Trip: Sloan Peak - FA: Superalpine (WI3-4, 1000')
Trip Date: 02/28/2020
On February 28th, 2020, @PorterM and I made what we believe to be the first winter ascent of the West Face of Sloan Peak. We climbed an incredible line approximately 1000 ft long of WI3-4 and steep snow climbing before our route joined the final 600 ft of snowfields to the summit. On the very final ice step, I suffered a short fall on rotten ice and a heinous top out and broke a few bones in the right side of my face. We bailed down the route and skied out. So technically, I guess we didn't finish the route, so say what you want about it.
Our route started with a WI4ish pitch followed by hundreds of feet of stellar WI3 rambly flows in a gully just to the climber's right of the true west ridge spur on Sloan Peak. In our eyes, this was the only way up the true west face under WI4+/5. The whole face is loaded with huge free hanging daggers and wild lines. A competent WI6/M6 climber in the right conditions could send some absolute world class lines up there.
I shared a lot more details, reflections on the accident, and route beta on my blog: https://climberkyle.com/2020/02/28/fa-sloan-peak-superalpine-wi3-4-1000/. Hopefully some others can get up there and finish this magnificent climb or poach some of the other unclimbed lines.
Our route. up to where I fell. We were about to join the corckscrew route and head out.
We climbed the gully on the right side of the photo.
First pitch crux.
Moving into the wonderful ice gully.
Porter leading on that fat, fun, rambly WI3. The climbing in the gully was generally easy, sustained, and super fun!
Incredible flows on the west face.
Some helpful beta.
Screws, maybe a few small rock pieces and a picket.
Skin/hike forest service road 4096, then meander up Bedal Creek to the base of the west face.