PDA

View Full Version : Most Challenging Mountaineering Routes



Jkrew81
03-16-2005, 03:07 PM
Besides Huntington, what would you say are the most challenging mountaineering routes in the Whites? I am looking for seriously challenging, but also not vertical ice climbing.

Sherpa John
03-16-2005, 03:12 PM
Flume Slide Trail, North Slide on Tripyramid...

if you want serious adventure....

how about the Old Lincoln and Adams Slides?! :eek:

dr_wu002
03-16-2005, 03:21 PM
Besides Huntington, what would you say are the most challenging mountaineering routes in the Whites? I am looking for seriously challenging, but also not vertical ice climbing.
It depends exactly what you want then. Do you want routes accessible by trail, or not accessible by trail? If you want off trail routes, I'm sure you can easily find some pretty hairy things to suite your needs.

How about The Captain (http://community.webshots.com/photo/82837699/82840871YVqRHr)?

-Dr. Wu

Jkrew81
03-16-2005, 03:29 PM
I am looking for pretty much anything. Next weekend I am trying out Great Gully Tr up Adams and from what I hear it is pretty crazy. I am just trying to get some other ideas.

Pucknuts61
03-16-2005, 03:36 PM
Hey Jkrew81,
I take it you liked that King Ravine trail we met on. :)
If so, I'd make the same suggestion as SJ and go with the Flume Slide. It's tough enough during the summer months, so winter has got to be a serious challenge (wouldn't do it solo though).
Haven't done the slide to Tripryamids yet, but the reports make it sound interesting.

What about Six Husbands? There was a thread on that one a couple of months ago. Might be worth a look too.
Good luck,
Bill

post'r boy
03-16-2005, 03:46 PM
It depends exactly what you want then. Do you want routes accessible by trail, or not accessible by trail? If you want off trail routes, I'm sure you can easily find some pretty hairy things to suite your needs.

How about The Captain (http://community.webshots.com/photo/82837699/82840871YVqRHr)?

-Dr. Wu
wow!! check out the other photos while on the link!!!!! :D :D :D :D :D
and they're off!!!!

dr_wu002
03-16-2005, 04:06 PM
wow!! check out the other photos while on the link!!!!! :D :D :D :D :D
and they're off!!!!
Well, is the SW face challenging enough for this guy!?

I looked at all the other pictures. They're great... can't wait to head out there myself.

Dr. Wu

Jasonst
03-16-2005, 04:46 PM
Flume Slide is steep in winter but IMHO easier in winter than summer (done both). I don't have any better suggestions however

Tramper Al
03-16-2005, 04:52 PM
Webster Cliff always has looked pretty tough to me, right across Rt. 302 from the Willey House. No, not the trail.

Not for amateurs like me, obviously.

DougPaul
03-16-2005, 06:02 PM
Webster Cliff always has looked pretty tough to me, right across Rt. 302 from the Willey House. No, not the trail.


Did one of the gullies on Webster Cliff as a start to a winter Prezzie traverse in the early 80s. Easy class III rock with 2 or 3 pitches of easy ice.

Might be a little more snow and avalanche hazard right now...

Routes listed in the ice climbing guidebooks.

Doug

Ridgerunner
03-16-2005, 06:06 PM
The old Underhill route.

giggy
03-16-2005, 08:35 PM
the gullies on mt willard (think thats the one) - cinema gully, shoestring gully, are supposed to be pretty challeging - never did them but see them when doing willy's across the street. I think they are rated NE2 or NE3. When you say "mountaineering" - this is what i assume you mean. King Ravine, Great gully, I think six husabands borderlines on technical in winter - but not sure.

CaptainJim
03-17-2005, 08:21 AM
Flume Slide Trail, North Slide on Tripyramid...

if you want serious adventure....

how about the Old Lincoln and Adams Slides?! :eek:

As you've probably been reading I'm going out Sunday most likely to Moosilauke or Flune/Victory. I WAS condidering the Flume Slide up VictorySprings down loop till most people strongly advides me against it... now that I hear some (like yourself) saying it's one of the most challenging climbs in the Whites (especially with the snow we've had lately) I'll definately consider another route.
:rolleyes:

Jasonst
03-17-2005, 08:38 AM
As you've probably been reading I'm going out Sunday most likely to Moosilauke or Flune/Victory. I WAS condidering the Flume Slide up VictorySprings down loop till most people strongly advides me against it... now that I hear some (like yourself) saying it's one of the most challenging climbs in the Whites (especially with the snow we've had lately) I'll definately consider another route.
:rolleyes:

If you only have summer experience with this trail, I wouldn't necessarily convey that experience to winter. The trail looks nasty in the summer but with crampons, it's just steep. Also, with the snow cover as of late, I wouldn't hesitate to go up it, but that's just me. I'm not an avid risktaker or ice climber.

Sherpa John
03-17-2005, 09:12 AM
From what I hear.. Flume slide in winter, especially now, requires one to have 2 ice axes and crampons as well as other Mountaineering experience such as self arrest techniques.

el-bagr
03-17-2005, 09:57 AM
From what I hear.. Flume slide in winter, especially now, requires one to have 2 ice axes and crampons as well as other Mountaineering experience such as self arrest techniques.

IMO, Flume Slide can often be done with a single mountaineering axe as opposed to double vertical-ice axes -- particularly at this time of year when there is plenty of snow as opposed to early season mixed rock-and-ice. I'd rate it NEI2. Awareness of some technical climbing issues including avalanche and protection would be a good idea.

