Type: Ice, Snow, Alpine, 400 ft (121 m), 2 pitches, Grade II
FA: unknown
Page Views: 3,311 total · 50/month
Shared By: Harvest Mondello on Jan 29, 2019
Admins: Micah Klesick, Nate Ball

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Route Suggest change

About the Route: This is really a variation on the South Side Route but deserves it's own entry because it's a technical ice climbing variation with additional hazards. In the spring people wonder up here by mistake looking for the Left Pearly Gate or Old Chute and find themselves over their heads, under equipped and have to down climb. This can be a good technical alternative to the crowded Pearly Gates or Old Chute when using the Standard South Side approach to the Hogsback. This climb has with highly variable conditions. At times the entrance to route is blocked by ice, at other times the two exits at the top of the route can be very challenging or blocked. You may have to down climb. I've had to carve thru the rime ice to top out before. 

Approach: From the Hogsback head straight uphill trending slightly right but staying to the left of the Pearly Gates.  You'll have to pass over the large bergsgrund just before getting to the opening of the Icefall Chute. In winter the shrund is usual bridged over & hidden, in spring you may have to cross a thin bridge or go around.

Enter the narrow chute just left of the Left Pearly Gate, somewhere above the Hogsback and lower than the Gates. It is partially hidden or iced over in the deep of winter. As the name implies watch for icefall early season and rockfall late season. This is where your glacier travel ends and the ice route begins.

The Icefall Chute Pitches: The first pitch starts out as 45-60 degree snow or alpine ice. The pitch takes you up a narrow gully for approximately 50 feet. The second pitch is harder to protect.  It will be alpine ice and can be very steep or vertical depending on conditions and may not be in. It often looks blocked. You have the option to continue a very long pitch up and to the slight left all the way to the ridge line or whenever you find a good belay spot. Alternatively you can break this second one into two pitches so you can hear your belayer. If conditions are good consolidated ice you can exit early to the right which is shorter but steeper.

The descent: Take the safest route down typically this is Old Chute or the Pearly Gates. Gather beta before descending.

Conditions: General conditions on this route is that during winter it's a mess of loose rime that's very hard or impossible to protect and often the entrance is completely blocked by alpine ice. The route comes into good shape for a brief time in early spring for a few weeks when alpine ice has consolidated. By early summer it becomes a rockfall hazard gully until the following winter. Fall there may be frozen rock & ice but be very cautious of rockfall and you may not be able to protect the route.

Approach Suggest change

Approach via the Standard South Side Route from Timberline Lodge (6,000) to Devil's Kitchen (10,000). This is the Eastern volcanic crater between Crater Rock, Devil's Kitchen Headwall & Steel Cliffs.

Devils Kitchen is where you get off the Palmer Snowfield and step onto the Coalman Glacier. You may choose to rope up here for glacier travel but be sure not to linger to close to the large crater fumerol. Hazards here include the Devils Kitchen fumerols, crevasses and ice / rockfall. The largest of the immediate crevasses at 10,000 feet are often to the climbers left of the large crater fumerol. This fumerol is over 100 feet deep & all fumerols on the mountain are poisonous.

This is where the approach ends & the climb begins.

Navigation & Protection Suggest change

Navigation: Carrying & knowing how to use; compass, map, general knowledge of the prominent terrain features and GPS tracks of the approach are a minimum. Several people have gotten off the route and fallen to their deaths in crevasses on the White River Glacier (East of your approach route) or falling hundreds of feet down Zigzag Canyon (West of the approach route). 

Pro: For the technical pitches in the chute; 2 ice tools, glacier rope, pickets, helmet and goggles. Possibly screws late season. If there's bare rock on the route I don't recommend climbing this route. Standard moderate glacier gear for the Coalman Glacier. Avi gear should be considered depending on conditions.