Folly Couloir

Page Type
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Time Required:
Most of a day
Rock Difficulty:
5.0 (YDS)
Number of Pitches:

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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Folly Couloir
Created On: Apr 29, 2006
Last Edited On: May 2, 2006


During certain years, random alpine ice lines will form on the right side of Glacier Canyon. Folly Couloir is one of those random lines. I titled it myself, but not because I think I am the first to climb it; more out of ignorance and confidence that not many will waste their time on this route. Still, pretty fun if you are jones'ing for some alpine ice, like I was, and some adventure without a guide in front of you with every pitch staked out in detail.

Getting There

Just outside the Tioga Pass entrance/exit of Yosemite, park in the parking lot that is the start for getting up Mt. Dana. Head up Glacier Canyon and scout the right walls on the way to Dana and Solstice Couloirs for ice lines. Folly Couloir formed up in late fall 2005. There were also several other random lines between Solstice and Dana Couloirs in late fall 2004.

Route Description

Mostly a choss pile with enough alpine ice to inspire idiots like myself into giving her a go. Lots of loose rock between the initial snow/ice field and the alpine ice. The snow/ice field is around 50 degrees. The alpine ice we finally got up to in the middle of the wall approached 60. The snow above the alpine ice was the crux as it was styrofoam, unprotectable, and difficult to gain from the rock in the couloir. The number of pitches is subjective. We simul-climbed for what would likely be two pitches. We actually set three belays. See my trip report for the full description.

Essential Gear

Rope, crampons, two tools (you can get away with one ax and one tool, but I much prefer two tools on this route). Typical small alpine rack (6-7 nuts of various sizes, three cams (.4 to #2)) or so, and six screws. I used everything we brought, although we brought too much. I placed screws in about 6-7 spots where the snow/ice was consolidated enough to take them. We thought there would be more alpine ice, so we had about 10 screws, which was probably too many for the conditions.

External Links

Trip Report (Part 1)

Trip Report (Part II)