Very hard hike via the South Ridge, up from the Squaw Peak Road, with lots of up and down and scrambling over false summits. Would not recommend this route, will probably try one of the gullies as an ice climb in the spring.
Long day to north summit... :)
Myself, my dog Bette, and 5 others from UVU Outdoors ascended the Upper Pole Couloir in very lean & rocky conditions. This route is much easier with stable spring snow (if you're comfortable with such) and a normal snowpack. Since the Squaw Peak road does not open until Memorial Day your approach time, mode of travel and conditions may vary.
For an alternative to the narrow choke (upper left fork): exit the couloir at mid-height via an obvious aspen-glade (climber's left). This puts you on the north rib (west running), and you can continue east up the west face of Cascade to the summit ridge. The lower South summit is nearby to the right. The higher Northern (left) is 10-20 minutes away.
To my knowledge, there is no summit register, and I have been climbing & skiing this peak for decades. I too, enjoyed taking my 8-yr old up this in the 80's). Perhaps it's time haul one up there (or look harder). Thoughts?
-ps admins- why has the route description page no longer active?
We wanted to explore the trail leading to the Upper Pole Coulior and see how technical/safe it was to climb. We originally did not intend to hike all the way to the summit. We did not start hiking until about 12:30 PM on a hot Saturday in June. Drove to a spot called "the quarry" (Road #322) off the main squaw peak dirt road which starts you right at the base of the coulior.
We did not have any climbing gear with us and luckily for our hike we had a fairly dry winter so there was not too much snow in the coulior. The upper pole coulior is steep the entire way without much of a trail and lots of loose rock.
There are also some technical sections the higher you go in the coulior, and it gets even more steep. In the summer: I would say the upper pole coulior is a class 3 near the top of the coulior and a class 2 for %75 of the way up. Luckily my son and I have some rock climbing experience and we have done some steep rock slide climbs before. Bring some protective gloves. You will be rock sliding. If you attempt this climb stay straight in the main channel of the coulior until you make it out the top.
Anyway we made the main summit at 4:07 PM. (3.5 hours up) We were about out of water and food because we had not planned on making it to the top that day. We decided not to try the smaller North summit. The snow on top was still decent in size and had to be crossed over carefully but not enough to be an issue. The hike along the ridge to the summit had amazing views and was my favorite part.
Did not see another person on the mountain or trail all day. We did see a mountain goat and two owls who we spooked from their nest in the lower part of the coulior.
It would be dangerous to hike the upper pole coulior with a large group of people because there are a lot of large loose rocks everywhere and as you descend or ascend even if you are very careful you send rocks tumbling and sliding. Also it would be nice to start in the morning and make sure you go on a day when there is no rain or snow in the forecast. It was challenging enough when the rocks were dry, much worse if they would have been wet or muddy on the steep slopes. It took us about 2 hours to descend back to our car from the summit for a total of almost 6 hours on the mountain. Using an online map pedometer it says the climb is only about 4 miles round trip but with a 3200+ elevation gain in just 2 miles.
I told my son he may be one of the youngest persons to ever climb to the top of Cascade (especially via the upper pole coulior). Anyone know of someone younger than 8 who has done it under their own power?
I would not recommend this route for children. My son is no ordinary 8 year old. We have hiked a lot together and he is an amazing rock climber for his age. We do a lot of top-rope rock climbing with harnesses, etc. (last summer at age 7 he climbed Squaw Peak, Big Baldy in front of Timp, Y mountain, etc) Not trying to brag about him; just trying to show that this is a difficult and technical climb that should not be taken lightly. He wants to do Timpanogos next. We were tired and dehydrated by the time we got back to the car but glad to be alive. Bring more water!
From the Rock Canyon TH, via the Crow's Foot Couloir - Middle Toe, with Ben Stokes. Gained the ridge at about 10,100 and followed it over South Cascade on to Cascade Mountain. On our return trip we opted to drop down before South Cascade and descended the Upper Pole Couloir to Squaw Peak road. From the road we angled over to Buffalo Peak and followed the trail up and over Buffalo to the saddle of Squaw Peak and down trail 060 back into Rock Canyon. Long day, about 14 hours, 7800 vertical feet and 17 miles.
Again on 4/5/2015 with WMC group, lead by Ben and myself. Up the Crow's Foot Couloir, but this time just to South Cascade. We returned the way we came.
Glad to check this one off the list. It was beautiful up top, but as Anders stated accurately, it was a slog.
