Three Little Monkeys

Three Little Monkeys

This route is the most recent addition to the wall, first climbed in 2018 by Mike Getlin and Walter Burkhart in thin conditions, with only one documented ascent since. It ascends an ephemeral flow of ice to the right of Fric-Amos and is perhaps the hardest line on the Spider, with both recorded ascents involving mandatory mixed climbing on chossy rock. The ice on this route does not always form even when the rest of the face is in.

Overview:

This route is the most recent addition to the wall, first climbed in 2018 by Mike Getlin and Walter Burkhart in thin conditions, with only one documented ascent since. It ascends an ephemeral flow of ice to the right of Fric-Amos and is perhaps the hardest line on the Spider, with both recorded ascents involving mandatory mixed climbing on chossy rock. The ice on this route does not always form even when the rest of the face is in.

Stats

One pitch of WI4(+), one pitch of M4-5, with some easier climbing above and below. This route definitely deserves an R or X rating even by Mt Hood standards.

Description

Photo #1: Adrien at the base of the first pitch, with the Fric-Amos route visible to the left.

Gain the star-shaped snowfield on the left side of the face (as described for the Fric-Amos route). Head up the snowfield and belay at the base of the thin ice flow in the center of the headwall. The first ascensionists climbed this at WI4+ M3 though it’s easier in fatter, more continuous conditions. Above the initial ice pitch you can belay on a low-angle shelf beneath a concave, overhanging section of rock.

In fat conditions a narrow hanging dagger/pillar may connect down from above (5-10m?), which has likely not been climbed. The first ascent party went right and climbed two “vertical mud chimneys” at M4-5 with questionable protection. Adrien Costa and I instead went left around the corner and encountered climbing of similar difficulty up chossy but protectable rock to gradually thickening ice.

Follow the rambling ice up and through the gendarmes.

Above the second pitch the angle eases off. If you climbed the mud chimneys to the right you will need to traverse back left. From here you should be able to traverse left into the upper snowfield of the Fric-Amos route (reportedly not possible during the FA), or find the original finish, a WI2-3 flow that rambles between several gendarmes on the upper part of the face before reaching the summit snowfields.