North Face Couloirs
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From the bottom of the north face, locate a couloir that bisects the face on the right hand side, and goes up to the west ridge. Climb this couloir. The best variation is to take the left hand split, about half way up, just past a large rock tower on the right. The left hand couloir necks down and gets a little bit steeper (65 to 70 degrees) before finishing just below the summit. Alternately, climb straight up the couloir to the west ridge and scramble up to the summit. Descend as for Pacific Peak, down the east ridge. Overall, either couloir is probably about 1000 feet long.
This route is in condition, probably most of the year. Beware of serious cornices on the west ridge above the route. Stone fall is also present as well. In spring, this is primarily a snow climb. By late summer, the left-hand couloir will melt out, necessitating some easy 5th class climbing on the side.
This is primarily a snow and ice climb, but there is plenty of potential for rock gear along the sides of the couloir. Maybe take a small rack of gear and a couple of ice screws.
BETA PHOTO: Looking down from the top of the couloir
Heading up into the meat of the couloir.
Looking down past the crux.
From the top of the couloir.
this is the day luca brasi speaks of.
he is on the...
Yep, not a go this year.
Dropping into the North Couloir of Pacific Peak, A...
1 turn below the last photo past the crux which wa...
Ripping a turn lower down with slough in the backg...
My friend David decided to rap over the 3-5 ft cor...
David standing atop the crux choke wondering how t...
Climbing the last section.
From a distance, Pacific Peak.
High on life.
Paul Wellner on Pacific Peak. Lovin' Colorado!!!!
My usual view of George Barnes. High up on Pacific...
A good view of the unnerving cornice we climbed un...
|Comments on North Face Couloirs
|By Cory Cleveland|
From: Missoula, MT
Jul 1, 2005
Climbed this couloir (the "left" branch) on 6/24/05. The lower route was in good shape, but the upper steep section had melted out within the last few days. This made for some spicy climbing on junky "ice" and unconsolidated mud. Very little opportunity for solid pro in rock on this route.
All that said, it is a cool route, and could be really cool with just a bit more snow.
We descended via the SE ridge and glissaded a couloir back to Upper Mohawk Lakes for a cool loop.
|By Jason Kaplan|
From: Glenwood ,Co
May 14, 2008
Classic! I'm claiming the first snowboard descent down the north couloir. As far as I know, my friend David is the third skier to ski it top to bottom. I tried last year mid May, and it was too thin and melted out but on April 19 this year it was good to go!
From: Boulder, CO
May 18, 2008
Found fixed line from top of couloir down through bottom of crux. Perfect for rapping through steep and narrow choke (65deg,narrower than your skis) Double check security as I relocated it from some melt/freeze chossiness.
|By Jason Kaplan|
From: Glenwood ,Co
Jun 2, 2008
Really? When we went through I just hand lined over the cornice and my partner rapped in and put his skis on, both of us got through the crux on our own. My partner could not retrieve the rope so he left it, but it didn't go through the crux.
|By Drew Gibson|
From: Frisco, CO
Jul 25, 2009
We skied this in May as part of a Range enchainment There was no cornice. The wind had blown in some fluff and it was about boot top deep. Absolutely epic. I was back there 4 days ago with the girlfriend and it's firm snow with 4 decent patches of ice. Could get even better with the cold temps at night up high. Easily solo-able, weaker climbers will want a rope. The ice is to thin for screws, I took a few small nuts. A KB or two could have been useful.