American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Colorado, Peak C, North Face

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1997

Peak C, North Face. The north face of Peak C in the Gore Range has remained, as far as we know, one of the last big unclimbed faces in Colorado. Erickson and Cooper approached from the north on their first ascent in 1932, but swung around to the south and then the west to reach the summit. We were able to follow a line up the middle of the north face for most of the way, finishing close to the west ridge. The exit from the face to the ridge is about 150 feet from the top, and goes along a ledge to a sickle-shaped notch in the west ridge

We started this route in August, 1992, and finished it on August 25, 1996. On the first try we got caught in a snowstorm and were able to move along the aforementioned ledge to the west ridge to exit and descend. After some scheduling problems and another August snow storm, we came back to the face via the notch in 1996. The face below presented mid-fifth class climbing with occasional moss or mud on the holds adding some difficulty. Above this point are a lot of refrigerator-sized rocks that sit on down-sloping ledges. It seemed that any route straight up would be using many of these for holds and protection. Accordingly, we returned to the ridge and finished up just to the south of the ridge with some scrambling and one short roped lead. The last 30 feet on the ridge are quite airy, high above the north face and the snowfield 1,200 feet below.

John Lacher and Todd McMillen

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