Coleman Headwall

Page Type
Washington, United States, North America
Route Type:
Glacier/Ice Climb
Time Required:
Most of a day
AI 2-3

Route Quality: 6 Votes

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Coleman Headwall
Created On: Jan 23, 2003
Last Edited On: Feb 18, 2003


Get on State Highway 542 heading east from Interstate 5 (I-5). A mile past the Glacier Public Service center turn right onto (poorly marked) Road 39. Note that this turn is easy to miss! After 8 miles the road will turn to gravel and soon after you will be at the trailhead. Until the snow melts in mid-June or so, drive in as far you can and then hike, snowshoe, or ski to the trailhead.

Hike 2 miles from the trailhead to Kulshan Cabin. Go half a mile up the trail from Kulshan Cabin and take a right onto the Hog’s Back moraine that runs across the mountain. Eventually you will hit Coleman Glacier at about 6000 ft. Stay on its edge to help avoid crevasses.

At roughly 7,500 ft contour left (east) under the 'Roman Nose' (the rock ridge forming the western border of the Coleman Headwall.) Continue until under the Coleman Headwall. 3-4 hours from the trail head

Route Description

This is one of the most continuously steep routes on the mountain with 2,500 feet of 50 to 90 degree snow and ice climbing terminating at the summit plataeu. Insist on cold, stable conditions as rock and ice fall from seracs and exposed cliff bands are possible.
The best time is May through August. Crevasses become a problem late in the season.

From below the headwall climb steepening slopes until a serac band is reached at 1/3 height. This forms the crux of the route and can involve vertical to overhanging ice late in the season. Continue up the route avoiding crevasses on slopes to 55 degrees. Cross the summit plateau south east to the summit lump. 3-4 hours on route.

Descend via the Roman wall and the Coleman-Demming glacier route.

Essential Gear

Rope, crevasse rescue equipment, 4-5 ice screws, two pickets, two ice tools, helmet, crampons.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.