Eagle, III, WI 5

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 51.32528°N / 115.22111°W
Additional Information Route Type: Ice Climbing
Seasons Season: Winter
Additional Information Time Required: A long day
Additional Information Difficulty: WI 5
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 1
Additional Information Grade: III
Sign the Climber's Log


Eagle, III, WI 5

The Eagle is the 2nd to last published route (2007) you come to in Valley of the Birds. After Yellow Bird and Seagull you come to a fork in the narrow canyon. Left is the start of Albatross and a right takes you to the Eagle and the Raven. The Eagle is the most aesthetic and challenging climb in Valley of the Birds. It was in fair-good shape in early March, however slightly wet and chandeliery in places. The climb is aptly named as it truly forms the impression of an eagle with a large cone representing its tail feathers with two stretches of ice that flare out like the wings of an eagle in the middle of the climb.

Route Description

Eagle, III, WI 5

Main Pitch/40m- Once at the fork, climb a short steep step to the right and gain another couple of steps through possible deep snow as this fork of the canyon starts to widen considerably. The Eagle will come into full view on the right hanging somewhat precariously in its own steep bowl. Climb out of the canyon floor to the right and gain ground to the base of the climb where a significant ice cone forms at the bottom. Proceed up the cone dead center and maneuver your way through overhanging ice here and there to reach the wing section of the Eagle. Get a good screw in here and traverse over left to a small platform/cave that more than likely serves as your only rest of the pitch. Continue up the left line from here which turns more plastic as it rounds out to the top of the falls. There is a tree rappel/belay station at the top left of the route. Rap the route and proceed to the short Raven if you have not had enough for the day.

Climbing Sequence

Essential Gear

Two Ice Tools, Double 60 meter Ropes, 10-12 Ice Screws with draws and/or screamers, Crampons, Helmet, Warm Clothes (Valley of the Birds can keep out some wind, but does not get much sun), Full Shank Boots, 4W Drive (pretty much a must to travel far in the North Ghost), Shovel and Sleeping Bag, the Ghost can be full of surprises, particularly in February where the drifts have started to accumulate. Many climbers end up parking short of the Valley of the Birds and there is currently (2007) a ban on the river crossings (by vehicle) necessary to reach Valley of the Birds by truck. Poles and a possible 2nd pair of boots are handy for at least one river crossing you will have to make on foot.

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