Crampon your way up the steepening snow slope into the deep, narrow gully. After a few hundred feet you'll come to a short grade 3 ice bulge. Surmount the ice and continue on your merry way up more steep snow with intermittent rocky sections. The gully splits near the top. Trending left will take you up snow and frozen turf to the lip of the ravine. Going right looks like tricky mixed climbing, though I'm sure it would go for the right person.
On my trip up there was a substantial cornice forming what looked like an unavoidable vertical to overhanging snow finish (possibly unstable?). Fortunately, with the help of a few rock moves and some frozen moss, I was able to bypass the cornice on the far left.
Also, beware of ice dams on this particular route when conditions warrant. An exploding pressurized ice bulge caused a fatality here a number of years ago.
Second gully from the right. Starts very close to the bottom of North Gully.
A handful of screws and rock gear. Perhaps some pickets. Some fixed gear here and there.
On a windy day on this route I was periodically showered with chunks of ice up to the size of a baseball. I was very happy to have my helmet.
|Comments on Damnation Gully
|By Will Holets|
From: Bethlehem, NH
Feb 20, 2014
When I did this back in 2012 I really, really wished I had a picket or two for the final belay. I ended slinging some janky schist horn and then parking my butt and heels in the snow for a little reassurance. Not optimal.