North Ridge

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 44.10280°N / 114.6287°W
Additional Information Route Type: Scramble/snow climb
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Class 3
Sign the Climber's Log


This route starts from the slate creek trailhead. It is 4.25 miles and about 2000 vertical feet from the trailhead to Ocaulkens lake. It took us about 2.5 hours with packs.

Route Description

Once reaching the lake, skirt the west side of the lake, and follow the outlet at its southern tip. From here traverse up through the meadows, and talus to the base of the west buttress of WCP-9 (aprox 9800 ft). Stick to the north side of the buttress. The route is primarily class 2 with some minor class 3 depending if you prefer solid class 3 or loose class 2 talus.

At a point where you are approx parallel with the saddle between WCP-9, and D.O. Lee, traverse right to the saddle. From the saddle follow the north ridge of D.O. Lee along a faint goat trail on the western side of the ridge to the base of the snow cornice. This section isn't more than class 2., and only takes about 20 minutes. Now comes the fun part - a snow climb that is aprox 150 ft (depending on how early late in the season you go), and can get up to about 70 degree for a short distance. In late summer, it might be possible to avoid the snow altogether if it has melted, but come prepared with an ice axe, anyhow.

Essential Gear

ice axe

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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Fred Spicker

Fred Spicker - Aug 2, 2009 6:30 pm - Hasn't voted

Ocalkens side approach

As of July 2009 the Slate Creek road is in good shape and easily passable by passenger cars. Be aware that the trail up Slate Creek to Ocalkens Lake has been deliberately blocked and / or obscured at its junction with the trail to Hoodoo Lake. Someone has dropped a bunch of small to medium sized trees across it. At first, we thought that is was an indication that the trail was rerouted or something and went too far up the road. We found the trail by dropping down from the Hoodoo Lake trail toward Slate Creek. We suspect that this may have been done to keep motor bikes out?? Or....? When climbing the buttress on WCP-9, if you go as high as the obvious rock tower there is a very good sheep trail from just above the tower to a point a little above the saddle between 9 & Lee. We approached the buttress through Bighorn Basin by taking the trail toward Iron Basin as far as the switchback just before the long traverse to the saddle between 6 & 7. From there it is an easy traverse into Bighorn Basin. This is a little longer approach than going directly from the lake, but it is really beautiful...and still only 1 hour from the lake to the base of the buttress.

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