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08E - Elephant's Head Area
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Elephant's head gully T 
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Elephant's head gully 

WI3-

   
Type:  Trad, Ice, 2 pitches, 170'
Original: WI3- [details]
FA: Chet Callahan, Bob Olsen and Chuck Bond
Page Views: 1,932
Submitted By: Marc-Antoine Larocque on Sep 17, 2014

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (10)
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General view of the first pitch

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Description 

Pitch 1: Start the belay station at the first anchor on the right side of the wall. Climb straight up on easy ice (130 feet of WI 2) and make the belay station on two bolts on the far right wall.

Pitch 2: Climb the waterfall (crux: 15 feet of WI 3-/+), then climb the steeper section in the groove (35 feet of WI 2) and create a belay station on a tree. In some years the initial column of this pitch comes in steep on the left side and can give about 30 feet of WI4 climbing.

Descent: Rappel the route using the belays stations. Double ropes.

Location 

Location: Smugglers notch is located on route 108 (partly closed in winter). It's possible the get there from north or south, although faster from the south (Stowe).
Parking: Get at the end of the road and park on the side.
Approach: (From south) Hike on the road for about 20 minutes until you can see the prominent elephant's head buttress. Head toward the base for about 100 feet in the snow.

Google maps

Protection 

(6-7) Ice screws
Fews nuts and/or cams in early season


Photos of Elephant's head gully Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Every once in a while the second pitch comes in st...
Every once in a while the second pitch comes in st...
Rock Climbing Photo: THe approach. Elephant's head in all her beauty
THe approach. Elephant's head in all her beauty
Rock Climbing Photo: Start of P1 (or P2 depending on how you break it d...
Start of P1 (or P2 depending on how you break it d...
Rock Climbing Photo: At the first belay, my partners did not see the bo...
At the first belay, my partners did not see the bo...
Rock Climbing Photo: Beginning (crux) of last pitch
Beginning (crux) of last pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: P1
P1
Rock Climbing Photo: Descent
Descent
Rock Climbing Photo: Crux at the beginning of the second pitch
Crux at the beginning of the second pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: First pitch
First pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: End of the route
End of the route
Rock Climbing Photo: Belay station at the base of the route
Belay station at the base of the route

Comments on Elephant's head gully Add Comment
Show which comments
By Derek Doucet
Sep 18, 2014

Belaying at the bolts as mentioned in the description above is a terrible idea. The bolted belay, while at a very comfortable ledge, is squarely in the crosshairs of ice fall from a leader on P2. Ice comes zooming down the slab, launches off the initial steep step, and frequently peppers the stance. A much safer alternative is to belay from screws, either a bit lower and the far left side of the gully, or a bit higher. Either option is far more sheltered from ice fall, and both feature comfortable stances in typical conditions.

The bolts were never intended as anything other than a rappel anchor to replace the rusty old pins that were once there.
By Max Green
Mar 26, 2017

Due to a medical emergency on Sunday 3/26/17, my partner and I had to lower out of the 2nd pitch of the climb. Due to the nature and timing of the emergency we were forced to leave two ropes fixed on the route. If you or anyone you know is planning to climb elephants head this week, it would be AWESOME if you could remove our gear and stash it at either parking lots. You can contact me at 402-853-3489

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