OTTOHORN

7680+
7360+ east col = 320' Prominence.
Climbed: 9/8/81.
With: Russ and Silas, via the east ridge and gullies, NTD.
FA: 9/ /61, 20 years before, by Joe and Joan Firey, Ed Cooper, George Whitmore, and Glenn Denny after Himmelgeisterhorn.

This summit from most angles appears as a rounded peak and not too spectacular. It looks the best and most peaky from the NE and E. See shot from Singultus.

Silas has now done this three times, including a new route in July 1981 up the south gully.

The hardest part about climbing Ottohorn is making it up to the Otto-Himmel Col. From the south the couloir has somewhat steep snow which is a bit of an exercise later in the summer. Near the top, the couloir is choked with multiple chockstones, requiring a delicate step or two on the left to bypass. From the 7360+-foot col, the east ridge and gullies were pretty easy. There is one point where you wonder how it is going to stay Class 3, but a quick move to the right and it's solved. This and West Peak (Strandberg) are the only SP peaks climbed from the east on their easiest routes.

The Otto-Himmel Couloir has given us a couple of gray hairs. When Reed, Stuart, Peter, and I were descending this in the fog in 1980 with our crampons on, I slipped down on my butt on a plunge step because my crampons were balled up with snow. Instead of turning over and self-arresting immediately, which I should have done, I tried to regain control by popping back up on my feet and plunging to a stop. The balled up crampons had not cleared and I was back on my butt again, all the time gaining speed with a full pack on. I finally rolled into a self-arrest but was going so fast it took about 150 feet to come to a stop as I whizzed past two of my surprised companions.

In 1984, at the chockstone rappel, a tired Silas was descending after tying the webbing anchor. Ten feet into the decent, and too late to do anything about it, the knot began slipping. He made it down OK, but just as the knot was coming undone. In his fatigue, he had tied an overhand knot and not a water knot. Russ gave him a scolding and reworked the webbing.

Ottohorn cradles a small glacier on its north side, the only ice that flows north off the SP into Goodell Creek.

The N Ridge from the Frenzel-Otto Col needs to be done, but isn't a classic