Place info

Mt Unicorn

(4 routes)

All routes are currently on the Strauchon Face.
The routes on Unicorn are harder and more exposed than those on Dilemma.
Getting off Dilemma:
The easiest way off Dilemma avoids the East Peak and rotten rock. From the West Peak scramble down the eastern edge of the Strauchon Face for 150m, then drop down a diagonal ledge system to snow 100 metres below. If the ledges are snowed up, abseil from the first notch between West and East Peaks, anchors in-situ (grade 2). Traverse across and up to a rock gendarme on the Main Divide, 100m north of Beatrice. Follow a snow ridge on the western side, passing under rock on the divide. At a rock rib that cuts westward, climb back to the divide, crossing it, and descend on the Hooker Valley side, traversing below the divide. This cross-over point is crucial. Continue along the crest over broken rock to Baker Saddle. It is also theoretically possible to rappel the Direttissima Route of Mt Dilemma. This is not recommended as it would take all day and the bolts could be difficult to find, especially at night.
Other options: If descending from Beatrice, drop onto eastern snow slopes (go south first if necessary) and continue along snow to Baker Saddle.

  • 2557m

    Altitude

Type: 
Mountain
Altitude: 
2557m

All routes are currently on the Strauchon Face.
The routes on Unicorn are harder and more exposed than those on Dilemma.
Getting off Dilemma:
The easiest way off Dilemma avoids the East Peak and rotten rock. From the West Peak scramble down the eastern edge of the Strauchon Face for 150m, then drop down a diagonal ledge system to snow 100 metres below. If the ledges are snowed up, abseil from the first notch between West and East Peaks, anchors in-situ (grade 2). Traverse across and up to a rock gendarme on the Main Divide, 100m north of Beatrice. Follow a snow ridge on the western side, passing under rock on the divide. At a rock rib that cuts westward, climb back to the divide, crossing it, and descend on the Hooker Valley side, traversing below the divide. This cross-over point is crucial. Continue along the crest over broken rock to Baker Saddle. It is also theoretically possible to rappel the Direttissima Route of Mt Dilemma. This is not recommended as it would take all day and the bolts could be difficult to find, especially at night.
Other options: If descending from Beatrice, drop onto eastern snow slopes (go south first if necessary) and continue along snow to Baker Saddle.

NZMS260: 
H36 748 272
Topo50: 
BX15 648 656
Reference Name Grade Quality Length Comments Actions
VI 6 18
0
1400m
Natural gear required
  Ascend the left face of Unicorn following a distinct diagonal crack system which passes just left of the arching overhang. Start in the middle of the face, left of corners, up face to snow ledge. From ledge begin left of main diagonal crack, move up and gain it as soon as practical. Follow line to summit ridge, traversing to the right at the top of face to the summit. Very sustained rock climbing.

Bill McLeod, Peter Dickson, Dec 1992.

5 16
0
  As for the Direct Route of Mt Dilemma, until the shingle rib is gained. From here move right into the major couloir and up for roughly 200m (beware of rockfall), then head left up the rock, towards an enormous corner where the left (main) face begins. Climb the left hand edge of the face immediately right of the corner to gain a large flattish snowfield, 300m below the top. There are good bivvy sites here. Climb the face above via crack systems that tend left to reach the ridge 60m below the summit (crux 16). Other variations are possible at the top.

Alan & Geoff Gledhill, Jan 1973.

5+ 15
1.02
One or more images in route detail.
  From the major couloir beneath the face climb up to the snowfield at the base of the great corner. Climb a hand crack 10-15 metres left of the big corner. After sustained climbing (crux 15) the crack runs out. Traverse right through the big corner at an obvious weakness to gain the flattish snowfield, and then to the top of the face via the Gledhill route.

Peter Dickson, Mar 1990.

0
  Similar to the top of the Strauchon Face

Descended by Alan & Geoff Gledhill, Jan 1973.

Attribution: 
Alex Palman
This place appears in: 
100 Peaks
Aoraki Mount Cook: a guide for mountaineers

Comments

Comments

The rock grades that Bill tended to put on his climbs are 1-2 numbers lower than how difficult the climbs actually feel.

Classical Gas is a 17 going on 18 type of climb.

I changed the alpine grading of Classical Gas from 6- to straight 6 to reflect its relative difficulty and seriousness to the RH Butress on the Nth Face of Hicks. It should always be the same alpine grade (at least) as the Hicks route.
I would like the rock crux to be listed as sustained multiple grade 17. Leave it up to the 2nd ascenionists to sort out the gradings going forward...

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