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Northwest Arete T 
Northwest Couloir T 

Northwest Arete 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 10 pitches, 1800', Grade IV
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: August 30, 1966
Page Views: 555
Submitted By: Tom Merkt on Jul 27, 2014

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BETA PHOTO: The second pseudotower coming out of the chimney o...


An interesting climb with many options and opportunities for adventure. I will describe the 12 pitches at around 5.10 that we found, refer to the "Teton Range" bible, or SP for other descriptions.

P1 5.9
Climb orangish broken up rock through a corner. Odd moves, lots of lichen.

P2 5.8
Right trending up a dirty chimney. At times chimney turns to left facing OW crack and back to chimney.

P3-4 5.7
Right up easier ground with interspersed grass ending at a huge gendarme.

P5 5.8
Follow a crack for about 50 feet to the base of a chimney.

P6 5.7
Climb left into a big clean chimney. Exit via the keyhole on the right then move up and left. Get in a piece early and cross exposed low angle slab covered with lichen (5.6 - 5.7)

P7 5.6 4th
Climb up to the base of another huge pseudotower

P8 5.7 - 5.10
Traverse (30 - 50 feet) right on very exposed ledge. I took the ledge which had poor rock, but could be protected. I did not see pro on the clean sloped upper ledge although it was more aesthetic.

I climbed the first crack that looked passable (~5.10) apparently it gets easier further right as the rock quality depreciates. I had rope drag concerns as well.

P9 5.8
Climb 50 feet to the wall.

NOTE: This is where things get interesting. I will describe our route which was phenomenal, excellent rock, amazing exposure great moves, but had a lot of loose blacks. The books describes a 5.7 mantle to the left and easy terrain right.

Work the right side of the wall to a good belay.

P10 5.8
Climb a wide crack to a ledge.

Traverse 30 feet right overcoming the steep wall via a crack with a non-inspiring triangle block. Continue up to a belay below a exposed vertical wall on your right

P11 5.9
Climb 100 feet up trending right, eventually coming to a vertical crack system in an exposed left facing corner of pink rock. Belay on a small exposed ledge with loose rock on your left.

P12 5.7
Climb left of the belay for three moderate moves before easy terrain is reached. Be careful of the “mouse trap” supporting the large block above the belayer, right of the belay.

Pitch 11 and 12 could be linked with caution. I was out of gear and did not want to knock any loose rocks down on the belayer or deal with the rope drag.

Easier 4th class terrain gets you to the base of the west summit. Climb the West Ridge or forgo the summit.

We descended avoiding technical terrain by heading south off the ridge working down the Veiled Wister saddle, when possible crossing back into the North fork toward Snowdrift Lake.


Climb up the obvious talus cone below the Northwest Couloir. The route starts ~60 feet to the left of the couloir. The route starts on a small grassy ledge. It is twenty feet to the left of a slabby section with a few small roofs.


We took a full rack from #0 C3 - #4 C4 doubles in #.75 and #1 used it all, small cams were key. The #4 was placed often but was not essential, worth bringing regardless. 6 trad draws and a set of nuts rounded it off.

Photos of Northwest Arete Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Grey halfway up Pitch 9 "working the right si...
BETA PHOTO: Grey halfway up Pitch 9 "working the right si...
Rock Climbing Photo: "Mouse trap" on pitch 12
BETA PHOTO: "Mouse trap" on pitch 12
Rock Climbing Photo: Greg finishing up the 5.10 crack on Pitch 8
Greg finishing up the 5.10 crack on Pitch 8
Rock Climbing Photo: Mount Wister in the evening sun.
BETA PHOTO: Mount Wister in the evening sun.

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