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North Mowich Headwall 

WI3

   
Type:  Ice, Alpine, 8000', Grade IV
Original: WI3 Mod. Snow [details]
FA: Mike Heath, Dan Davis, Mead Hargis, and Bill Cockerham July 1968
Season: May/June
Page Views: 324
Submitted By: Allen Sanderson on Jul 14, 2016

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Description 

The North Mowich Headwall is a great climb with a bit of everything. From the bivy at 10k ascend a steep hour glass section of rock and ice for 40-50 feet.

After that climb a steep snow slope ~45 degrees for a couple thousand feet until under the rock band. Along the way look to the rock on the right for an arch. Once under the rock band traverse left then work your way right to the ice cap. Clearing the rock band can require 5th class climbing. Surmount the ice cap after which it is an easy walk to Liberty Cap.

Alternatively when one reaches the rock band one can traverse right several hundred feet and pick up the upper Central Mowich Headwall (skirting the rock band completely). Given the lack of snow the rock band for both routes can be problematic. The 60-70 degree ice groove on the right side of the rock band leads to a 45-50 degree slope just below the last section of Sunset Ridge. One can climb straight up or traverse left. With either the slope backs off and it is an easy walk to Liberty Cap.

Location 

We approached from Carbon Creek and Spray Park before the road was closed. Now the best approach is from Mowich Lake.

Regardless of the approach work your way up the North Mowich Glacier crossing cracks to a bowl at about 10,000 feet where one can bivy next to a rock wall where the hourglass is located. There are lower bivies and given the amount of travel we tend to make the approaches two days and enjoy ourselves.

Protection 

Screws, pickets, and a bit of rock gear


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