WI3 M5-6 Steep Snow
Avg: 4 from 1 vote
|Type:||Mixed, Ice, Snow, Alpine, 2200 ft (667 m), Grade III|
|FA:||Justin Willis, Damian Mast; March 2016|
|Page Views:||674 total · 20/month|
|Shared By:||Justin Willis on Jul 25, 2018|
|Admins:||GRK, Zach Wahrer|
You can buy a Tribal Lands Permit for cheap ($10 or $20) for an entire year at Bob Wards in Missoula or just about any gas station in St Ignatius.
Start early in the morning to prevent being caught in cornices falling off the summit ridge. Several pitches of steep nevé and WI3 lead to two pitches past a rockband where M4-5 and maybe a move of M6 is encountered. Move up and traverse left(East) when you can to get out from under the 40' cornices looming 800' above. Climb 700' straight up on more steep nevé, paying attention the the great air beneath your heels. Obtain the summit ridge and meander easily up to the summit.
On the FA, we were lucky enough to have a car at the Ashley Lakes TH to make our walk out much easier. We descended the West Ridge to the Ashley Lakes and hiked out the trail. If the extra car is not an option, descend the East Ridge to the saddle between Sheepshead and Macdonald Peak and walk out the way you approached the N. Face.
Beware: the approach is rather heinous thanks to rather intense bush-whacking. It sucks while you're in it, but have no worries as the climb is so good that by the first swing, you won't even remember all the cussing you did on the approach.
Expect 2-4 hours to get to the base of the wall, just three miles from the trailhead.