A fun scramble followed by an out of condition couloir climb
Mount Helen at sunrise. The striking couloir is a popular route to the summit.
Approaching Mount Woodrow Wilson from Titcomb Basin. The south couloir is the thin finger of snow in the center of the photo. It is partially melted out and obviously not in ideal climbing condition.
Mount Sacagawea as seen from near the Sphinx Glacier above Titcomb Basin.
Adam standing on a hogsback feature near the edge of the Sphinx Glacier. The low point in the center of the photo is the col between The Sphinx (right) and Mount Woodrow Wilson.
Mount Woodow Wilson as seen from the Sphinx Glacier. From this angle you can really see how the deeply inset south couloir splits the mountain in two. The summit is on the left.
Teresa scrambling up the northwest ridge of The Sphinx. Guidebooks suggested that the ridge contained "a few 5th class pitches" but we found it to be a fun 3rd & 4th class scramble with a couple of 5.0 moves. We all felt comfortable climbing up and down unroped.
Mount Woodow Wilson is an interesting spectacle when viewed from The Sphinx's northwest ridge.
Teresa high on The Sphinx's northwest ridge. Spectacular scenery abounds. "Pinnacle Ridge" (left) and Gannett Peak (right) can be seen in the background.
Adam and Dominic cruising easy terrain near the summit fo The Sphinx.
"Pinnacle Ridge" as seen from The Sphinx. The previous day we used the broad couloir on the right side to access the summit.
Dominic climbing down The Sphinx's northwest ridge.
Dominic scrambling past an interesting pinnacle on The Sphinx's northwest ridge.
Adam and Teresa crossing the Sphinx Glacier on the way to Mount Woodrow Wilson. Bonney & Bonney warned that the Sphinx Glacier was heavily crevassed and dangerous but we found this to not be the case. Any crevasses were buried and the glacier was easily negotiated.
The Sphinx as seen from Sphinx Glacier. The northwest ridge is on the left.
Adam and Teresa traversing around to the west side of Mount Woodrow Wilson in search of the west couloir.
Adam traversing steep snow to get a look up the west couloir. He reported that it looked like a fairly serious snow climb, one which we probably weren't prepared for with our aluminum crampons and mountaineering axes. We chose to go back and attempt the south couloir.
Adam leading up into the south couloir. We climbed very loose 4th class rock on the right side as the couloir was totally melted out at the bottom.
Teresa carefully scrambling up the melted out lower portion of the south couloir.
Adam belaying Dominic at the top of the first pitch.
Teresa starting up the soft, crappy snow. Ice was lurking underneath making it a bit unnerving in places.
Adam scrambling up the chossy lower part of the couloir.
Adam leading up the less than ideal snow in the south couloir. Under good conditions there would be no need to protect this part of the climb.
Teresa and I followed simultaneously tied in about 10 - 15 feet apart.
Adam in the upper portion of the couloir. We found some of the softest snow here and did a bit of wallowing.
Gannett Peak, the king of the Wind River Range, as seen from the summit of Mount Woodorw Wilson.
View down Titcomb Basin to Titcomb Lakes from Mount Woodrow Wilson. Mount Helen and Mount Sacagawea can be seen on the left..
Teresa scrambling up the short summit ridge.
Teresa and Adam happy to be standing atop another hard earned summit.
Dominic nearing the summit of Mount Woodrow WIlson.
Dominic beginning a series of four double rope rappels down the south couloir. All hell is about to break loose. An electrical storm soon began and heavy graupel flowed down the couloir. The summit was struck by lightning and some of us felt the shock through the wet rocks we were touching while clipped in to an anchor waiting to rappel.