Grand Central Couloir by Joe Crane

Dallin Carey and I climbed a new route up the North Face of Sacajawea Peak on June 10, 2017 which we have named the Grand Central Couloir.

The Grand Central Couloir climbs up the North Face. Route line in red. Joe Crane Photo

Looking up the route from the base of the face. Joe Crane Photo

Pitch 1 (70 meters): About 3 chockstones to navigate, with the first one being about M5. A tight squeeze was necessary to get underneath one of the others. M5

The start of Pitch 1. Joe Crane Photo

The start of Pitch 1. Joe Crane Photo

The upper part of the first pitch. Joe Crane Photo

Pitch 2 (80 meters): Long steep snow field with one big but relatively easy chockstone. Lack of anchor locations forced some simul-climbing. M3

Pitch 3 (70 meters): Narrow ice chimney under and over various chockstones. WI 3 or 4.

Pitch 3. Joe Crane Photo

Pitch 4 (90 meters): Some steep snow and more narrow ice chimney. Lack of anchors forced a significant amount of simul-climbing. WI 3 or 4

Pitch 5 (20 meters): A short, steep snow slope to the base of Pitch 6.

Pitch 6 (50 meters): Steep, narrow ice chimney under a chockstone followed by a little face climbing to get around another large chockstone. Anchors were found about 15 meters up the steep snow after the technical climbing ended. This pitch was hard and awkward. There were good stances available to put in some deep ice screws, so we’re tentatively calling it WI 4 rather than WI5+, which is how we felt immediately after climbing it. WI 4 or 5, M3.

Pitch 6. Joe Crane Photo

Pitch 7 (30 meters): Steep snow to the top, then a stones throw to the summit. Well protected.

The Upper North Face. Joe Crane Photo

Summary: We used ice screws and rock pro on every single pitch. Good pro was often hard to find, but it was always available to navigate the technical portions.