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Sunlit Summit

Mount Warren

Elevation: 13,743 ft.

Prominence: 1005 ft.

Isolation: 2.0 miles

Technical Difficulty: Class 3+

Mount Warren Guidebook


Admired by many and climbed by few, Mount Warren is a mountaineer’s mountain. From the Dinwoody Glacier (and from the summit of Gannett), its symmetric profile looks like a rocket nosecone shooting out of the Earth. Still, this peak might be a good choice for someone looking for the next step up after doing Gannett. From the summit, some of the best alpine terrain in the American Rockies spreads out around your feet. Called Mount Harding after President Warren Harding by the first ascenders, Mount Warren was officially named after Francis Warren, the first state governor of Wyoming (is that enough Warren names to confuse you yet?).

General Considerations

The famous view of Warren is unquestionably from the Dinwoody, but the easiest climbing routes start on the Helen Glacier (see Titcomb section for approach descriptions). As such, this peak is a bit of an outlier in this section of the guidebook, but its prominent location on the spur extending from Horse Ridge to the Divide merits inclusion here. Expert alpinists do sometimes climb it from the Dinwoody side, though such an undertaking is far beyond the scope of this guide. A classic technical traverse is sometimes made from Warren past (or over!) Les Dames Anglaises to Doublet and Dinwoody Peak.

Route 1: Southwest Face – Class 3+, Moderate Snow

This route was not documented until very recently, but it offers a surprisingly easy way to the summit of this imposing peak.

Gain the upper Helen Glacier (crevassed) from the col between Spearhead and Helen (if coming from Titcomb) or by climbing up the glacier itself (if coming from the North Fork of Bull Lake Creek). Ascend the Helen Glacier nearly to the Divide, turning north to enter the bowl-like valley ringed by Spearhead, Doublet (an unranked 13er), and Mount Warren.

Head directly up towards the summit from here, hiking up loose talus or moderate snow in a shallow depression near the center of the face. About halfway up, the terrain steepens a bit, requiring some moderate scrambling over well-featured bedrock. Near the top, the easiest route follows subsidiary gullies to the climber’s right, gaining the summit ridge a few bumps short of the highpoint.

Route 2: South Couloir – Class 4+, Moderate Snow

While considerably harder than Route 1, this route is highly enjoyable in good conditions and offers a superb mountaineering adventure. From about 12,200 ft. on the Helen Glacier, a huge, obvious couloir cuts into the cliffs of Mount Warren. In early summer, the first 800 feet of this couloir is a pleasant snow climb, and later in the season it becomes more difficult with loose scree and some short rock obstacles.

Just above 13,000 ft., turn climber’s right and enter a sizable subsidiary couloir which affords easy progress. The top of the subsidiary couloir culminates with about 30 feet of steeper climbing which constitutes the route’s crux. Some climbers rappel this section on the descent. The route above here follows Warren’s interesting southeast ridge, which involves another few hundred feet of mixed scrambling and talus hiking to reach the summit.

Route 3: East Side – Class 5.2, Moderate Snow

At one point this may have been considered the standard route on Mount Warren, as the first ascent party climbed the peak using some variation of this route. It is still the easiest way to climb Warren from the Dinwoody without losing a thousand feet of elevation by descending to the Helen Glacier.

Reach Elsie Col by climbing snow and scree from the Dinwoody Glacier or Helen Glacier (beware crevasses on both). Begin the climb by ascending loose rubble and slabby terrain on the Dinwoody side of the east ridge. Gain the ridge briefly at a short flat section and consider your options. The ridge rises vertically above here. Some parties have circumvented the cliffs by climbing a steep snow/ice couloir on the north (climber’s right) side, but the easiest route seems to lie to the south.

Traverse left around the steep part of the ridge on exposed ledges above a dramatic chute. Continue on an upward traverse across tenuous slabs (crux) until you can escape into the chute, which is now a narrow rubble gully. Climb a few hundred feet up the gully, surmounting the occasional low-5th-class chockstone, to gain the hanging boulder field on Warren’s upper east face. Hiking up this boulder field deposits you on the summit ridge a hundred feet below the top.

Mount Warren Map

Click title to show track
South Couloir Route
Southwest Face Route
East Side Route

Mount Warren Panorama

Mount Warren Photos

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