East Face Couloir

Page Type: Route
Lat/Lon: 48.20800°N / 121.417°W
Route Type: Technical Mixed Climb
Time Required: Most of a day
Difficulty: Grade IV, WI3 mixed 5.8


See main page of White Chuck Peak for approach description.

Route Description

The steep and imposing East Face of White Chuck Mountain is split by a deep couloir. This couloir was originally climbed in the summer as a 5.8 rock climb. Due to loose rock and rockfall hazard it has never been a popular climb. In good winter conditions however it becomes an excellent and challenging mixed route with extensive sections of high-quality water-ice.

The route begins as tight chimney that cannot be seen until almost directly below it. Climb three pitches of water-ice runnels and mixed climbing. The second pitch has a challenging crux of thinly iced chockstones with difficult protection.

The couloir then opens up. Three pitches of mostly steep neve along with more sections of water-ice are followed to a welcome rest on an open shoulder to climbers left.

To finish traverse back right, then up a deep cleft. Large cornices will probably block a direct finish to the couloir. Instead follow thin ice runnels and delicate mixed climbing up left topping out almost directly on the summit.

The first winter ascent was done during the record-low snow pack of 04-05. During a more normal winter it is possible that there could be much more snow wallowing and much less ice climbing. This route should only be attempted during very settled conditions as both the approach and climb can suffer from wind loading.

Essential Gear

Ice tools, pins, screws and a small rack to 2".

Miscellaneous Info

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