On Monday Sept. 21 Frank Gould and I climbed the North Face of Mt. Borah.  Although the face looked pretty melted out, it was acutally in great shape with firm snow down low and hard alpine ice up high.   The traverse to the standard finish in the couloir that tops out near the summit was completely melted out.   Instead we opted for the couloir that tops out on  the Northwest ridge, about 200 vertical from the summit.  From the notch at the top of the couloir it’s easy 3rd class to the summit.  We climbed together on firm snow with crampons to the base of the ice.  Then we climbed the ice in 4 pitches to near the top of the couloir.  The ice dead-ended about 100 feet from top-out on the Northwest Ridge, but the climbing was easy 3rd class, albeit loose and ugly!

 

Most excellent bivy at 10,000 feet with great limestone bouldering!

Most excellent bivy at 10,000 feet with great limestone bouldering!

Frank on the 2nd ice pitch.

Frank on the 2nd ice pitch.

Our Route in red.  This photo shows how the upper horizontal snowfield doesn't link to the summit couloir.

Our Route in red. This photo shows how the upper horizontal snowfield doesn't link to the summit couloir.