OverviewThis is a really nice alpine/ice route of moderate dificulty. Long and steep snow gully(2 full pitches) leading to WI3+ ice (2 full pitches), finishing with another long and narrow snow gully. Even if the climb is not technical, the alpine setting and challenging descent makes it a very rewarding outing.
Getting Therefollow directions to smuggler's notch ski resort from Jeffersonville Vermont(VT rd 108). Pass the ski hills and park your car at the end of the road (Rd 108 is closed in winter between smuggler's notch and Stow). Then walk for a little less than 2 miles on the road. The route will be on your right. cut Through the bush aiming for an obvious gully splitting the rock cliff (take the left one, the right one is another climb called easy gully(WI2+). Climb 35 to 40 degrees snow until the gully starts.
Route Descriptionpitch 1: 40-45 degrees snow climb leading to an easy WI2 ice buldge. Then aim right on the snow field to a belay on a tree.
pitch 2: continue on the snow field as it gets steeper aiming fo a really narrow and icy couloir. Climb the 70-80 degrees ice for about 10 meters, then walk in another snow field to a good ice buldge to set up a belay station
pitch 3: You are now in a big amphitheatre facing a WI3+ ice wall. This section is the crux. climb up aiming for the center of the wall where the gully start up again (there is 2 other variation of this section, left(WI3+) and right (WI3)but the one in the center is much longer, almost leading to the top of the mountain). Set up a belay on the rock wall on your left cause the ice at the top of this pitch is not super thick.
Pitch 4: climb the really nice WI3 gully to another belay on good ice.
pitch 5: the gully gets a little bit flater to 35-45 degrees deep snow. few spots for ice pros until the end of the climb where you can belay the second from a tree.
Descent: This is where it gets tricky...Bushwack to your right (when facing the top of the mountain)and try to find another gully (easy gully) to rappel from a tree to a big snow ramp. walk down this ramp to another rappel that should bring you off the climb. If it gets dark before you find the other gully continue to bushwak aiming right and down (it took us about 3 and half hours). Be carefull not to end up on the top of the big overhanging rock walls and roofs, you won't get down of those even with 2 70m double ropes...