Type: Trad, Snow, Alpine, 500 ft (152 m), 3 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 889 total · 15/month
Shared By: jt newgard on Jul 18, 2019
Admins: Chris Owen, Lurk Er, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer Ski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Description Suggest change

INTRO: I really don't recommend this descent owing to lots of loose rock, and the fact it's probably much less appealing without lots of snow -- but adding it here in case someone finds themselves on it accidentally and looking on MP for guidance in a pinch. Thanks ....

This is for those poor souls that miss the standard descent from Mt Sill that traverses a ledge toward Apex Peak and the L-shaped snowfield. We descended the northwest face by accident and beefed up a few sketchy anchors that looked like they hadn't been used since the 80s.

Essentially, you will reach the Northwest Face descent if you descend too far from the summit. Location of first rappel shown on topo in attached picture.


Rappel 1: Anchor is very large slung block. 30 meters long (rope stretcher for a 60 meter rope). Rappel down to the bottom ledge of a two-tier ledge system.

Walk to skier's left along the ledge until reaching the next anchor.


Rappel 2: Anchor is small, barely protruding flake (can't believe someone rapped off this) now backed up with a bomber tricam. About 25 meters long. Rappel slightly to skier's left to another ledge, this one narrower and with more loose rocks.

Take care your rope does not get stuck on this one -- we found a rope bleached completely white and chewed through to the core by mountain critters, stuck in a constriction about 10 feet below the anchor.

Walk to skier's left -- you should be able to sense you are heading toward a snow gully, this is your target.


Rappel 3: Anchor is a solid slung horn excavated among the choss. Make a short rappel into the gully.

At this point, the gully doglegs to skier's right. Resist the temptation to rappel too far, as it will be impossible to pull the rope. It is possible to downclimb steep (50 degrees) snow here after a big winter. However, we made an intermediate anchor on the gully wall -- leading to ....


Rappel 4: Anchor is a lone nut left by my partner on the skier's left side of gully wall. About 20 meters long. Rappel to a large rock promontory to skier's right.


Even after a lighter winter, you are probably in easy downclimbable snow, finally! The rock promontory has a beautiful horn that lets you do one more long rappel if you want to avoid some snow downclimbing. We took full advantage of this, and the angle does lessen all the way down to 30-35 degrees after this optional 5th rappel.

Location Suggest change

First rappel begins near 13,800' off the southwest shoulder of Mt Sill.

For reference, this elevation is about 100-200' below the aforementioned standard descent across the ledge to Apex Peak.

Protection Suggest change

Webbing / nuts to beef up anchors (they are good as of this writing), but the ones we found were in rough shape presumably due to lack of traffic.