Type: Trad, Ice, Snow, Alpine, 1500 ft (455 m), 4 pitches, Grade II
FA: unknown
Page Views: 485 total · 51/month
Shared By: Chris H on Feb 25, 2020
Admins: Scott Coldiron, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick, Z Winters

You & This Route


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Description

This route offers a short approach and moderate 50 deg snow climbing with potential for easy dry tooling and a short step of ice. There are many route variations to explore.

One version:
Begin at the cliffs forming the South gully just above the treeline.  Ascend around 300-400ft (about three 60 rope length pitches) to reach the first chockstone located at a constriction in the canyon.  This is the crux of the route except when deep snow conditions provide a ramp.  Left and right of the rock both go.  Surmount the second chockstone 50ft beyond and continue up the gully another pitch.  Here there is often an ice or rock step (no more than 8ft high, but sometimes obscured in deep snow).  Continue up another 30m until you see the end of the gully.  It is possible to turn left before the end of the gully: look for two large trees and follow the ramp up climbers left around the cliff.  Continue to the south summit about another two 60m rope lengths.

From here, follow the ridge to the middle summit then rappel down off the tree about 30 meters, placing you on the East side of the middle summit.  Ascend the ramp to the North Summit.  Take care, there are often large overhanging cornices along the ridge and on the North Summit above.

Descend west by the Cave Ridge trail to arrive at the Alpental parking lot or by the Commonwealth trail (East).

Location

The route begins up the South Gully located at lat/long 47.439484, -121.406986.

The best and fastest approach is via Commonwealth Basin. Park at Summit West and walk the very short distance to the start of the winter commonwealth ski/snowshoe trail.  It is usually very well compacted.  Cross the log then head directly for the route.  When it gets steep, trend far left until you come to huge cliffs.  go farther left 100ft then up to the start of the gully.  The full approach is about a mile and can be done in about an hour in firm snow conditions in winter.

Protection

Slung trees. Optional pickets, nuts, short ice screw (but you won't use it)

Photos