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Coe Icefall, northwest side of Mt Hood

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Just wanted to put this out... I spotted this jewel last September and

can't beleive how infrequently it gets done. See "Oregon High" for

more info. It looks like an mini Adam's Glacier. However, this is a

true alpine ice route. We stayed at the skier's A-frame cabin near

the Tilly Jame campground.


P.S. there's still water ice on the upper east morrains of both the

Coe and Elliot Glaciers.


May 4th '02


We climbed the Coe Icefall on Sat. In summary it's the longest

alpine ice route in the area given its access. Its relatively easy

access, views of the north face, and the aesthetic Coe Glacier

make this route a Mt. Hood classic. Given conditions were grade II,

AI3 and steep snow. I recommend early season - crevases on the

Coe and the Elliot Glaciers could make access difficult.


We started at the center of the icefall's snout. The first 150 feet is

the crux - sustained alpine ice to AI3, and steep snow. Protection

was four good ice screws. The ledge 200 feet up hides a giant cravase.

We managed to cross it on it's right side. It'll be wide open in another



From there we simul-climbed steep snow/ice for another 600 feet,

placing two screws for protection. We reached the large step in 3

hours. It's an easy traverse to the top of Snow Dome from there.

The upper section of the Coe, and the Sunshine route looked

tempting but we were satisfied that we'd met out objective.


Gear: two ice tools, six screws, 50m x 9mm twin ropes.

Season: April - June

Access: skis via Cooper Spur snow park.

Time: Three hours on the route, 10 hours round trip from the

A-frame cabin (near Tilly Jane C.G.).

P.S: it's possible to summit via the Sunshine Rt., or Cathedral Ridge.

There are many variations on the icefall ~AI1 to AI4.

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Try the Hood River ranger station. Dollars to dimes it's not even close yet though. There is still substantial snow around Gov't Camp (4,000') and the snow levels were down to around 2,500' yesterday. The hairpins on the road hold drifts into late May and June sometimes.

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It seems that even when the road is passable by a high-clearance vehicle, the gate remains locked until the road is actually dry, unfortunately.

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I understand Meadows has plans for a super high-speed triple-quad lift up the Coe. It's part of the expansion plan and will be there new and only double-black-diamond run!!!

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