curving ridge that arcs up to the summit. That curving, low-angle ridge is Pamola III.
To reach the ridge: Climb 600-800' of ice slabs(WI2-3) and snow/bushes diagonaling up and right, aiming for a small blocky buttress at the foot of the ridge. Several different lines can be chosen here, depending on the conditions. If avys are threatening from above safer variations with crappier climbing exist.
Once established at the foot of the ridge, choose your own adventure up for about 1200'. The guidebook calls this mostly 4th class with a few easy 5th class moves in the summer. If you are trying to move fast but still keep the rope out it isn't practical to take the easiest line, as this would involve lots of rope drag. Making the line more direct and conducive to simul-climbing or long pitches involves some harder climbing. With crampons on and cracks filled with brittle ice we found some headwalls and boulder problems as hard as 5.7/M2.
High up on the ridge the easiest line traverses up and right for a pitch to join with the ridge on the right. Instead of the traverse there are some much harder vertical variations if you are into it and have time.
After the jog Right one more rope-length leads to the summit shoulder and some final 3rd class moves to join the Dudley trail a couple hundred feet below the summit.