West Face, Mount Silverthrone III, 60-degree snow or ice


Alaska, USA

  • Currently 5.0/5
Avg time to climb route: 1-2 days
Approach time: 2-6 days from Wonder Lake
Descent time: 4-7 hours
Number of pitches: N/A
Height of route: 5,600'
Mount Silverthrone (13,220’) is the fifth highest peak in the Alaska Range. It holds a significant position, being at the head of both the Ruth and Brooks Glaciers, as well as facing the Traleika. Remarkably, for being such a large peak it doesn’t lend itself to very many routes, there being only four major ones climbed. Bradford Washburn gave the peak this descriptive name when viewing the peak from the Brooks Glacier. He and his team first climbed the peak in April of 1945 from the north. The North Ridge has long been a popular skiing objective. The South Ridge from the Ruth Glacier, until recently, also provided an easy way up. Now with the break-up of the main icefall in the North Fork of the Ruth Glacier, this is no longer an easy or recommended route. The only aspect of the mountain that holds any interest for a steeply inclined mountaineer is the western. A series of gullies and rock spurs are tightly contained in the cirque formed by the mountain’s west and southwest ridges. Unfortunately the rock here is the non-climber-friendly black schist that is commonly found on the range’s north side. The couloirs of the West Face, however, provide a unique and direct route to a much acclaimed summit.
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Mount Silverthrone - West Face III, 60-degree snow or ice - Alaska, USA. Click to Enlarge
An overview of the line.
Photo: Joe Puryear
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