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Routes in Chehalis Range

Viennese East Ridge T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Viennese-Clarke Traverse T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Type: Trad, Alpine, Grade IV
FA: unknown
Page Views: 350 total, 44/month
Shared By: Eric Bluemn on Apr 18, 2017
Admins: Kate Lynn

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Described as by the McLane book as "one of the finest moderate alpine routes in British Columbia" the V-C is certainly an adventure. While the majority of the route is ridge scrambling there are several short technical sections that benefit from the use of a rack and rope. The V-C weighs in at 4km of distance with 1200 meters of gain in a stunningly exposed alpine playground.

Access the col east of peak 6500 from either Nursery Pass or from upper Statlu Lake. Scramble up and over the top of peak 6500 and head west towards the East Ridge of Viennese.

Climb the east ridge of Viennese towards the summit via a combination of 4th and easy 5th class climbing. Near the top there are two options: the ridge can be climbed directly at 5.9, or you can traverse a slab to the south until a notch is found that contains a short steep corner (5.8) to the top.

From the Viennese summit, rappel 40m down the southwest face to a horizontal break. From here scramble down to a notch in the main crest and cross the notch staying high. Continue along the ridgeline on 3rd/4th class scrambling to the Viennese-Recourse col, then up the east ridge of Recourse. Difficult sections can usually be avoided by traversing left.

From the top of Recourse, continue west along the ridgeline until you reach a steep downclimb to the Recourse-Clarke col. From the col, mid-5th class climbing up blocky terrain leads up the summit ridge of Clarke.

From the Clarke summit there are several options for descent: two options bring you back to the Statlu Lake approach. Option 1 is to descend the southeast Ridge of Clarke. The other, more aesthetic option, is descend the northwest ridge to access the basin in-between the northwest and southwest ridges, then circle east back below the summit towards upper Statlu Lake.

If you approach the climb from Nursery Pass, you can also descend the northwest ridge and follow it first to a basin north of the ridge, then to a steep heather slope that leads back to the glaciers beneath the North face of Clarke. At times the heather can be quite steep and exposed - we ended up rappelling twice (once off a tree, then off a horn) to reach terra firma. Once on the glaciers and slabs below the route, one can traverse back towards nursery pass

From Nursery Pass, we completed the route in 16 hours round trip, but your mileage may vary depending on your comfort level soloing easy terrain.


Light alpine rack, single rope (we brought a second rappel line that came in handy but may not be necessary). Tat to replace rappel anchors (when climbed in 2011, most anchors needed replacing - this area sees little traffic)