North Couloir

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 39.42310°N / 106.1228°W
Additional Information Route Type: Snow/Ice Climb
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: AI3
Sign the Climber's Log


Follow the approach to Upper Mohawk Lakes (described under "Spruce Creek via Crystal Peak"). Once in the upper basin past upper Mohawk Lake, the North Face of Pacific Peak will be very obvious. At the bottom of the face, you will note steep couloir bisecting it, trending slightly to the west. This is the route. The photo in the "Overview" section of the Pacific Peak Main Page shows the couloir in its entirety.

Route Description

This is an amazing, but serious route depending on conditions. Start early! This couloir gets early morning sun. The lower couloir starts out at about 45 degrees, but the upper section gets steeper (~60 degrees). At the time of our ascent on June 24, 2005, the lower section was well consolidated snow, but the upper section, which holds less snow, was melting out. Parts of the steep section had only thin, rotten ice and unconsolidated snow. The rock in the couloir was also very rotten, and provided very few opportunities for solid protection.

So, study the route carefully, and start up. You will pass a cool spire on its left, and at this point the couloir splits. A very steep section heads to climber's left, and another wider, less steep section heads directly to the North Ridge. At the time of our ascent, the right side option looked very good, with continuous, consolidated snow to the ridge. However, the left section is steeper and reaches the ridge <100 feet from the summit. Climb the left branch past the steep section and up to well-defined notch in the ridge. A very short scramble takes you to the summit.

Essential Gear

We used a 100' piece of rope, 4 pickets, 2 ice screws, and a couple of small stoppers and cams for mostly "psychological" protection in the couloir. Ice axes (an alpine axe) and crampons are a must.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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dloring - Jul 4, 2005 9:21 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

the angle on the north couloir never exceeds 60 degrees

Viewing: 1-1 of 1



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