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Polish Suicide Volcano (WI4++, M4-5) new linkup on Colfax Peak's north face

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I'll keep the beta spray brief since there is sufficient info out there on both routes involved in this climb. On Sunday the 4th, Eli Spitulnik and I hiked then skied out to Colfax with an idea I had schemed up the week before. We planned to climb the first ~80meters of the Polish route (Link, Link), then traverse a snow band left to the pitch 4 chimney of Colin's route Kimchi Suicide Volcano which we would then take to the summit. 


The combo worked out better than we could have imagined, and we both think this is one of the most quality alpine mixed routes we've climbed in the cascades. The nature of this route allows it to go in normal conditions, where the Polish or KSV would not be in. We hope that it'll become a popular way to climb this face as it has much more actual climbing than the Cosley-Houston, for a slightly harder grade. 


Here's some pretty pictures. 


Blurry, but you get the gist 


Eli about to cross the bergschrund 


Following P1IMG_0939.JPEG.b95b6b55599669143befe4fa22b8668a.JPEG

Myself taking the spindrift straight to the face starting pitch 2


Eli traversing over to the KSV chimney.


Entering the squeeze


Eli carried the pack like a champ through the rime tunnel


Wild rime daggers threatening to collapse on our heads while we tunneled




Eli after exiting the tunnel into the sunlight 



Pleased to be on the summit and in the sun. 

IMG_8539.jpg.bb77a1186cd3ec1a870e2c61a8640302.jpgTagged the East summit on our descent 




9-12 screws, single rack .2-2, nuts, selection of kb's and beaks (very helpful for anchors). If you don't like long sections of unprotected snow climbing, a picket or two may come in handy for the upper slopes. 

In less rimed up conditions more rock gear should be available. In our conditions cams from .4-1 would have been sufficient. 

You may be able to climb all the way up to the ledge traverse in one pitch with a 70M rope, otherwise we had a single 60. 


Edited by Michael Telstad
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On 2/6/2024 at 9:01 PM, JasonG said:

Wow!  That looks high quality.  Great photos!

How far could you drive up Glacier Creek road?  Did you ski up the summer trail(ish)?

The horrifying thing is we hiked on the "summer" trail for 2 miles before putting skis on. There was more snow on the road in October this year...

Great year for access to the alpine if you can look past everything else.

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Nice work Michael and Eli! Visionary to remove the need for the pesky Polish's dagger to be in.

I'm giving you permission to upgrade it to WI4+++ but, this being Washington, no way can you call it WI5- 🙂

I fear for the aspiring moderate alpinists who attempt some of the WI4+/M5 routes put up in the last several years without knowing that WI4+/M5 is the new 5.9+/A2.

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