Borah N. Face

Borah N. Face

pat
pat

June 5th, 2012, 12:29 am #1

It seems like almost every time I read this forum, someone is writing about the North Face of Borah. My friend, Nick, and I were wondering "What's all the fuss about?" Now we know. The climb is very cool, even in June. It's a great place to take pictures. The snow stacks up steeply against the final headwall and traversing it is pretty sketchy. Our eclectic gear collection included a 30 meter 8 mil rope, few small nuts, two pitons, three ice screws, and a few slings. We used them all in the final 500 feet. It was really fun!

After a tricky approach with headlamps, we caught this view of the upper north face.


We did most of the route unroped.


The dilemma we faced was that if we climbed high enough to put in protection, the snow is really steep.



Nick placed three screws in the final couloir.


Nick pulling the cornice.


This summit shot shows how close to the summit the final couloir pops out.


Sacajawea and Mount Idaho to the south

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splattski
splattski

June 5th, 2012, 12:58 am #2

Great shots, Pat.
And agreed- it is a fabulous place, route, mountain. Looks like the extra snow of early season (for the NF) adds some spice!
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Geo
Geo

June 5th, 2012, 1:59 am #3

It seems like almost every time I read this forum, someone is writing about the North Face of Borah. My friend, Nick, and I were wondering "What's all the fuss about?" Now we know. The climb is very cool, even in June. It's a great place to take pictures. The snow stacks up steeply against the final headwall and traversing it is pretty sketchy. Our eclectic gear collection included a 30 meter 8 mil rope, few small nuts, two pitons, three ice screws, and a few slings. We used them all in the final 500 feet. It was really fun!

After a tricky approach with headlamps, we caught this view of the upper north face.


We did most of the route unroped.


The dilemma we faced was that if we climbed high enough to put in protection, the snow is really steep.



Nick placed three screws in the final couloir.


Nick pulling the cornice.


This summit shot shows how close to the summit the final couloir pops out.


Sacajawea and Mount Idaho to the south
Nice, Pat! Congrats to you and Nick!

Here's a picture taken exactly 1 year earlier (6/3/11) from roughly the same place as your first shot, for comparison:


-George
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pat
pat

June 5th, 2012, 1:30 pm #4

Thanks George and John. What makes the climb unique are those features best seen in George's picture. I am referring to those vertical snow ridges that run up and down the snow field below the headwall. I don't even know what to call them. They are like vertical cornices. The right side may be 50 degrees but the left side is near vertical. So when you are moving sideways, you need to drop off the 70-80 degree backside of the feature. We crossed two of them It was really wild.
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Bob
Bob

March 9th, 2013, 3:21 pm #5

Pat,

Those are called "flutes" or "snow flutes" to be specific. And I agree, crossing the "flutes" on the NF traverse can be pretty spicy. I've seen the big one at the bottom of the main couloir and start of the traverse when it must have had a 10 or 12 foot near vertical face on it. From lower down the face it looked like a snow ledge but boy was I wrong when I looked over the edge.


Bob
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SummitGirl
SummitGirl

March 11th, 2013, 12:34 am #6

It seems like almost every time I read this forum, someone is writing about the North Face of Borah. My friend, Nick, and I were wondering "What's all the fuss about?" Now we know. The climb is very cool, even in June. It's a great place to take pictures. The snow stacks up steeply against the final headwall and traversing it is pretty sketchy. Our eclectic gear collection included a 30 meter 8 mil rope, few small nuts, two pitons, three ice screws, and a few slings. We used them all in the final 500 feet. It was really fun!

After a tricky approach with headlamps, we caught this view of the upper north face.


We did most of the route unroped.


The dilemma we faced was that if we climbed high enough to put in protection, the snow is really steep.



Nick placed three screws in the final couloir.


Nick pulling the cornice.


This summit shot shows how close to the summit the final couloir pops out.


Sacajawea and Mount Idaho to the south
Way cool pics...way cool trip....thanks for posting these!
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