North America, Canada, Northern Selkirk Mountains, Adamant Group, The Horn, West Buttress

Publication Year: 2004.

The Horn, West Buttress. On July 31 and August 1, during a spell of perfect weather, Rodger DeBeyer and I climbed a 22-pitch route on the West Buttress (V 5.10+ Al) of The Horn. [The Horn and Unicorn Peak, especially as seen from the southwest, are commonly confused. The Horn is a sub summit, slightly south and west of Unicorn Peak—Ed.]. From a camp below Ironman Buttress we descended the Austerity Glacier to Unicorn Meadows and the base of the buttress. Rodger and I climbed about 10 pitches of beautiful cracks and featured slabs on black rock to the huge halfway ledge, where we bivouacked. The next morning we made our way through shattered gray rock to break out onto the ridge proper, where we enjoyed a couple of spicy au cheval pitches. Several more pitches of fine crack climbing deposited us on the summit. A couple of raps and gulps of water in a tarn, and we climbed up and over the col to the Austerity Glacier camp.

This was my third effort on the route in two years. The week before the successful ascent, Conor Reynolds and I pushed the route to the halfway ledge, where we ran out of time and water. We placed two bolts to get to the ledge—one placed on lead to protect a blank section, and another to bypass a grunty overhang (Al).

Tim McAllister, Canada