American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, British Columbia–Coast Range, Athena Tower, East Buttress; Manitou Peak, Northwest Face, Pantheon Range

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1985

“Athena Tower”, East Buttress; Manitou Peak, Northwest Face, Pantheon Range. After spending ten tent-bound days on the Zeus-Pegasus Col, the weather finally cleared. On August 20, Greg Collum, Fred Beckey and I walked to the west end of the col, traversed across loose ledges and crossed to a small glacier to gain a high camp on the shoulder beneath the east buttress of “Athena Tower.” The next morning Greg and I—Fred was feeling unwell—climbed F3 to F4 blocks to the base of a dihedral formed by the right side of a conspicuous pillar. With an F8 pitch and some scrambling, we reached the top of the pillar, then climbed several moderate pitches diagonaling left across ledges and short walls. Turning a corner, we ascended a left-facing dihedral with a clean hand- crack in it, then climbed another pitch up steep, solid blocks to a huge ledge. From the ledge we climbed together along the ridge to the top. We rappelled back to camp just in time to catch a thunderstorm—glowing, buzzing tent poles provided very stimulating entertainment inside the tent that night. Grade III, F8. After several more days of bad weather, the three of us climbed the 3000-foot northwest face of Manitou Peak, The first half of the climb followed an easy glacier. Above, we climbed seven pitches up a mixed face under an ice-cliff. The climbing was moderately difficult iced rock with excellent belays and protection. We reached the left edge of the glacier and followed snow slopes straight to the summit rocks. Grade III, F6.

William Pilling

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