American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Washington, Cascade Mountains, The North Face of Storm King

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1979

The North Face of Storm King. On July 1 Dick Emerson and I camped at the snow line on the south side far below the saddle that connects Goode and Storm King. On the next day it took some time to reach the saddle, where I found the angle piton Dick and I had used as a rappel anchor in 1975, on our return from the climb of the northeast buttress of Goode. With a couple of taps, it was again securely placed. One rappel and we were on the glacier. In 1975 a very wide overhanging schrund cut across the entire slope, but this year, by keeping to the left, we found the upper part of the descent straightforward. Lower down we maneuvered through crevasses which forced us to the right (east) where we hit an open steep snow slope which we descended. Near the bottom of the glacier we cut left under an ice cliff across a rock rib, through crevasses, and then along a horizontal snow fissure to the base of the 3000-foot rock rib which leads directly to the main (east) summit of Storm King. We arrived in time to cook supper and bivouac before dark. The next morning route-finding problems were minimal as we either stayed on or near the crest of the rib. The first few leads contained some scrubby pine trees to which we attached runners. In the mid-section of the climb the rib flattens into the face and we kicked steps in the snow. The rock was mostly loose. As we neared the top, the rib steepened. We bypassed this pitch by traversing right on a band of snow and then climbed left up a steep snow gully to the crest of the rib. Soon we reached the top of the rib which terminated at the bottom of the narrow notch between the two sharp prongs which make up the main summit. A short lead up the left (east) prong and we were on top. We had been climbing for about 12 hours.

Walter R. Gove

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