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North America, United States, Washington, Cascade Range, Summit of Chief Mountain, North Face

Summit Chief Mountain, north face. On April 18 Colin Haley and I climbed a new snow and ice route (IV AI3) on Summit Chief Mountain’s north face. The route climbs roughly 2,000' up the center of the face, connecting ramps between two major snowfields and finishing just right of the summit. The route begins at a bergschrund to the right of a small cliff below a left-leading ramp. The first half of the route ascends this ramp, which consists of mostly AI2-3 ice steps. This gains the first snowfield, which we climbed for several hundred feet, before climbing left through a short rock band and onto the second snowfield. At the top of the second snowfield a narrow constriction with an AI2 ice step led rightward to the ridge crest. An easy scramble up broken rock led to the summit.

We descended the southwest gully, which begins just below the summit. We downclimbed until a rappel was necessary, with anchors on the right. Two 30m rappels reached the snow gully coming up from the col just west of the face. Our rack consisted of knifeblades, ice screws, and medium-sized cams.

Dave Burdick