Lees Pk - South Couloir

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 44.94170°N / 118.2298°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hike/Scramble
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Class 2-4
Sign the Climber's Log


Follow the directions on the main page under “Getting There” to reach the Anthony Lake vicinity. This route can be started a couple different ways, but this description starts from the Anthony Lakes ski area. It is also possible to park at the day use area at the southeast corner of Anthony Lake and walk the Hoffer Lakes Trail, 1641 to meet road 7300-187 described below.

Route Description

To reach the south side of Lees Peak from the Anthony Lake vicinity, follow the Chicken Hill road (7300-187) from the ski area parking lot to the Crawford Basin Trail, 1612 trailhead. Hike the trail south and then east for a little over a mile to a point where a large talus slope descends down to the trail. From this point one can look north and see the multiple granite towers the jut out of the south slope of Lees Peak.

The south side of Lees Peak is a spectacular, rugged mass of deep chutes and vertical rock. There are probably several routes up, but many end with technical pitches just below the summit. This path stands out by passing directly through a city of towers. From the trail a well defined coulier can be seen coming from the upper towers. Climb the talus to the foot of the coullier and proceed up it. The footing is terrible on loose rock and soil so it will be easier to walk on the rock on the edges.

Aim for the broad, lighter tower (see photo). At the foot of this broader white spire cut right in front of it, then angle up to the right toward the northwest corner of the tallest tower. Climb boulders through tangled and matted trees to a spot between the higher spire and the slightly smaller one directly to the north of it (this smaller spire is not visible until near the top). The highest spire is mostly technical rock, but there is a small twenty foot chute on the north side that is easiest. Climb this using the ledges and cracks on the rock walls. Near the top of the chute move to the right below some overhanging rocks to the summit opening. This is a short move, but you’ll be hanging on with hands only with air beneath the feet for a bit. Once the overhead rocks are cleared, pull up to the flat summit.

Essential Gear

Good hiking boots are all that is required. An ice axe and crampons are recommended for a spring or early summer attempt when snow will be present.

Miscellaneous Info

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