Devil's Kitchen Headwall

Page Type
Trip Report
Oregon, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Jan 16, 2017
Mountaineering, Ice Climbing, Skiing
524 Hits
71.06% Score
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Created On: Jan 23, 2017
Last Edited On: Jan 23, 2017

Take 2: Devil's Kitchen Headwall

We have eyed this line for a while and after watching the forecast clear for a couple days of splitter weather, we pounced.

Unfortunately, we did not prepare well for this climb. Unsure of exactly what the conditions would provide, we brought 3 screws and a couple pickets, which turned out to not be enough to provide the amount of safety we were comfortable with. But our biggest error was starting too late. By the time we entered the chute were the real climbing starts, ice was already raining down on us. Despite being mid-January, the temps were warm and as soon as the sun hit the upper walls, the rime ice dislodged and gravity took over. We made it about 30 meters into the chute, up the first step and part of the second ice step. In addition to a deluge of ice bullets, the snow found between the ice steps was not quite névé, remaining a quickly-softening, unconsolidated mass sitting on top of ice that was terrifying to climb on. The entire situation began to feel very out of control. The conditions were only going to deteriorate further and we could not climb or protect this route within my safety margin. We bailed off a picket, cleaned the screws and debriefed, going over what we could have done differently on the way down. We needed to hit this route at first light, bring more screws and move fast. 

The weather gods continued to provide clear a forecast, so after a rest day we rallied back up to Timberline. With a much earlier start, we took it easy on the approach, saving our energy for the more technical climbing above. We reached the Devil's Kitchen as the alpenglow started to appear and quickly moved towards the base of the wall. Andy led the first pitch, climbing the full 40 meters of our rope, to the base of the third step. The ice at the third step was fat and easily took two 21cm screws for an anchor. Corie launched up the final ice section and into a more open snowfield above and brought me up and out of the firing line. We packed the rope and trudged up the final section to the summit, finding it nearly windless and quite warm. Although the summit is already familiar, this moment was special. Learning some good lessons and finding redemption on this route made for a fantastic experience. 

Equipment List:

  • - 1.5 liters of water each
  • - Snacks/Lunch
  • - SUUNTO Watches (GPS)
  • - Sunglasses
  • - Headlamps
  • - 40m 9.1mm rope
  • - Harnesses & ATCs
  • - 6 ice screws
  • - 2 pickets
  • - 7 alpine draws
  • - Materials for 2 anchors
  • - Skis, AT Boots, Poles


  • Total Time: 9 hours 20 mins
  • Total Distance: 7.1 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 5,174'



For more info on this trip or beta on other routes in the Cascades, check out our site: 


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