Ascent of Wolfs Head on 2020-07-20

Climber: Harvest Mondello

Date:Monday, July 20, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Wolfs Head
    Elevation:12160 ft / 3706 m

Ascent Trip Report

East Ridge Route - 5.8 variation (YDS 5.8, AG III, 6 pitches). First Ascent: Bill Buckingham & Carlos Plummer in 1959. One of the Fifty Classic Climbs of North America.

Deep in the heart of the Popo Agie (pronounced puh-POE-zha, meaning "beginning of the waters") Wilderness lies the Cirque of the Towers of the Southern Wind River Range. One of the most striking ridge lines is the Wolf's Head turbine ridgeline next to the stunning Pingora Peak. Wolf's Head ridge has stellar rock and airy exposure with plentiful pro.

Party of two. I lead all pitches. I recommend simul climbing all but the 4 5.6 traverse pitches. Type 1 fun. Three other parties on the route.

To Cirque Camp: 7/19/20 (8.5 miles, 1,300 net & 1,800 cumulative elevation, 6 hours). The first 6 miles is to get to the far end of Big Sandy Lake.

The approach takes you thru the Bridger Wilderness and then to the Popo Agie Wilderness where the Cirque of the Towers awaits. Fom Big Sandy Trailhead (9,100) to Cirque of the Towers (10,500).

Approach Route: 7/20/20 Tiger Tower (YDS 5.2 AG I), Allow 2 hours. Scramble up the climbers right gully to the Tiger Tower - Pingora Peak saddle & top out on Tiger Tower. Two rappels and a scramble brings you to the start Wolf's Heads East Ridge.

Climb: East Ridge, YDS 5.6, III, 10 pitches

P1 (4th class): about 250 meters of class 4 with a few 5.2 sections. Best to simul climb with good pro.

P 2-3 (5.8): Towers 1 & 2 are best linked for the 5.8 hand to fist crack which stays left abs bypasses the piton (5.6) pitch. For Tower 1 traverse climbers left (South). When you get to a squeeze chimney the standard is to follow the chimney to climbers right (North) around Tower 2 on slab past pitons (clip these). We went left (North) around the second tower (5.8). Better pro & less rope drag but harder. Best to linked as a 60m pitch for both towers.

P4: Tower 3 is the Darth Vader Tower. Dual hand cracks on the right (North) side. Then to the ridge left along a ledge to a cave. 30m.

P6: Traverse left (South) around Tower 4 on a hand to fist crack to a chimney & belay with a #0.5, #3 & a nut. 30 meters.

P6: 4th class to the end of the ridge - stay right then left to gain the top of the end of the ridge. 90 meters. Best to simul climb.

Suggested pro: BD Cams #0.3-#3, Nuts: Rocks 2,4,6,8 or 1,3,5,7 and two anchor quads.

Decent: Allow 3 hours back to camp.
6 rappels with a 60m rope from the top. Scrambling between rap stations. Gain the notch & descend a loose gully. Watch for rockfall here. There's 2 rap stations for when the gully is snow filled.
Summary Total Data
    Round-Trip Distance:17 mi / 27.4 km
    Grade/Class:YDS 5.6 / III
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Rock Climb
    Gear Used:
Rope, Headlamp, Tent Camp
Ascent Statistics
    Distance:8.5 mi / 13.7 km
    Route:East Ridge
Descent Statistics
    Distance:8.5 mi / 13.7 km
    Route:East Ridge walk off

This page has been served 89 times since 2005-01-15.

Copyright © 1987-2021 by All Rights Reserved. Questions/Comments/Corrections? See the Contact Page Terms of Service