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BriceBurtonImag

Beginner snow/snice/couloir climbs

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Hey Guys-

 

Im looking for suggestions on some moderately easily assessable snow/snice/ice/couloir climbs. Climbs that are good for getting used to using 2 tools and placing snow/ice protection. I know most climbs like this have to be "in" before attempted and would appreciate any beta on those details that can be provided. The ultimate goal is to get on these routes many times throughout the season to get a feel for different conditions of how they are "in" and "out".

 

Would the fly or the zipper on Lane peak in MRNP be one that fits into this category of climbs im asking for?

 

Thanks

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Lane Peak is a good accessible beginner route, but many of the routes listed in the link are not beginner routes and are not easily accessible. Many of the people on this sight don't remember what a beginner route is. Telling someone that Stewart, Dragontail, N. Ridge of Baker are good places to learn to place pro is terrible advice and sets people up for bad times. Go some place forgiving and learn how the tools work and what the anchors do before you hang your butt off a cliff.

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Many of the people on this sight don't remember what a beginner route is.

 

Pretty much. I think a good indicator for snow climbs that a beginner could figure out without someone else leading is whether the route gets skied on a regular basis. The easiest one on Lane Peak and the Colchuck NBC probably fit the bill.

 

If you find yourself in over your head with what people are recommending, make something up. Walk around, find a gully that looks like the right angle for you, climb it.

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Best conditions are after cold, clear nights following a low elevation rain. That can create great neve or even styrofoam snow. Also may lower avalance hazard as long as it stays cold

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The north couloir on McClellan Butte is a good one if avalanche danger is low; access is easy.

 

People ski the east / south couloirs on Guye Peak (search for TRs) and those could also be good ones that are relatively accessible and not too steep. Again with the caveat that couloir climbing should be carefully considered relative to avalanche hazard.

 

I've had good luck using the Southwest Ridge of Red Mountain in Commonwealth Basin (as described in Jim Nelson's "Selected Climbs... Vol 2"). It's not as steep as the couloirs described (definitely not 2-tool terrain) but has easy access and is somewhat steep, reasonably done solo.

 

 

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