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Folly Couloir

Folly Couloir

Folly Couloir

Page Type: Route

Location: California, United States, North America

Object Title: Folly Couloir

Route Type: Mountaineering

Season: Fall

Time Required: Most of a day

Rock Difficulty: 5.0 (YDS)

Difficulty: AI2

Number of Pitches: 4

Grade: II

Route Quality: 
 - 1 Votes


Page By: nuptse

Created/Edited: Apr 29, 2006 / May 2, 2006

Object ID: 191111

Hits: 3165 

Page Score: 71.06%  - 1 Votes 

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During certain years, random alpine ice lines will form on the right side of Glacier Canyon. Folly Couloir is one of those random lines. I titled it myself, but not because I think I am the first to climb it; more out of ignorance and confidence that not many will waste their time on this route. Still, pretty fun if you are jones'ing for some alpine ice, like I was, and some adventure without a guide in front of you with every pitch staked out in detail.

Getting There

Just outside the Tioga Pass entrance/exit of Yosemite, park in the parking lot that is the start for getting up Mt. Dana. Head up Glacier Canyon and scout the right walls on the way to Dana and Solstice Couloirs for ice lines. Folly Couloir formed up in late fall 2005. There were also several other random lines between Solstice and Dana Couloirs in late fall 2004.

Route Description

Mostly a choss pile with enough alpine ice to inspire idiots like myself into giving her a go. Lots of loose rock between the initial snow/ice field and the alpine ice. The snow/ice field is around 50 degrees. The alpine ice we finally got up to in the middle of the wall approached 60. The snow above the alpine ice was the crux as it was styrofoam, unprotectable, and difficult to gain from the rock in the couloir. The number of pitches is subjective. We simul-climbed for what would likely be two pitches. We actually set three belays. See my trip report for the full description.

Essential Gear

Rope, crampons, two tools (you can get away with one ax and one tool, but I much prefer two tools on this route). Typical small alpine rack (6-7 nuts of various sizes, three cams (.4 to #2)) or so, and six screws. I used everything we brought, although we brought too much. I placed screws in about 6-7 spots where the snow/ice was consolidated enough to take them. We thought there would be more alpine ice, so we had about 10 screws, which was probably too many for the conditions.

External Links

Trip Report (Part 1)

Trip Report (Part II)


Equalized Ice Belay -- Folly CouloirRack on Folly CouloirAlpine Ice -- Folly CouloirLooking Down Folly CouloirBeginning of Folly CouloirHanging Belay -- Folly CouloirAlpine Ice -- Folly Couloir
Folly Couloir from Dana Parking LotSnow/Ice Field -- Folly CouloirSnow/Ice Field -- Folly CouloirFolly Couloir -- Mt. Dana