Hike the Big Sandy Trail (see Cirque of Towers
) to Big Sandy Lake. Circle the lake to the Black Joe trail. Ascend this trail to Black Joe lake. Cross the outlet and contour high above the north shore to reach the upper end. Total distance about 9 miles.
The couloir is at the valley's head, 2 miles above Black Joe lake. From lake 11185 at the southeast end of the valley, while looking up at the peak, Engineers Notch will be obvious on the left side of the peak and the couloir obvious on the right. Careful route finding will keep the difficulty at Class 3. The top of the couloir is at the western base of the summit cone. This would be the most expedient route were it not for the difficulties of ascending the Black Joe valley. It is possibly the most enjoyable of the non-technical summit routes. For climbers and hikers based near the Cirque of Towers or Big Sandy lake it is the most convenient route.
Ice axes are useful in early summer. Crampons would provide a convenient ascent in early season.
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