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North America, United States, Idaho, Old Hyndman Peak, Bear/Chicken Variation

Old Hyndman Peak, Bear/Chicken Variation. Brian Wood and I set out in early October 2000 to explore the northeast face of Old Hyndman Peak in the Pioneer Range for possible early season ice climbs. We bivied at the base of the north ridge and the following morning ascended the ice couloir climbed as part of the 1975 Northeast Face route. We found the couloir in good condition and climbed nearly 1,000 feet of alpine ice up to 65°, with occasional short sections of verglas- covered slabs and an interesting chimney pitch of about M4. At the second major left bend in the couloir, where the 1975 route exits onto fourth-class terrain, Brain and I continued up and left via an icy corner and ramp for one full pitch of sustained mixed climbing, to reach a broad ledge. From this ledge we followed the path of least resistance: ice runnels and steep friable rock, up to 5.9, for five pitches. Protection was difficult to obtain on several of the pitches, and the rock is of poor quality. The rock quality improved for the last two pitches of steep corner-and- crack climbing on the left margin of the northeast face. We descended the East Ridge in the dark and traversed the cirque to the east, ascending two other peaks before finding a reasonable descent back into Wildhorse Canyon. Our route was 2,500 feet long, 5.9 mixed, and took 23 hours round trip from the moraine below the northeast face.

Dean Lords