North America, United States, Montana, Beartooth Range, Glacier Peak, North Face
Glacier Peak, North Face. Map and aerial-photo studies showed this north face to be a massive granite wall of almost 3000 feet with a great couloir splitting into its heart. The unfortunate name "Glacier Peak” at first made Dave Beckstead and me wonder if we had chosen the wrong peak, but a turn into a hidden glacial valley with ancient terminal and lateral moraines proved us right. It was a long hike from Mystic Lake with swamp, rockslides and brush, but the climb was worth it. Careful ice work up the long face took us into the narrowing final couloir, where difficult and steep ice climbing led into a rock headwall. Here we traded crampons for pitons and in five pitches of marvellous exposed climbing we reached the summit. We used pitons for safety on each pitch.