Ptarmigan Peak is located at the head of Powerline Pass which is 5 miles from the Glen Alps trailhead. The south face is a huge scree slope, the west ridge a beautiful scramble and the north face a classic snow route that is 2000' of 30-50 degree snow. The route is a test piece ski couloir for experienced skiers - or a perfect beginner route for aspiring mountaineers. I've climbed it 7 times in all conditions from roped up with snow pickets and ice screws in February to solo with Pharaoh in June.
On July 9th 2006 I took my brother and nephew up Ptarmigan Couloir. My nephew had never climbed a snow route before (and never even worn crampons!). My brother had done a few moderate snow routes but had never used two ice axes or pickets. They were both pretty stoked!
We simul climbed the entire route with pickets and a couple small cams. In the middle of the route I let my brother lead for a few hundred feet but he burned through the pickets like there was no tomorrow so he only got to lead for a little while. We started the route in a dense cloud and summited in beautiful blue skies!
Conditions are perfect for step kicking. We found perfect styrofoam snow and wore crampons the entire time and had no issues with balling up. The was no rockfall while we were on the route and ave danger was nonexistent. Heading up to the East summit there was one patch of snow we had to traverse but the route down the West ridge was bone dry.
comments powered by Disqus