White Princess Climbing Notes

  • January 10, 2019
    Linus Platt from United States

    Dennis Belillo and I climbed the White Princess via it's NW Ridge in August 2017. The death march up the Castner from the highway took and entire ankle busting day to get to where the glacier splits which is where we bivied.

    The next day we headed up the M'Ladies Branch for about a couple miles till just before the big waterfall on the left, where we scrambled up dangerously loose scree for about 800m to a patch of tundra at the base of the NW Ridge which afforded us a pleasant 2nd bivi and fresh water. Keep in mind that this is not the route described in the Alaska Climbing Guide; that route is the SW Ridge to the right. The route we climbed is the left and more northern of the two ridges.

    The next day we started at 4am and directly up scree and talus and over several gendarmes and false summits. Some exposed and very loose 3-4 class here, where once past we gained the ice. Mostly low angle glacier travel with a short steep section about mid way using front points. After which the main concern was crevasses, and there are some big, troublesome ones. The summit area was unconsolidated snow and the post holing was tiring; a short steeper section just below the summit commanded a belay or two and then we were on top.

    The descent was uneventful with the side note that instead of heading back over the gendarmes and false summits, we opted down a loose scree slope all the way to the dying glacier below the West Face and then traversed back to our bivi. We spent another night at 2nd bivi and hiked out to the highway on the 4th day.