CaptainJim
03-17-2005, 10:01 AM
If you only have summer experience with this trail, I wouldn't necessarily convey that experience to winter. The trail looks nasty in the summer but with crampons, it's just steep. Also, with the snow cover as of late, I wouldn't hesitate to go up it, but that's just me. I'm not an avid risktaker or ice climber.

I guess I'll just have to look and decide for myself. I do have winter experience not tons but I've done Washington twice this winter (once successful, once turned back because of weather). I have plastic boots, crampons and 1 piolet. Have never taken an ice climbing course but have good judgement and no machismo. meaning I haven't lived over 50 years by being afraid to "turn" a climb (or a solo deep technical wreck dive which I do a lot of). The mountain (and the wreck) will still be there tomorrow.

If it's just a matter of "steep" I'll take it slow and easy. If however there's excissive risk of avalanche, ice falls (I have no helmit), or whatever I'll defer to the side of safety and go elswhere or take Liberty up & down.

Thanks for the advice everyone! :)

Capt. Jim

el-bagr
03-17-2005, 10:24 AM
Not to chime in overmuch, but I would recommend a helmet for any significant gully climb, particularly late-season like now. With things warming up, rock and ice fall becomes a serious hazard. You might be surprised how little a rock it takes to knock you down and off, let alone give your skull a core-shot.

CaptainJim
03-17-2005, 11:23 AM
Not to chime in overmuch, but I would recommend a helmet for any significant gully climb, particularly late-season like now. With things warming up, rock and ice fall becomes a serious hazard. You might be surprised how little a rock it takes to knock you down and off, let alone give your skull a core-shot.

Funds $$$ are short but I was deciding whether to get another ax or a helmit... I decided it should be the helmit... I don't have much of a brain to protect, but it's all I got :p ... plus my wife & kids probably want me to come home Sunday nite

Capt. Jim

wally2q
03-17-2005, 11:55 AM
One thing to consider is that the term Most "Challenging" Mountaineering, does not always equate to technical difficulty of an ice climb.....

Total commitment (exposure, distance/access to support and/or help, self sustainance), environement & conditions (temp., wind, snowfall etc.), and the style of the ascent plays a big role.

One can climb a vertical wall 1/4 mile from a highway in 2 hours, and be back in the car by noon. Although physically challenging (the climb), it hardly tests mountaineering skills.


the wall.......

giggy
03-17-2005, 01:11 PM
capt jim - get the helmut - you do not need 2 axes on flume slide trail and unless your start tech ice climbing - there is no need for 2 at all. Flume slide is in the same league as lion head winter - maybe a tad bit harder and longer. Even the easier gully's in huntinton like south and central - and willeys slide can even be done with one axe.


I am not saying you don't know how to use an axe - but proper self belay, proper ice axe use, (different ways to hold/use it) good foot placements/crampon technique - will get you up the slide trail. not sure I would hit it alone if I were you for the first time though. A fall could be a good bit, hurt and could result in injury - that being said, you probably would want to look at least at a book - the book "freedom of the hills" for this instruction. - pretty much agree with el bagr here. NE2 - really that high?? I would think NE1 - but I could be wrong. whats the angle grade - I was thinking 45-50 degrees at the most.

Jasonst
03-17-2005, 01:21 PM
I guess I'll just have to look and decide for myself. I do have winter experience not tons Capt. Jim

FYI, I did this as my 1st winter peak! I don't say this to brag but I was unaware of the difficulty. I don't believe I had an axe - just poles. Don't be spooked, just be prepared for some lung and quad burnin' !

Sherpa John
03-17-2005, 02:24 PM
Like I said... just going on what I had HEARD. I couldn't tell ya for sure... but someday... I know I will be able to speak from experience on winter flume.

:eek:

sierra
03-17-2005, 07:44 PM
If you want a challange and know how to climb technical ice/rock/snow try "Lincoln's Throat" :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :D I bet most people dont even know where it is, but its in the Whites and is awsome.

Sherpa John
03-17-2005, 07:53 PM
I think I know where it is... and would imagine it as being highly challenging. Not something I will EVER try thats for sure. :D

el-bagr
03-18-2005, 08:48 AM
If you want a challange and know how to climb technical ice/rock/snow try "Lincoln's Throat"

We were just discussing skiing that on another thread this week... times I've been in there there's only been 1 pitch of NEI2-3 ice set in high-angle neve and corn.

I'd agree with sierra: that's technical high adventure.

snowman
03-18-2005, 11:59 AM
I've only done shoestring gully but it is a great "mountaineering" route, and many of the climbs on Webster are true to form.

Great position, variable conditions, many different lines to take depening on comfort levels. Highly reccomended.

CaptainJim
03-18-2005, 08:59 PM
We were just discussing skiing that on another thread this week... times I've been in there there's only been 1 pitch of NEI2-3 ice set in high-angle neve and corn.

I'd agree with sierra: that's technical high adventure.

All the rating systems I find are M, W or I... where would I find a description of the ratings you guys are using?

Thanks,
Capt. Jim

ps: Looks like a couple other VFTT people are going up the FST also (or at least trying) so even if we don't actually hike together, I'll look for them so someone will at least know I'm there and visa versa.

NYBRAD
03-19-2005, 06:47 AM
Jim,
Your asking a question on a very debatable subject. ;)

This may help you out.

http://www.arareko.net/climbing/ratings.html
http://neice.com/eguide/Ratings.htm

In the Northeast some use a system (NEI) instead of (WI) developed by Rick Wilcox and Peter Cole in their New England ice climbing guide "Shades of Blue"