Mount Storm - North Ridge
August 25, 2017
Jas and I climbed the North Ridge of Storm Aug 23.
Route as described in Jone’s Rockies Central (Route #5, Northwest, North Ridge), via Unnamed 2695. (Route #1) Note the line shown on page 241 shows a direct line for 5 up the bowl. We did Route 1, then traversed over to 5.
By following the easiest line up the ridge, we never found anything that felt 5.4. We thought the headwall was 4th class (exposed though), at most easy 5th. We used light crampons (strapped to scrambling shoes) and a mountain ax on the snow slope. Some ice just below the surface, may be bare soon. The last water currently is at the snow patch, so fill up here before the long descent. Ascent 5.5 hours car to top.
We did the scramble route for descent (route #2, Southwest slopes - also in Kane’s first Scramble’s book). It remember it sucked descending from the East ridge 20 years ago, but couldn’t remember why. I was just reminded. The scree is large and super loose. Rock avalanches and ankle bashing was epic. Boots would be preferred here. After the loose scree you go back into the forest, where the overgrown fire downfall is thick and slow. Descent 4 hours top to car. A faster way may be to down climb the North ridge. You may want a rope for the headwall rap - although we did not see any stations (but we weren’t really looking).
Parking - Drive 700m past the Divide/Vermillion pass parking lot (no need to walk as suggested in the guide). Park at the start of a wide gravel ditch on the East side of the road. Start the bushwhacky log stumble up to the SW ridge of Unnamed here.
Brought a 30m 8mm rope and a small alpine rack. It stayed in the pack all day. Light crampons and mountain ax needed for the snow ramp.