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North Face of Pitchoff
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Eye of the Needle 

WI3

   
Type:  Ice, 400'
Original: WI3 [details]
FA: Jim Cunningham, Chuck Turner (1982)
Page Views: 827
Submitted By: Darin Perusich on Feb 16, 2009

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By Andy Weinmann
From: Silver Spring, MD
Jul 25, 2017
rating: WI3

Reasonable adventure climbing. This is the further climb right at NF of Pitchoff. It's the first large, open area on the right that you can see when you come into the valley back there. There's actually two main flows as part of this, split by a large copse of trees. The left side looked a little steeper overall but also a little thinner down low. Higher up the left side certainly improves and if you climb the right side it's probably best to traverse across to the left where there's fatter ice and better rappel options.

On the right side, we went up an initial ice step to a long snow slope that ended by a large tree that's now uprooted. The tree obviously was once used as a belay/rap anchor. Belay in this spot for the pitch, just below a large buttress with a thin slab on the right and a pillar on the left. For the next pitch, we climbed the steep pillar and then moved left and up to dodge some branches hanging over the slab up above. Find a tree and belay. The last pitches you could either continue up (which didn't look as good) or cut across to the left where there's decent fat ice with a few steep steps (WI2ish) to a belay at a solid tree on the far left side.

Two ropes got us 3/4 of the way down the snow slope on the first pitch. You can walk into the woods a bit (climber's right) and zig zag down to your packs.

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