West Face

(4 routes)

All Routes start from the Balfour Neve. The following three routes start from the Magellan-Drake snow apron. The large schrund is usually best dealt with at the Magellan end. The routes are described left to right. Once on the snow apron, follow the base of the West Face.
The route following the obvious corner, where the West Face meets the Drake-Magellan ridge, is Pooh Corner. Starting from a small ledge just left of Pooh Corner is: Anyone Can Play Guitar.

Face (Alpine)
North West
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
Ménage à trois 6+ 20
Climb the distinctive ascending buttresses that scar the centre of the face. This route starts off the snow at a point about half-way along the base of the face. There are three bolts on the route, which arrives on the Balfour Buttress about 70m from the summit. Descend by rapping the "Anyone Can Play Guitar" Route. This is a sustained route (crux 20).
Alex Palman, Peter Dickson, Nick Flyvbjerg, Jan 1996.
Anyone Can Play Guitar III 6+ 6- 21
This route follows the steepest and cleanest rock on the face, directly to the summit. The steep ‘punch–in-the-guts’ first pitch is the crux and thereafter the route relents. There are bolt belays on every pitch, allowing this route to serve as an abseil descent - two 50m ropes are mandatory
Alex Palman, Nick Flyvbjerg, Jan 1995.
Pooh Corner 5+ 19
From the snow, climb up blocky ledges to a small orange belay ledge (bolt) about 5m left of the base of the corner. This belay also serves the " Anyone Can Play Guitar " Route, to the left, on the face proper, and is a good spot to leave ice tools and plastic boots. Climb the three-star sweeping corner for eight pitches. The route arrives high on the Drake-Magellan ridge, about two pitches from the summit. There are single bolt belays on the first 8 pitches (mostly 13-16, crux of 19 may be avoidable). Descend by rapping "Anyone Can Play Guitar"
Alex Palman, Peter Dickson, Nick Flyvbjerg, Jan 1996.
Magellan-Drake Col 4
A thin edge of rock leads up on the Magellan side of the dark gut. Once on the col, the ridge up to Magellan has better rock.
Dave Bamford, John Nankervis, Ian Whitehouse, Brin Williman, Feb 1980.
Alex Palman

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