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Little Matterhorn
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North Pillar Left 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c R

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches, 500', Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Mitch Musci, J Whorton, 2005
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 2,064
Submitted By: Mitch Musci on Sep 7, 2005

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Mitch follows the nice hand crack on pitch 2. Phot...


Begin in a prominent gully that splits the left side of the north face. Scramble up the gully until it turns to 5th class. Step right on to a grassy ledge with a nice crack for an anchor.

Pitch 1: (5.7, 140 feet) Zig-zag up the face above, trending slightly to the right. Traverse right under a roof, then head straight up a left facing corner to find another nice belay ledge with a splitter hand crack for an anchor.

Pitch 2: (5.7 R, 140 feet) Jam the nice hand crack straight off the belay for 40 are now on the North Pillar. Continue up the pillar with occasional protection while passing a few bulges. Belay on the left side of the pillar beneath a steep, left facing dihedral system.

Pitch 3: (5.8, 150 feet) Climb up into the dihedral system and pass through two roofs (crux) with good protection. Climb a blank slab and belay at the base of a large step in the ridge on the left.

Pitch 4: (5.7, 100 feet) Ascend the step with nice face holds and a crack, then continue on easier terrain to the false summit. 4th class scrambling finds the true summit.

Descent: Head west along the ridge (4th class) for about 200 feet to the first prominent saddle. Instead of staying on the ridge, skirt the next tower on the right (north), then make a descending traverse NW (skier's left). You will eventually be funneled into a 3rd-4th class gully leading down to the valley floor. The further west you traverse, the easier the descent will be.


Standard alpine rack to 3 inches. Doubles of 1-3 inches can be useful for the hand crack belay.

Photos of North Pillar Left Slideshow Add Photo
J Whorton climbs through the dihedral system on pitch 3. Photo by Mitch Musci
J Whorton climbs through the dihedral system on pi...
This shows the Direct North Pillar on the right (red), with North Pillar Left scrambling up the gully (green) and merging after the first pitch. It then splits again on its own line (yellow).
This shows the Direct North Pillar on the right (r...
Comments on North Pillar Left Add Comment
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By Legs Magillicutty
From: Littleton
Sep 10, 2007

Anyone have a breakdown on the pitch ratings?

By Mitch Musci
Aug 7, 2012

Please see above.