Type: Trad, Mixed, Ice, Snow, 1700 ft, 5 pitches, Grade IV
FA: 1975 Mark Whitton and Dennis Grabnegger(FWA)
Page Views: 568 total · 16/month
Shared By: Simon Thompson on Mar 10, 2016
Admins: Ladd, Jonathan Steitzer, Robert Hall

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Access Issue: Winter climbing/hiking/mountaneering requires a permit Details
Access Issue: Special rules apply for winter camping & climbing in Baxter State Park and on Mt Katahdin Details


From 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.


The 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.


From the summit, take the Dudley trail back to Chimney Pond. If time/weather allows, you can traverse the knife-edge to Baxter Peak.


In the winter, you'll probably be trying to move fast and simul a bunch of this. If that's the case 6-8 ice screws, some small and medium nuts, and a few assorted cams should do the trick. If you're pitching it out or want more protection a full rock rack and 10-12 screws could be useful.


Simon Thompson
New Paltz, NY
  Easy 5th WI3- M2 Easy Snow
Simon Thompson   New Paltz, NY
  Easy 5th WI3- M2 Easy Snow
On our first trip to Katahdin, and after enduring poor weather, snowfall, and several nights below -5F in the lean-to, Owen and I finally got redemption and climbed this route as the capstone of our trip. We simul-climbed the ice slabs to the foot of the ridge. We climbed the ridge proper in 5 long pitches with a 70m rope, most of which involved a little simul climbing. We found the climbing to be great fun with lots of moderate mixed climbing to be had in short spurts where you are so inclined. Originally we had hoped to take the crampons off for the rock portion of the route, but when we got there we found many of the cracks and depressions to be clogged with ice. We unroped for the last "pitch" to the shoulder. For protection we brought 6 ice screws, a full rack of nuts, some finger size cams, and BD .3-#2. There are many places along the ridge for a #3 and #4 if you want to bring them all the way up there. Mar 11, 2016