Note that the route shown on this page IS the route to the top.
More than one ledge will probably get you to the large couloir.
I had always assumed that it was at this large couloir where you would start climbing up.
The Edwards guide states: "That trail eventually ends abruptly at a sheer-walled couloir which cannot be crossed. (It continues, on the far side of the couloir, but even the goats reach that continuation by climbing up over the head of the couloir and descending on the far side.)"
Where we reached the large couloir we literally walked across it with our hands in our pockets. So, we continued. We also easily crossed the next couloir - and the next. It wasn't until we were almost around the mountain that we found one we couldn't cross. The climbing above this last couloir was extremely exposed rotten Edwards Class 4 and 5. We eventually gave up and headed back to Logan Pass unsuccessful, but sure that we should have gone up next to the first large couloir.
I agree Fred. This is the correct couloir. Although Edwards' route is somewhat confusing as he wrote it a photo helps illuminate the answer (please see the attached photo (Edwards' DT Route photo). The "twenty-foot-high grey stratum" as well as the "grassy area above some small clumps of trees" and the "great upper cliffs" are easy to identify.
Which couloir is he describing as the proper one to climb?
Here is my take on it after successfully climbing to the summit as well as visiting with Vantana who climbed it a week earlier. I am assuming that the "sheer wall that cannot be crossed" is below the 8,000 foot countour level where the couloir is reached. It seems that there is a significant wall on the far side of the couloir where the couloir rises out of the scree field.
Edwards does not say to continue along the goat trail on the other side so the first couloir must be the correct one. The scrambling to the summit is certainly Class 3. It is possible to climb up the second couloir as well.
If you look at my two pictures..."gap in the ridge" + "route" at the same time, I think the correct couloir is easily identified from a distance and as you reach it. Having just been there, do you agree?
Yes I do agree.
Although reading Edwards' description I initially thought that his route had to begin closer to the Reynolds saddle near the big gap. We explored the area near that gap looking for an alternate route down and there might be a way through there but we did not want to risk the exposure to find out.
Vernon and I just climbed this a couple of days ago and used the same ledge that Moni and I did last year.
We crossed the face one ledge lower than the one shown on THIS PHOTO on this page - the wider, grassier ledge with dead trees at the beginning. This ledge is also marked by cairns and was marked with flagging. The trail on this ledge leads to a spot on the first large couloir that can be easily crossed and does not match the description in Edwards.
Just rechecked - we used the ledge marked in this photo by FlatheadNative: Route Photo
Thanks for you input. I placed a pink surveyor's tape on a tree branch on the best ledge to augment the various cairns. I'll take your word on which ledge that is in my route photo since I can't be sure from my computer screen. I think it should be fairly obvious to climbers when they reach that section of the route.