Mod. Snow X
Avg: 3.1 from 15 votes
|Type:||Trad, Snow, Alpine, 5300 ft, Grade III|
|FA:||Will Langille, Doug Langille August 21, 1891|
|Page Views:||11,673 total · 80/month|
|Shared By:||Karsten Duncan on Feb 12, 2006|
|Admins:||Micah Klesick, Nate Ball|
DescriptionThe most popular North side route, Cooper Spur is a fun and obvious line. Although technically a small step up from the South Side route, Cooper Spur has long sections on steep ice where an unchecked fall can be deadly.
Begin at the Tilly Jane or Cloud Cap campgrounds and take established trails up to tree line. If you get lost this route is easy to find as it is the prominent ridge. A trail runs along the top of the ridge giving beautiful views of the Eliot Glacier to the right. Continue up the ridge until you reach an obvious large boulder known as tie-in rock. Past tie-in rock the climbing gets steeper (up to 45 degrees) and more dangerous.
There are not crevasse crossings on this route but a fall from above tie in rock would eventually drop you straight off of the Eliot Glacier headwall. Almost a dozen people have died on this route so take the necessary precautions. If the route is not in condition it is wise to come back another day.
The 2000ft above tie-in rock can be grueling and can slow climbers. Once to tie-in rock continue up a long snow chute to the summit. People have reported enormous rocks coming down this section so definitely don't forget your helmet. If temps are warm you had better be fast and a little lucky.
The last pitch of climbing can be either snow as steep as 50 degrees or exposed rock. Climbers can traverse right at the top to scale more mellow terrain.
Descents seem to be the most dangerous part of this route. As a result most shuttle a car around and take the South side route as a descent. Still, Cooper Spur is a popular ski descent. Another option is to descend the sunshine route to get back to the Tilly Jane or Cloud Cap campgrounds.