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Routes in Cholatse

Southwest Ridge WI2+ M3-4 A1-2 Steep Snow
Type: Aid, Mixed, Ice, Snow, Alpine, 5630 ft, 28 pitches, Grade V
FA: Vern Clevenger, Galen Rowell and John Roskelley, April 22, 1982
Page Views: 483 total · 29/month
Shared By: Don Morris on Nov 7, 2016

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From Base Camp head towards Cholatse up a wide gulley to Crampon Point (16,950 feet). From here you can look down on the glacier, and plan your route towards the headwall to Camp One. Slide down loose sand and rocks for a couple hundred feet, and begin crossing the moraine (boulders section) until you reach the glacier on the other side. Do not skirt to far to the left as the hanging serac on the West wall is active. Navigate across the glacier being wary of crevasses. Placing wands will be helpful if whiteout conditions occur. The headwall will be easily identifiable by a prominent headwall (500 feet vertical and 1,000 feet horizontal) bookmarked by rock on each side. The rise is 45 degrees to 70 degrees with fluted ridges. Pick your line being wary of faceted snow. Camp One will be waiting after surmounting the headwall. Camping is excellent here. From Camp One begin climbing the ridge with 45 degrees to 50 degrees of mixed climbing. A rock buttress will send you to the right with more mixed climbing and dry tooling until you mount the Southwest ridge again. The ridge is narrow and steep with exhilarating exposure. Camp Two will be at 19,685 feet. Steep ridge climbing continues, and eventually a headwall will encourage you to go left of the ridge. This area is stunning, and provides an essence to relax, but be wary of crevasses. Traverse the left side until you see an opening back to the ridge proper. From here the going is up till there is no more up. A word of caution: The summit is a mushroom cone that may not hold a climber's weight. Proceed up the mushroom where solid ice and snow are found. Stop when you hit loose snow.


Descent is reverse of the ascent. Camp Two may be unnecessary for a normal ascent.


Pickets will be your primary protection. Keep handy a couple alpine draws for previously set pitons and slings to wrap around chockstones.



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