American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Wyoming—Tetons, Mount Wister, West Arête of North Face

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1967

Mount Wister, West Arête of North Face. To the right of the chimney utilized by the first party on the north face of Wister is a long, continuous ridge leading from Avalanche Canyon to the upper west ridge of Wister. This important ridge was first climbed on August 30 by John Hudson and Frank Sarnquist. After two initial pitches which culminate in a 140-foot dihedral, the climb went right, up a break in the wall, and on up to the right for 130 feet over difficult (F7) rock. Two more pitches took the party to a point below the first prominent gendarme. A very strenuous crack was attacked directly for 50 feet to reach a chimney on the left of the gendarme. Scrambling then led to the base of the second gendarme, which was passed on the right on moderate rock. The ridge crest was then regained and more scrambling led to the crux. A long and difficult pitch began with a climb up and right for 40 feet over steep rock to a difficult 40-foot crack which led to a ledge. After a short traverse to the right, the final steep crack (F8) was climbed straight up for 50 feet. The last lead traversed left on a broad ledge until a descent of a few feet allowed a difficult mantleshelf followed by a climb up slabs. The remainder of the ridge consisted of F2 and occasional steep pitches of F3 climbing. The route continued to the west summit from which the usual traverse was made to the higher east summit. It is interesting to note that the upper portions of this ridge had undoubtedly been explored as early as 1931 by Fritiof M. Fryxell while he sought a descent route to the north, after making the first ascent of the southwest ridge of Wister.

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