Correction to Secor, Mount Darwin

by David Harris
On Saturday, we got a 6:15 start toward Darwin. Secor's route description of the Darwin Glacier and West Ridge was fairly good. A vertical section in the chute below the small notch can be bypassed on any of several routes on the rock to the right; the routes we tried had some interesting class 3 moves complicated by ill-placed patches of ice. An SPS report pointed out that following below the ridge on the right side to the summit plateau is easier than staying on the top of the ridge. After a short walk across the plateau, we saw the unmistakable summit block of Darwin. The block is slightly detached from the plateau. Facing the block from the edge of the plateau, descend to your right off the plateau, then cross over to the left, descend down a chute and reascend another (icy) chute to the far (southeast) side of the summit block. A class 3 crack leads to a ledge immediately below the far side of the block. Climbing the block involves a simple but exposed mantle; only one member of the group felt like using the rope which we had hauled all the way up. A single long sling provided a bomb-proof anchor; don't bother bringing a rack. An experienced party can do the climb safely with no rope; a very short 7 mil rope would suffice to belay those uncomfortable with exposure up the last 5 feet to the summit. The views were outstanding from the top and the climbing was very good. The climb took about 4 hours and the descent to the glacier was another hour.


The information in these pages is provided by interested volunteers and has not been field checked. R.J. Secor, The Mountaineers and the Sierra Club are in no way responsible for the accuracy of any route advice on this web site. Safe climbers must be able to understand the terrain and topography of the area they travel in, and they must make wise route finding choices based on their own knowledge, experience and observations.