Grand Central Couloir
WI4-5 M5 R
Avg: 4 from 2 votes
|Type:||Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine, 1400 ft, 7 pitches, Grade IV|
|FA:||Dallin Carey, Joe Crane|
|Page Views:||270 total · 32/month|
|Shared By:||Joe Crane on Jun 19, 2017|
|Admins:||WAGbag, Mike Engle|
DescriptionThe Grand Central Couloir climbs the large couloir near the center of Sacajawea Peak's north face. The route can be reasonably broken into 7 pitches with a little bit of simul-climbing. Protection is generally adequate at the crux locations, but it is often runout on the easier terrain.
Pitch breakdown from the 1st ascent:
Pitch 1 - 70 meters: About 3 chockstones to navigate, with the first one being about M5. A tight squeeze was necessary to get underneath one of the others. M5
Pitch 2 - 80 meters: Long steep snow field with one big but relatively easy chockstone. Lack of anchor locations forced some simul-climbing. M3
Pitch 3 - 70 meters: Narrow ice chimney under and over various chockstones. WI 3 or 4.
Pitch 4 - 90 meters: Some steep snow and more narrow ice chimney. Lack of anchors forced a significant amount of simul-climing. WI 3 or 4
Pitch 5 - 20 meters: A short steep snow slope to the base of pitch 6.
Pitch 6 - 50 meters: Steep narrow ice chimney under a chockstone followed by a little face climbing to get around another large chockstone. Anchors were found about 15 meters up the steep snow after the technical climbing ended. This pitch was hard and awkward. There were good stances available to put in some deep ice screws, so we're tentatively calling it WI 4 rather than WI5+, which is how we felt immediately after climbing it. WI 4 or 5, M3.
Pitch 7 - 30 meters: Steep snow to the top of the route and a short walk to the summit. Well protected.
4-5 Ice Screws
Rock protection to 3 inches with doubles in the smaller sizes. Offsets very useful.
Getting DownDownclimb the 4th class terrain along the ridge back to the end of Chicken Out Ridge on the Mount Borah trail. Continue off the Mount Borah trail until just before the final climb up the peak from the saddle. Descend down to the east from the very end of the saddle to avoid the various cliff bands below the saddle to arrive back at the base of the route.
Be highly wary of avalanche conditions while descending to the base of the route.