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North America, United States, Washington, Colchuck Peak, Northeast Face, Hilden-Holsten

Colchuck Peak, northeast face, Hilden-Holsten. In late January 2011 Jens Holsten and I climbed a new route on the northeast face of Colchuck Peak to the right of the Northeast Couloir during an uncommonly long period of high pressure. Two fun pitches of AI3+, a few hundred feet of 50°-60° snow trending up and left, followed by two pitches of unconsolidated snow covering moderate rock took us to a steep rock band. We traversed left 30' to climb two pitches of M6 in a chimney, followed by more steep snow and a final rock band, which brought us to a windy notch on the crest of the north ridge right at sunset. A tricky wide crack (M6) out of the notch and a traverse around to the west led to the final couloir of the North Buttress Couloir Route. Unable to find the easiest way to the top in the dark, we climbed one more short but steep mixed pitch to the windy, rime-covered summit. We decided to call it the Hilden-Holsten, sticking with the theme of the mixed routes across the way on Dragontail. IV M6 AI3+.

Dan Hilden, AAC