Second solo attempt up Pole Couloir this summer. I haven't used summitpost and have taken a more 'exploritory' approach to climbs. First attempt left me moving north out of the couloir and under the cliff bands. I'd taken verbal directions from a seasoned climber but crossed north out of the couloir too soon.
On this attempt, I made it up the Pole Couloir and traversed the entire ridge to the north weather station and back across to the South Summit when clouds rolled in and rain started falling. I decided to get off the ridge and drop into the South Summit Couloir (not being familiar with it). This made for a long and tentative (but ultimately successful) descent. I wouldn't recommend South Summit Couloir as a summertime route. But Pole Couloir is a relatively quick but tricky way up and down the mountain.
Spotted more than two dozen mountain goats, but not another hiker all day.
It had been really hot for about a week and then a small dusting of snow followed by a good freeze. Got a 6 o'clock start and thought it was late, but this west facing route stayed hard the whole way up. The perfect schink schink of the crampons! The road was not open past the lookout, but the trail was dry until the route started and was completely in to the ridge and then to the summit. Been looking to do this one for awhile. Glad I got to experience it in good conditions.
With ZeeJay on a bluebird day. About 800' of crampon climbing in the couloir, lots of scree/tundra en route to the saddle and a couple dozen corniced clumps of leftover snow on the ridge between 10,761 and the actual summit.
Went up the Upper Pole Coloir with Moogie737. The bottom and top of the coloir were melted out but the middle was nice. We skipped the top part and used the ridge to the north. We also went to 10760.
Debated what mountain to hike on my off day driving back from CO and saw this one from the motel window. Have to give the Wasatch its due, for a 12-13 mile RT hike/scramble, this one definitely gave me my money's worth. The hike up to the ridge (Dry Creek route) was pleasant enough but then the constant ups and downs and meandering to find the right route added up. Took me just under 5 hours to summit. Once you make the South Cascade summit though, the ridge to the true summit goes quicker than it looks. Saw goats from the summit and a paraglider buzzed around too. Got cute on the way back and thought about cutting down early to the trailhead but ended up in brambles and went back to the ridge. Probably another reason it took so long. Wish there was a summit register on this one as I was the only one on the peak this day. Would have been neat to see how many people climb this one. Started driving back to Portland from the trailhead. That was one long drive too....
Going up was easy but coming down was tough because of all the rocks. We went up the Squaw Peak road and hiked up the West Face. The rocks were too large to slide on and too small to hop on...bwreow...Anyway, up there it's not bad. Thanks Cascade!
Hiked via Dry Canyon 3.5 miles to the divide. Scrambled the ridge to both south and north summits. GPS showed 6.6 miles one way.
Drove up Squaw Peak road to where Upper Pole Couloir had avalanched across the road. Hiked a little over two miles to the start of The Crow's Foot. Climbed up the Middle Toe and onto the ridge. From here we hiked to South Cacade, Cascade Mountain, Radio Summit, and then down the North East ridge into Vivian Park. Lot's of bushwacking the final 2,000 feet of descent. A very long day!
Thanks to a bumper crop of snow this year, this route was possible in late June. We stayed on snow from the Squaw Peak trail to the summit due to an avalanche covering the road just above the quarry. This is a great route if the conditions are right and you feel comfortable with the rock fall potential and the steep crux section. Otherwise, a very nice day. See pics at www.lanep.org
I went up the left toe of the couloir, came down Upper Pole Couloir. Deep snow on top.
TR with pics on my blog: http://tristanhigbee.com/crows-foot-couloir-left-toe-cascade-mountain/
Ran up from Squaw Peak road. Awesome ridge riding all the way to the Summit and then on to the North Summit which was totally worth going to as there were tons of Mountain goats over there and great views down which couldn't be seen from the True summit. Ran back pretty quick the same way.
What a climb! This mountain definitely lives up to its reputation as one of the toughest in the Wasatch. Incredible views and plenty of scrambling make this a must-do for anyone up to the challenge.
June 15, 2005: Climbed Upper Pole Couloir. Not a bad jaunt in just over an hour to the top. It's nice to be able to drive to the base of the couloir and just cruise up so quickly.
With all the horror stories of this hike, I was expecting something pretty brutal. I was pleasantly surprised, though. I don't think this hike is any more difficult than Timp. If you're in good enough shape to be climbing the other tall Wasatch peaks, this one won't be any harder.
Left the Dry Fork trailhead at 6 and made it to south summit at 8:40 and the true summit at 9:30. According to my GPS, it's 6.6 miles from the trailhead to true summit.