Trip Report    

Monte Cristo/North Col

Impassable moat

  • Thu, Jul 5, 2018
  • Monte Cristo/North Col
  • Climbing
  • Turned Around
  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Two person trip. Biked to Monte Cristo. Road is in OK shape - a few places where you have to walk your bike.

    Turntable at Monte Cristo works :)

    Hike to Glacier Basin is steep and rocky, as usual.

    Snow from Glacier Basin (4500') with some dry patches on the ridgelines, though with the steepness and looseness, snow is perhaps more pleasant.

    Final ascent to North Col is very steep. Questionable how this would work with a larger group, especially if inexperienced climbers.

    Traverse to base of climb is fine, but runout is long. Used pickets to protect - climbing is easy but consequences of a fall are bad.

    Snow at base of climb reaches about halfway up 5th class section. However, there is a moat 1-2m across and ~6m deep. A frail snow bridge happened to connect partway to the rock. Considered rappelling into the moat and climbing up, but rock was wet, with overhanging snow above the moat. Snow was melting and sloughing off inside the moat. Also considered setting a snow anchor and belaying across the step, though this would be a challenge to reverse on rappel, and there was a reasonable risk of the leader or follower falling through the snowbridge.

    Given conditions of the snow bridge/moat, turned around here.

    12 hours car-to-car