North Face Couloir

Page Type
Montana, United States, North America
Route Type:
Time Required:
One to two days
45 to 50 degree snow
Rock Difficulty:
Class 3

Route Quality: 3 Votes

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North Face Couloir
Created On: Sep 3, 2004
Last Edited On: Dec 18, 2008


--From Anaconda drive West on Highway 1 to Goergetown Lake take a left at the lake which will turn into a dirt road and goes up to East Fork Reservoir.

--Now at East Fork Reservoir drive across the dam and drive for another 13 miles to the end of the road, which will lead you to Trailhead 3 and Trail 24, on your Pintler Wilderness Map 1996.

--Now hiking up about a 1/2 mile to the Wilderness boundry and a trail junction take a RIGHT here,

--You are now hiking on Trail 24 West. The trail is easy for the first mile than it goes up about 9 swithbacks and flattens out, and kind of turns into Trail 110 with out you knowing it, You will hike past Lower Carrp Lake and at the end of the lake there is another trail juction just keep going straight, right goes over a ridge up to Tamarack Lake(Wrong Way).

--Hike past Lower Carrp Lake and a rock throw away is Carrp Lake. You will have a good veiw of Warren's Peak North and NorthEast Faces here.

--You are now at elevation of 7,672 feet and (N46'00.832'----W113'27.174').and have traveled about 2.75 miles. Now the trail turns into now Trail 111 going South, hike up about 1.7 miles and 8 more swithbacks you will be at Upper Carrp Lake at an elevation of 8,363 feet.

--Still on Trail 111 hike up yet another 5 or so switchbacks to Warren Pass at an elavation of 8,648 and (N45'59.595'----W113'27.296'). you leave the trail here.
Take a right off of Warren Pass and follow the last remaining trees, hanging towards your right you will come to a high Tarn, in which I nicknamed (Iceberg Tarn), because in early June there are avalanche chuncks that have fallen off of the steep Peak into the Tarn. At this Tarn is where the route starts and this Tarn is located at an elevation of 8,834 feet. and the route is very clear and defined from here except the uppermost part of the route which hides the overhang of snow in early season.

Route Description

The best times to climb this route is from late May to early July.
This is also best done on snow and ice do avoid most of the loose rock.
The rocks here are very unstable and rock fall is commonly heard, and the route is in the way of the falling Rocks!

From the Tarn I usually put on my crampons and get out the axe, its not to steep for about the first 200 feet then it brings itself to a moderate pitch, I would say 45 degrees and holds that for awhile.
In the couloir when it begins to narrow is where I usually place the first picket if needed.
From here on its nice to place pickets for saftey as it steepens to about 55 degrees on some years but on most years I find it about 50 degrees, just thought you were done guess again at the top of the Couloir, there is usually a surprise 3 foot cornice in very early season (April) your going to have to play with. I had to anchor in solid here and get my shovel out and dig a trench up through the cornice.
:Note dont try this route with fresh snow. or a big change in temp

-But as far as steep snow routes up this Peak go, this is one of the better routes up the peak if not the best.

Essential Gear

-37 meters of rope 8.1mm twin rope (just one)
-2 snow pickets optional usually not needed.
-Ice Axe/Crampons.(two tools helps if you decide to down climb the coulior)
-Wind gear and some insulation the climb is in the shademost-all day.
-Helmet for rock/snow/ice fall if desired.
-Stove for melting snow if desired.
-shovel if desired.

Descent Options

If running late and the snow heats up and the rocks begin to fall, usually I descend Porter Ridge and hook up with the trail and hump it back. A long way out of the way but gives me safe of mind than have rocks fall around me.