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Cooper Spur T 
Devil's Kitchen Headwall (DKH) - Left Variation  
Devil's Kitchen Headwall (DKH) - Right Variation 
Elliot Glacier Headwall 
Leuthold Couloir T 
North Face Right Gully T 
Ravine T 
Reid Glacier Headwall 
Sandy Glacier Headwall T 
South Side Route T 
Sunshine Route 
West Crater Rim Route (WCR) 

North Face Right Gully 

WI3+ Mod. Snow R

Type:  Trad, Ice, Snow, Alpine, 3 pitches, 5300', Grade IV
Original: WI3+ R [details]
FA: Mark Weygant, Arthur Emmons, Orville Emmons - Aug 26, 1928
Season: Fall & Spring
Page Views: 16,579
Submitted By: Karsten Duncan on Feb 1, 2006  with updates from Sam Bedell

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (16)
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Crossing the Eliot Glacier. The north face route ...


This elegant route is one of the best on the mountain. The crux is catching the line in condition. When the conditions are right, this is a spectacular climb that can have fantastic ice pitches up to WI4.

Begin at Tilly Jane or Cloud Cap campgrounds. Follow marked climber trails through the trees. Moving above timberline climb onto a prominent ridge (the lower part of Cooper Spur) Continue up the ridge until you see a cairn on the right side of the trail marking a subtle path down onto the glacier.

Move up the glacier sticking to the left side and watching for seracs and crevasses. There are several nice ice lines that have been forming on the left side of the Eliot headwall. Continue up the glacier and move right after you near the headwall.

On the right side of the headwall, there are 2 distinct couloirs heading up and diagonally leftward. Both can be climbed, but the right one is usually the more exciting route with more vertical ice.

Move into the gullies and follow them to the summit.

The left gully has a vertical section at its beginning then is pretty much a snow slope to the summit.

The right gully contains 3-4 vertical ice sections with the first two being the most difficult.

Descend Cooper Spur or Sunshine to return to start or descend the south side route and make a car shuttle.


6-8 short screws, pickets, 60m rope

Photos of North Face Right Gully Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Getlin leading through the second and (more d...
Mike Getlin leading through the second and (more d...
Rock Climbing Photo: 2nd ice step in Feb 2015
2nd ice step in Feb 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: Topping out after a long day climbing the right gu...
Topping out after a long day climbing the right gu...
Rock Climbing Photo: Heading up to the first ice step
Heading up to the first ice step
Rock Climbing Photo: Feb 2015
Feb 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: One of the shorter ice steps in the right north fa...
One of the shorter ice steps in the right north fa...

Comments on North Face Right Gully Add Comment
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By Peter Franzen
General Admin
From: Phoenix, AZ
Apr 4, 2006

What is the best time of year to try this route?
By Karsten Duncan
From: Sacramento, CA
Sep 20, 2006

This route can be done most of the year with the exception of when avy conditions are high in winter. However, to get the best conditions you want to climb it sometime in fall after some snow has fallen and then gone through freeze/thaw cycles to form WI on the steep sections. These conditions can also be encountered in the spring as things melt down too but temps can get warm fast causing the route to deteriorate quickly.

More than one climber has climbed the route when it is just a long snow ramp. While still a fun route I would say what makes it my favorite route on the mountain is the WI steps.
By Iain Morris
Jul 16, 2007

Recommend a few long slings and nuts if climbed in late fall/early winter

Do not underestimate the descent in the Fall!
By Max Tepfer
From: Bend, OR
Mar 14, 2011

It's worth noting that the right gully involves some rock at the top if you climb straight up the fall line after exiting the second step. You can avoid the rock by traversing climber's left and merging with the left gully's finish. (which is basically the top of Cooper's Spur)
It can be a mental kick in the head to pull through what you thought were the end of the difficulties and realize you're not out of the woods yet.
By Allen Sanderson
From: Oootah
Oct 16, 2011
rating: WI3+ Mod. Snow

Not sure why folks have given this route an R rating. By PNW standards the ability to protect oneself is quite adequate. As for the previous comment about moving left around the rock buttress near the top. While one can continue left an top out in the same general proximity of Cooper's Spur, it is preferable to cut back right and continue straight up as it brings one directly to the summit. Though being directly under the summit cornice can be intimidating from some.
By Ben B
From: saint helens, oregon
Feb 24, 2012

What elevation do most people get off the Coopspur and drop onto Eliot? Looks like there's currently (late Feb '12) a steep ramp connecting the spur to the glacier at 9,000'... anyone ever dropped down there?
By Max Tepfer
From: Bend, OR
Feb 28, 2012

There's a massive cairn at I forget what elevation that has a trail through the lateral moraine to the toe when it's not covered in snow. With snow it's a 30ish degree slope with a big cairn above it. (typically the cairn doesn't get covered as the wind scours it pretty good. (I think it's about mid 6k') 9k is definitely too high.
By Portwood
From: Your moms house last night
Oct 8, 2012
rating: WI2+ Mod. Snow

By Richard Denker
From: Portland OR
Mar 21, 2015

Notes on the approach:
If the road is closed above Cooper Spur Ski Resort, you will have to park at the Tilly Jane trailhead. It is approximately 2¾ miles or about 1.5 to 2 hours by trail to Tilly Jane campground. From the Tilly Jane campground, it is another hour to the large cairn, which marks the trail off the Cooper Spur Ridge down to the Eliot Glacier. If on approach you arrive at the stone shelter on Cooper Spur ridge, the cairn is almost due east and nearly the same elevation as the shelter and on a sub-ridge between the main Cooper Spur Ridge and the Eliot Glacier. Depending on your wanderings it is approximately 3.3 miles from Tilly Jane campground (the A-Frame) to the bergschrund at the start of the North Face route. Plan on 5 to 6 hours hiking from Cooper Spur Ski Resort to the base of the climb.

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