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South Face Gully

South Face Gully

South Face Gully

Page Type: Route

Location: Oregon, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 44.07994°N / 121.69281°W

Object Title: South Face Gully

Route Type: Mountaineering

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Time Required: Half a day

Rock Difficulty: 5.1 (YDS)

Difficulty: moderate snow, rock climbing up to 5.1

Route Quality: 
 - 2 Votes


Page By: KMM

Created/Edited: Oct 28, 2007 / Oct 31, 2007

Object ID: 351330

Hits: 6173 

Page Score: 71.06%  - 1 Votes 

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Max on approaching the rim
Max nearing Broken Top's crater rim. With crater wall in background.
The south face gully route is one of the climbs that start in broken top's crater. It can be climbed year around but would be best to have enough snow to cover up the loose traversing sections. It contains much more climbing than the NW ridge. That said the rock quality, like most cascades, is quite bad. There are some decent sections but some horrible ones as well. You may find exposed 3rd class sections without one solid hold. The 4th and easy 5th class climbing is loose but not near as bad. A good route for those who have experience with the Oregon Cascades rock. I found that the loose 3rd class traverse to be the most dangerous part of the climb.

According to Oregon High this route was most likely first climbed in 1923. The climbers were known as "The Boys from Bend". These "Boys" were also the first to climb Mount Washington and Three Fingered Jack.

Getting There

Approach from Todd Lake Road when clear of snow. The approach is the same as 11 O'Clock and 9 O'Clock.

Route Description

South Face Gully Route
The route is traced in red.
Looking down on the South Gully Route
Looking down from Broken Top's summit on the South Face Gully route.

From the large moraine ridge in Broken Top's crater head north east up some what of a gully to the crater rim. Follow the crater rim to the summit. The first part of the ridge is just exposed walking. You will encounter quite a few rock bands. At the first of these we traversed left across loose exposed 3rd class territory. From then on pick out the best route the you can find generally staying on the ridge but occasionally moving slightly right or left. You will run into a few small 15-25ft 4th/low 5th class sections. There are small trees near this part that can be used as anchors. Continue along ridge to summit.
Descend the NW ridge. If either 9 O'Clock or 11 O'Clock are snow covered it is possible to descend these routes thus making the descent much faster than following the NW ridge.

Essential Gear

if snow is expected bring ice axe and crampons. If you want to rope up on the rock bring a few shoulder length and double shoulder length slings for tying off horns and small trees. In some of the good rock you could place gear. If you're really into placing gear you could bring a light rack. Pickets can be used as pro if snow is expected.

External Links

Cascade Climbers TR
Mount Bachelor Weather info including cams and current snow pack.


East rim to summit...Max on approaching the rimLooking down on the South Gully RouteMatt toping outSouth Face GullySouth Face GullySouth Face Gully Route
Looking South