|Peak:||Ice Mountain (13er)|
|Route:||Apostle couloir and SW face|
|Posted By:||Matt Lemke|
|Date of Information:||05/30/2012|
I climbed Ice Mountain and West Apostle yesterday from the Apostle couloir and the SW face of Ice.
Let me be the first to say this was one fantastic climb! The Apostle couloir is in fantastic condition and much of the rock glacier extending below it it still snow covered. The Apostle Trail that veers left off the main Lake Ann trail is snow free all the way to 11,500 at the meadows. Great cramponing up the snow we got up the whole couloir...800 feet in 19 minutes!!!
We took off from the saddle and did the long, loose traverse over the SW face of Ice and only saw a couple thin snow patches. We crossed rib after rib seperated by gullies and finally located the large gully leading up to the summit. We decided to take the left branch on this gully because it was much more solid and had some harder class 3 with a little class 4 climbing. Upon reaching the saddle between the main and false summits, we had to descend a little to avoid an overhanging cliff on the ridge...which was beautiful by the way. Once at the summit we lounged in the gorgeous weather and setting for a half hour before descending the main gully which was so loose and crappy we alternated descending going only one at a time. There was no way to avoid setting rocks loose and during our time on ice we accidently set off two huge rockslides that both tumbled off the cliffs way below.
DO NOT climb below someone on this route at any time!
We were so happy to be on the summit of ice and on such a great day.
Descending the route back to the West/Ice saddle was a challenge but after a gruling 2 hours we were back at the saddle where we stashed our packs and ran up the easy class 2 West Apostle which also had a great if not better summit view we lounged here for about a half hour as well as the temps were so warm!
As the day was winding down we glissaded the Apostle couloir and it was FUN!
The hike out was a nice warm down and this brings me to the end of another great day in the mountains...my favorite Sawatch peak and the best one hands down!
10 hours RT, 10 miles...a great couloir and lots of class 3.
First photo shows the Apostle couloir (on left side) from about 12,300 feet
Second photo shows west apostle from the traverse of the SW face on Ice
Third photo shows N Apostle and Huron from the summit of Ice
Forth photo shows the SW face of Ice from West Apostle
Photos (click for slideshow):