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YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a M4

Type:  Trad, Mixed, Alpine, 3 pitches, 600', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a M4 Easy Snow [details]
FA: 2 lines: Erik Werner and Chad Volk (variation written here) 5/14/11. Greg Sievers & Brian Verhulst (similar line in area, 2 months earlier)
New Route: Yes
Season: Winter
Page Views: 1,564
Submitted By: Erik Werner on Jun 5, 2011

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (2)
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Brian Verhulst following P2, 3-20-11.


P1: Climb the short but cruxy dihedral (M4-5) to a tiny bonsai tree at the top, then work your way up several short rock steps, trending slightly left, to a large snow field with trees. Belay at farthest tree or rock outcrop on left you can reach. 60m. M4-5? (I'd like to hear what others think of that opening dihedral, so we can give it a consensus grade. I felt it was substantially harder than Wham Couloir or The Cleft, both M4, but I was also occupied with a ton of moss excavation on lead, so who knows? Maybe with subsequent ascents/cleaning, it'll deserve an easier grade. Let me know what you think.)

P2: Take the in-cut dihedral directly above the rock island belay, and work your way straight up to an overhanging block/corner, which you'll climb and exit on the left (watch for loose toaster oven). Continue straight up, passing numerous bouldery steps, toward the tip of a snow finger that perfectly exits on the upper snow slope, find a tree to belay from (might require some simul-climbing to find a good one. 70m?, 5.5, M3-M4, depending on line.

P3: Head right across snow to large slab. There are 3 finger cracks here, take the middle one and when it levels out take a left straight up fall line, passing a short bouldery step en route to the top. 40m, M3+/4-.

Descent: Downclimb back of summit block and descend to trees on right. Either downclimb couloir, or rap using sling + biner we left on lowest tree. Snow conditions were somewhat suspect when we did it, so we opted to be careful. The couloir is ~500 feet, with many options on wall for additional anchors if snow is really sketch. Skirt the base back to boulderfield.


Hike up to Emerald Lake, head up the climber's trail to the left of the lake and veer straight for face (we racked up at Memorable Tree, see pic). In front is a face with a snow gully on the left and then three clear snow fingers going up, Steeplechase starts in the third one from left (see pic). Hike up snow finger to below steep dihedral with moss remnants outside of crack, belay here (you can bypass this step via continuing up snow finger to easy step).


4-5 medium nuts, single set cams to #3 Camalot. A pinky tricam protected crux move on p3, but you could do with a small cam possibly.

Photos of Steeplechase Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Brian Verhulst "going Euro" = climbing i...
Brian Verhulst "going Euro" = climbing i...
Rock Climbing Photo: Steeplechase. On our climb of it, we relocated P1 ...
BETA PHOTO: Steeplechase. On our climb of it, we relocated P1 ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Just another line up the mountain, 3-20-11.
Just another line up the mountain, 3-20-11.
Rock Climbing Photo: Steeplechase: start of p2.
BETA PHOTO: Steeplechase: start of p2.
Rock Climbing Photo: Steeplechase: p1 crux dihedral (bypass option to t...
BETA PHOTO: Steeplechase: p1 crux dihedral (bypass option to t...
Rock Climbing Photo: Steeplechase: approach... use 3rd snow finger from...
BETA PHOTO: Steeplechase: approach... use 3rd snow finger from...
Rock Climbing Photo: Steeplechase: pic is from side, so it looks like r...
BETA PHOTO: Steeplechase: pic is from side, so it looks like r...
Rock Climbing Photo: Steeplechase (M5, 5.5, snow): topo.
BETA PHOTO: Steeplechase (M5, 5.5, snow): topo.

Comments on Steeplechase Add Comment
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By Greg Sievers
From: Bozeman, MT
Aug 2, 2012

It would appear that this zone of the East Ridge of Hallett is getting (much deserved) traffic. There are endless options for good quality mixed climbing. It looks as if our ascent matched this description except for the last 30m and that we climbed it 2 months prior.
By Erik Werner
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 23, 2013

Greg, thx for adding pics to the route. I'm 100% certain we were on different lines for that fist pitch as well, as there was zero sign of previous passage when we climbed it. No tool or crampon scratches anywhere, no cleared moss for hand jamming or placing pro... nada (and that moss completely clogged the crack in most places). There was the groove at the far back of the snow tongue which could possibly have been M3 (see topo), and so could jive with your route pic. I'm thinking we might have overlapped for mid P2+P3.

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