|Loch Vale & uphill
Ascend talus and/or snow above Sky Pond to the base of the glacier. The angle is shallow at first but steadily steepens to around 60 degees by the end. The main couloir, on the right, narrows around 250 feet from the top, and the direct finish can be blocked by a cornice. Alternatives to heading straight into the cornice: 1. 250 feet below the cornice a branch couloir leads right and may or may not have a cornice itself. 2. about 50 feet below the cornice a short, steep snow slope angles left, and reaches the divide. The condition of the cornice can be examined from below, and from as far away as Bear Lake parking lot. In good conditions, crampons and one alpine axe is all you need. If the snow was too soft, or icy, a second axe and/or a rope and some pro might be justified. On 6/6/2002 the step kicking was perfect and the rope and pickets stayed in my pack. Andrews Glacier is the easiest decent. Fantastic views of the Sharkstooth from the route.
In good condition the route needs no rope or pro. If snow conditions are less than ideal, or you want to tackle the cornice directly, or go around the cornice on rock, a couple pickets and/or a small amount of rock gear might be used.
|By Brendan Sheehan|
May 25, 2003
The red dots in the picture cut left off taylor glacier about a third of the way up. The main line stays right in the narrowing couloir. The options around the cornice discussed above come into play very near the top.
From: Bend, Oregon
Jul 15, 2008
Found great early July conditions in the left-most couloir. Out of view to the left as you approach, it was in the shade much later in the morning than the Taylor Glacier Headwall proper. Very fun conditions - never able to kick in more than 4 or 5 inches this morning - solid, even at 8:30 - 9am. I uploaded a few pics, one showing how this line is well left of the standard climb. It was probably a little more moderate than the center & right headwall, but it did reach 60 degrees for the top hundred feet of the climb.
Nov 5, 2008
The top 200' starting to fill in with sugar snow over hard ice. Walked over to Andrews and slid down that to get home.