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[TR] Mount Torment - Moraine Lake Couloir, NW Glacier 04/16/2022


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Trip: Mount Torment - Moraine Lake Couloir, NW Glacier

Trip Date: 04/16/2022

Trip Report:

Me and the boys (@Albuquerque Fred, @thedylan, @MGraw) had a great time in the sun for the chilly weekend of April 16-17 on Mount Torment. We skied the Moraine Lake Couloir and most of the NW Glacier on Mount Torment.

We were able to drive to .5 miles past the gate at the park boundary on Cascade River Road before we hit snow. We booted for about a half mile past that, then skinned to the Eldorado Trailhead. We again booted to the boulderfield at 4k as per usual, then we skinned up, crossing the ridge into Torment Basin, and to Torment Col (west of Torment). 

The skiing down from there was good but I was too interested in what was to come to really think much about it. The plan was to climb Torment, then ski the couloir to Moraine Lake and camp. When we got to the entrance to the couloir though the exit onto the glacier looked tough. Dylan gamely started to lead with only pickets for pro, 1 aluminum axe, and aluminum crampons, plus skis and overnight gear on his back. Just out of the belay we realized we would never have time to climb all this and make camp at a reasonable hour so Mike suggested a new plan :very_metal:, we would fix the line and finish the route tomorrow. Dylan got the rope up, rapped, and we skied the AMAZING couloir down to the lake. As in most features like this, the snow being good wasn't the most important part. The setting, the purity of the line, the adventure was made it rock. But the skiing was also good.

Making camp at like 4pm in April was full on cushy, plenty of time to build a monster wall around the tent, drink whisky, and lounge. 

The next morning we booted the couloir, climbed the fixed line, and ascended the NW Glacier on Torment. We had limited beta on this but Tom Sjolseth's report said "we skinned to within 50' of the summit", easy right. Well, not so much. We ran into another short rock step, which, though easy would involve another two transitions to get past. We figured it would be after 10pm by the time we got to the car, so we bailed at 7300'.

The ski was epic. Top 5 ski runs ever for sure. 

We will be back for the summit.


The crew:



Thanks for the shot Mike:



Dylan scouted the scary roll over:



Dylan rapping after the lead:



I'm sure Fred didn't just fall:



Mike and Dylan working the lower couloir:



The whole thing:



Dylan slays it, even in camp:



If you have to boot it might as well be into the sunshine:



Mike following the fixed rope:



Topping out:



This sucked:



We should have lapped this one.



Classic Cascdes:


Gear Notes:
1 axe, crampons, glacier gear, avy gear, camping gear. not enough.

Approach Notes:
Eldo worked well, I've done Torment Basin and didn't want to do it with skis on my back.
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1 hour ago, JasonG said:

Wow!  That is an amazing trip, thanks for the beta! 

Just so I am clear, you only needed the fixed rope to access Torment and not to descend the couloir?

And, is there any reason you didn't use the torment basin route?

Thats correct, the couloir would be an easy-ish 2 day trip with a camp at the lake with no technical gear required (assuming you could boot the couloir). Our original plan was to exit a la the Forbidden Tour, but the couloir was pretty bootable.

As for Torment Basin, we figured with the snow up high it would be easier to take the Eldo trail and do an easy traverse at ~6k to access Torment Col.

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Nice one.

I'm surprised this doesn't get done more.  That ski down from just below the summit of Torment was great.  I'm sad we missed the couloir to Moraine Lake but that would have added another couple thousand vert and we were satisfied with what we had.

I believe we skinned up through the step.  It looked steeper than it was.   The crux is transitioning from the couloir to the glacier, which I don't think we even had rope to protect.  I remember it feeling a little spicy.

EDIT: We actually did have rope, I just checked the photos.  We didn't end up using it though.

Edited by Tom_Sjolseth
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Yeah, that is true, with snow I think Eldo is the better approach. 

I like the idea of a Torment Tour, going down the couloir to the lake and finishing by up and around to Eldo and out.  Camping at Moraine Lake is pretty special, definitely one of my favorite spots.

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