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WI3 M4

Type:  Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine, 2 pitches, 400', Grade II
Original: WI3 M4 Mod. Snow [details]
FA: May 12, 2012 (Anastasia Blagoveshchenskaya, and Vitaliy Musiyenko)
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 3,932
Submitted By: SirTobyThe3rd on May 21, 2012  with updates from Sam Bedell

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (3)
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Summit shot


Route starts out with easy ice and progresses to a steep and a little overhanging bulge (crux). When we climbed it, the bulge did not have great placements for feet and required some fun moves to be passed. Ice flow was thick and offered solid protection opportunities. I was also able to place a # 1 BD Camalot (Red) and # 3 Metolious (orange). Aside from these two placements I did not see other opportunities for rock pro. After the bulge is passed, follow more fun ice till you reach the snow couloir. It is a full pitch with about 50M of fun ice climbing in a superb setting. Belay from snow pickets in the couloir (which is not as steep as it looks from Cathedral ridge).
Follow the couloir right and over. Solo, simul solo, or belay from the top. Join the North Face route and continue to the Summit.


The route goes straight up and to the right of the Cathedral Spire. Prominent snow couloir partly comes into sun and produces a water ice flow on the steep wall bellow it.
To approach, traverse towards Cathedral Spire bellow Eliot headwall or hike up the glacier passing the shrund.
It could easily be done as a car to car climb. Good cardio day, great alpine setting, with a pitch of superb climbing...and NO LINE!


5-10 ice screws (depending on comfort level)
BD #1 camalot (red)
Metolious #3 (orange)
2-4 pickets

Photos of Ravine Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Views towards the glacier
Views towards the glacier
Rock Climbing Photo: Snow traverse to the base of the route
BETA PHOTO: Snow traverse to the base of the route
Rock Climbing Photo: Route forms bellow the prominent snow couloir. The...
BETA PHOTO: Route forms bellow the prominent snow couloir. The...
Rock Climbing Photo: Zoom on the route. Bulge could be seen half way up...
BETA PHOTO: Zoom on the route. Bulge could be seen half way up...
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing up the awesome ice flow
Climbing up the awesome ice flow

Comments on Ravine Add Comment
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By Allen Sanderson
From: Oootah
Aug 29, 2012

This line or approximately the same line was originally done in 1958 (May 18, 1958) by Dave Bohn, Art Maki, and Al Combs. There is reference to this line in Oregon High by Jeff Thomas as a variation to Eliot Glacier (Route 7a) and is described as "Stay close to the North Face Cleaver. Gain the col behind Cathedral Spire and follow the last 500 feet of the North Face."

The line described above does the same in that it gains the col behind Cathedral Spire. One can debate the conditions in which the route was originally climbed and this ascent as well as whether both parties followed the exact same line it is moot as it is well accepted that once a route is climbed is has been climbed regardless of the conditions. That is unless there is a significant variation which I do not believe to be the case.

Especially when it comes it snow/ice routes. One year a line could be a snow slog, the next an ice route, and late in the season being a rock route. Given that the route is one pitch of ice and the current state of the glaciers it is highly probable that the first ascent party did their ascent as a steep snow climb.

The above is not to diminish what has been reported as it is interesting to see the changes in routes. And it provides an escape if the Headwall is out of condition.
By SirTobyThe3rd
Dec 4, 2012

The description does sound similar, but the line drawn in the guidebook goes right, while our route goes up (descriptions could sound similar for any climbs, it's the visual line drawn by the team that makes sense the most- to me at least). Even in high snow year there are parts that are too steep to keep snow. Whatever the case is, we are claiming we did the first ICE ascent of the route :) If someone is looking to avoid that neve climbing and wants to get on some steeper water ice, this is a good line- when "IN"
By Addem Bursh
Nov 3, 2013

More importantly, V - have you ever been to Lee Vining?!?!?

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