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Coe Glacier Icefall


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Craig-It's a great route. Basicly it consists of steep to vertical crevasse walls that link lower angle sections of the glacier. You can pick a line and make it as difficult as you like.

Aug/Sept is the time to do it, but depending whether or not we get autumn snows, it can last late into the fall. The toughest part as the season progresses is just getting on to the route, as the lower Coe is getting more and more broken up. The key is getting on it after most of the summer snow melts away, but before the lower Coe gets too broken up. Also, a low freezing level is mandatory. Maybe, as our glaciers are receeding, the time to get on it is earlier than traditonally thought, but you'd have to climb it in the wee hours as it gets the sun in the morning.

The approach from Cloud Cap takes about 4 hours and my thought is to approach via the west morraine of the Eliot and scoot below Languille Crags and go over. It is possible to skip the Lower Coe and drop in through a notch near the base of the steep part, but late in the season it can be 60 deg scree. But to be safe, stay even with the base of the Languille crags and contour over.

A rack of 6-8 screws and maybe a picket should be sufficient.

Usually, when the route is in shape the upper part of Sunshine isn't very good, because its typically late in the season. But I have heard of people climbing the Coe and then continuing up the Sunshine to the summit when conditions are just right. If not,its an easy descent down the snowdome.

Have fun!

[ 03-10-2002: Message edited by: Billy ]

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I have not been through the Coe, but I have been on it, and the less visited Ladd, several times. It's a true Alpine Wonderland there, and doesn't even seem like Oregon. It also has a sense of remotenss and even danger that the Eliot just doesn't have. I love it so much up there I'm reluctant to make this post.

Billy is pretty much correct. The times I was on it, I skipped the lower icefall and hit it where he mentions the steep scree. It is indeed terrible. But once you're past it and on the glacier, you have a straight shot to the upper (big) icefall. Be careful in there, people have gotten lost. But to my knowledge, no one has bought the farm. I prefer approaching along the Timberline trail and camping below the glacier, and going up during the day and coming back town to the trail. But a Languille approach would be shorter.

I'd go in September, maybe late September, or even into October depending on the snow. This past drought year people couldn't even access the upper icefall the crevasses were so bad. But I have been up there in August and it gets warm too soon, and unsafe. There usually isn't any significant snow until Halloween time anyway, but once it does pile up there, stay the hell off. The Coe would be a total death trap then.

I have several shots of the Coe, I'll see if I can figure out how to post them.

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Okay, gonna try some photos:

Of course, it failed. Anyway, here is a link to a composite photo of the Coe and the Ladd. You may have to cut and paste:

http://briefcase.yahoo.com/bc/snowleopard_x/vwp?.dir=/Photo+Gallery&.dnm=Coe+Glacier.jpg&.src=bc&.view=l&.done=http%3a//briefcase.yahoo.com/bc/snowleopard_x/lst%3f%26.dir=/Photo%2b Gallery%26.src=bc%26.view=l

[ 03-18-2002: Message edited by: snowleopard_x ]

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