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Trip Report    

Chair Peak/Northeast Buttress (winter)

Successful trip.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Still a lot of snow coverage.  Being our first time up there on the winter route I can't say how "in" it is compared to its best conditions.   There were pro placements on the first pitch and on the ice flow on the 4th pitch (not great options).   So much snow the "gnarly tree" was buried which required a deadmen picket anchor on the 4th pitch snow slope.   But there is ice on the 1st and 4th pitches and ice tools used all the way on the route.  Hit or miss if you have good hard snow for ice pick placements or just punching through surface crust into loose unconsolidated snow.

It’s a proper winter climb.  It’s my first time as a winter climb so I can't say how "in" it is compared to what its best conditions should be, but we didn't have any issues.

Party of 2. 11 hours car to car.  2.5 hours to get to the base of the climb.

First pitch has a nice boot track halfway up to the rap slings. It’s a proper pitch after that, took a sling, 1 screw and a couple cams to protect.    Pitch 2 only had 1 place to protect slinging a piece of tree branch poking out of the snow till getting to some anchor slings on a rock.  Pitch 3 was runout with no pro a full rope length and had to get up on the ice flow to get screws in to protect it.  Pitch 4 is about a 10 foot ice pitch I got a couple screws in, then its runout on a snow slope till the end of the rope.   I put in 2 horizontal deadmen pickets for an anchor in the middle of the snow slope.   Then it’s just a walk up from there to the top where you can get an anchor around a small tree.

Snow has a crust on top over loose unconsolidated snow in a lot of places.  So, its hit or miss if you have good hard snow to get pick sticks in or you just have it in a bit of crust.

No avalanche issues and it didn't warm up enough to loosen the snow all day.  Temps were forecast to go up to 40 today but I don't think they broke much above freezing.  Did not see any signs of any new avalanche activity today, not even rollers.

4 screws, 2 pickets, nuts & small to medium cams covered the main pro.   If it’s just 2 of you, take 2 ropes for the rappels, it was 2 double rope raps from the top with a fair amount of face in downclimbing after that.

Snowshoes helped on the approach and hike back.