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Blanca Peak's North Face
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Aug 4, 2010
Me too!
Other than the Ormes Buttress and the Gash Couloir, are there any routes directly up the tallest part of the NF between the two above mentioned routes?

In this pic below, Ormes is approximately the yellow line on right and Gash couloir is red line on left. Anything in the middle where the question mark is?


Any routes where the ? mark is?
Any routes where the ? mark is?
J. Fox
From Black Hawk, CO
Joined Mar 29, 2007
1,525 points
Aug 4, 2010
good god no, that face is a
chossy shitpile I wouldn't
send my worst enemy out on.
goatboy
From Nederland, CO
Joined Jan 15, 2008
32 points
Aug 5, 2010
This is a novel auto blocking belay device.  I thi...
I don't know if it is the lighting in the photo that makes it look a little concave but that picture reminds me of picture of the Eiger.

But really this is just a bump.
Rick Blair
From Denver
Joined Oct 16, 2007
246 points
Aug 5, 2010
Me too!
Chossy? That's kinda what I thought, but if it wasn't for climbing choss, there'd be no Canadian alpinism right? J. Fox
From Black Hawk, CO
Joined Mar 29, 2007
1,525 points
Aug 5, 2010
You can love your rope but you can't "LOVE&qu...
I agree with goatboy. I wouldn't stand under this face, much less attempt it. Lee Smith
Joined Sep 5, 2003
1,686 points
Aug 6, 2010
Cima Margherita and Cima Tosa in the Dolomiti di B...
Jeff,

Roof of the Rockies, p. 191, briefly describes the 1948 Colorado College route up the center of the face, and another route put up in 1964. First winter ascent of the face in 1973. There's a picture on p. 118.
brenta
From Boulder, CO
Joined Feb 2, 2006
72 points
Aug 6, 2010
Slick Rock put in
Yes for CC climbers, past and future. Allen Hill
From FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Joined Jun 12, 2004
1,803 points
Aug 6, 2010
It is a bit of a stretch to call anything up that face an actually
route that most decent folks would recommend to a friend.



But I enjoy OW's so whutdahfukdoIknow.
goatboy
From Nederland, CO
Joined Jan 15, 2008
32 points
Aug 6, 2010
was down there a few years ago to recover a body that was basically near the bottom of the yellow line. During the search of the area which too most of the day, I heard a lot of rockfall coming off Blanca. I would love to climb the Ormes Buttress, but I am way scared of the trip reports Ive read. I would suggest having primary, alternate, contingency and emergency plans in place before attempting anything. tenpins
Joined Jan 29, 2007
30 points
Aug 6, 2010
Bouldering at right side of Sun Deck
It figures that some CC guys have done it. Those guys never could tell the difference between stupidly, death defying danger and fun :-) YDPL8S
From Santa Monica, Ca.
Joined Aug 7, 2003
932 points
Aug 6, 2010
This doesn't have anything to do with routes on the north face but here's my experience with it. Somewhere along the right skyline I broke off a cornice with me on it. I'm not sure how far I fell but I dove for it and managed to stay on the face on super rotten snow as the cornice continued to fall hundreds of feet. I had to tunnel up in a crawl/swim motion with my face in the powder to keep from tipping out backwards and could hardly breathe. People were yelling intructions at me and it sounded like they were behind me, which was a bit disorienting. After recovering from a couple of times more of snow collapsing underfoot, my head finally punched through the remainder of the cornice and I could catch my breath. When I went to pull myself up onto the surface, the snow behind me calved off again but I continued on to safe ground. This was ages ago before I knew anything about snow, didn't even have crampons or an alpine axe. Dumb luck survival I guess. Somebody told us to go home and buy a copy of Mountaineering, Freedom of the Hills. J C Wilks
From Loveland, CO
Joined Aug 29, 2006
301 points
Aug 6, 2010
This is a novel auto blocking belay device.  I thi...
brenta wrote:
Jeff, Roof of the Rockies, p. 191, briefly describes the 1948 Colorado College route up the center of the face, and another route put up in 1964. First winter ascent of the face in 1973. There's a picture on p. 118.

"The first day they followed various crack systems to a ledge some two-thirds of the way up, where they bivouacked. The next morning they spent over four hours tackling one "tremendous" overhang, which turned out to be the crux pitch. They reached the summit after forty-two hours on the mountain."

If they camped on it, I wonder how bad the rock fall was?

Jeff, I am behind you 100%, sounds epic.
Rick Blair
From Denver
Joined Oct 16, 2007
246 points
Aug 6, 2010
Edge of Time, Jurassic Park
If I remember correctly the N Face winter ascent was by the couloir between Blanca and Little Bear rather than the N Face proper. I think it was Curt Haire. Greg Twombly
From Conifer, CO
Joined Nov 1, 2007
260 points
Aug 6, 2010
Casual Route Pitch 3  Photo by Mark Cushman
Someone needs to get Steve House on this. Looks exciting to me.

Jeff, are you just looking for info or are you thinking of going big?
cheifitj
From Boulder, Colorado
Joined Jun 24, 2008
110 points
Aug 6, 2010
Cima Margherita and Cima Tosa in the Dolomiti di B...
Greg Twombly wrote:
If I remember correctly the N Face winter ascent was by the couloir between Blanca and Little Bear rather than the N Face proper. I think it was Curt Haire.

This is what Bueler writes: "At least six attempts were made to climb this face in winter before Curt Haire and Russ Hotchkiss succeeded in March 1973."

In AAJ, Issue 71, Volume 39, Jim McChristal writes: "After a first attempt was snowed off, Curt Haire and Russ Hotchkiss made the first winter ascent of the north face of Blanca Peak. The route comprised some 3000 feet of high-angle snow climbing interspersed with F6 rock work and a face bivouac."

That's all I've been able to find. Wouldn't a couloir between Little Bear and Blanca be on the opposite side of the mountain from the north face?
brenta
From Boulder, CO
Joined Feb 2, 2006
72 points
Aug 9, 2010
Me too!
cheifitj wrote:
Jeff, are you just looking for info or are you thinking of going big?


I was looking for info, but if I had a fast and competent partner, it'd be fun to explore. That face didn't look that bad. I stood right under it yesterday morning. Unfortunately, we got too late a start and it rained all night so the wall and route was soaking wet, there was quite a bit of rockfall off of Ellingwood too. If one could time it to climb these walls after a day or two of dry weather, I think they'd be fine.

Ellingwood Point's NF is huge, near dead vertical and features a lot of cracks etc.



NF of Ellingwood Point.
NF of Ellingwood Point.


NF of Ellingwood Peak...ignore the recent massive ...
NF of Ellingwood Peak...ignore the recent massive rockfall!
J. Fox
From Black Hawk, CO
Joined Mar 29, 2007
1,525 points
Jun 9, 2011
The couloir which Russ Hotchkiss and I climbed in March of 1973 is on the north aspect of the Blanca-Ellingwood formation, between the two peaks. That puts it to the right/west of the Ormes Buttress line identified in the above photos. I have seen it in some publications identified as the "Wilms Couloir"

-Curt (Haireball) Haire
Curt Haire
Joined Jun 9, 2011
1 points
Administrator
Jun 9, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
the NF of ellingwood point is most definitely not dead vertical. but rest assured, it is chossy. when i was researching routes on the NF of Blanca, i think there were 4 total existing. we did what we thought was the ormes buttress, though it was pretty tangled routefinding-wise. hard to say if we were 'on route' any of the time. total pile, i wouldn't recommend it. slim
Joined Dec 1, 2004
2,001 points


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