dberdinka Posted January 31, 2007 Share Posted January 31, 2007 (edited) Trip: Hall Peak - NW Face - N Ridge Date: 1/30/2007 Trip Report: On Tuesday, January 30th, Dave Brannon and I climbed a fun snow and ice line up the NW side of Hall Peak. This is a relatively low (5484') but extremely rugged peak located just west of Big Four. Access is incredibly easy from the collection of cabins called Silverton. We left the car at 5:15 AM, an hour later we hit treeline. Another hour and we were standing at the base of the very impressive, 1900' tall northwest face. View of Route from Descent The route we climbed was first attempted in May 1962 by Dan Davis and a 15-year-old named Steve Skubi. Steve died in what was apparently a large avalanche. I have no clue if the route has been climbed since, but I really doubt we were the first people to ever carry ice gear in here. Conditions were absolutely incredible. The snowpack was setup as solid neve and loads of good water-ice coated everything. Near the top there was some rotted out snow but it was the exception rather than the rule. Starting up the NW Face on bomber neve Starting from the bottom left side of the face we climbed up and right on steep neve to reach the base of an obvious steep couloir that ends at a deep notch in the north ridge maybe 500 vertical feet below the summit. The couloir was more bomber neve with ice coated walls that took good screws for protection. Dave finishing the traverse out of the notch From the notch continuing up the ridge crest appeared unfeasible. Instead we did a tenuous and challenging mixed traverse for about 80' across the NE face. This started on very steep rock and very thin ice and ended with rotted neve for the feet and loose, sloping sidepulls for the hands. Fortunately there was lots of generally suspect rock pro. A little more traversing led to a steep runnel that was followed for two full pitches back to the ridge crest. The runnel was a wonderful mix of water ice to 80 degrees and steep 50-60 degree neve. A final pitch on the ridge crest up more great ice and a final moderate snowslope led to the summit at 3:15 PM. I really can't overstate how good conditions were, I think we placed ice screws at least 12 times to give a sense of how much ice there was. Final snowslope below summit On the Summit with Big 4 in background The descent is a real piece of work and has serious EPIC potential. Basically you following the west ridge for about a half-mile to a notch and then descend down the 2000' north face. This a steep convoluted face littered with some enormous cliff bands. It would be too easy to get all commited on a rappel and suddenly pop through the brush above a steep nasty 600' drop. After downclimbing a bunch of snow we did 7 full rope rappels with a fair bit of traversing inbetween to reach the valley floor around 7:30 PM. Dave set most of the rappels leaving me to enjoy the brilliant full moon that thankfully illuminated the face. If you go climb this peak make sure to have a plan on how your going to get down. See John Ropers report to get a good sense of what the descent route is all about. An hour-and-a-half later we were back at the car, just under 16 hours roundtrip. Thanks Dave for an excellent day in the hills. There is a ton of potential for more alpine routes on the NW Face as well as loads of ice climbing near the base in the right conditions. Anyone else ever been in here? Gear Notes Screws, pickets, nuts and a few knifeblades Edited February 1, 2007 by dberdinka 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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