“A spicy line on the upper mountain.
— Ben Stone
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry
Need to Know
This is more of a winter line, as the actual climb via the Gibraltar Ledges is generally in good condition in the winter, and the line is prone to melting out early.
Move quickly on the ledges and in the chute, rockfall off of Gibraltar Rock is common, particularly once the sun comes up.
From the saddle at ~12,650 ft. trend left (skiers) and follow your ascent through the climbing exit chute (assuming you ascended the Gibraltar Ledges) to ~12,250 ft, where you should really be on your toes about trending left. There's a large icefall to the right. Once you're in the chute, safely hustle to the bottom - rockfall is common below Gibraltar Rock.
Sometimes a bergschrund forms at ~11,000 ft. This can grow pretty large making passage difficult / impossible to pass leaving you in a puckering situation. Make sure the chute connects to the Nisqually Glacier before you climb (you can see it from the Muir Camp Approach
(Summer -> Late Summer) ). Once you are in the Nisqually Cirque, navigate your way, traversing left to the Muir Snowfield
and back up to Camp Muir for overnight gear, or head on down to Paradise!