Southwest Couloir Climber's Log

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rvancleave - Aug 17, 2021 11:21 am Date Climbed: Aug 14, 2021

Southwest Ramp  Sucess!

Climbed the Southwest Ramp on 8-14-21. My third successful climb to the summit. Guided Kayla Erickson for her first ever climb. A climber we met at the summit climbed all the way up barefoot!


jake_the_snake - Oct 1, 2019 2:19 pm Date Climbed: May 9, 2019

Failure in May

Deep snow, turned around.


Smithman123 - Aug 4, 2016 10:06 am

Awesome Scramble  Sucess!

Climbed this great route with Eric Thorsell. We had some difficulty getting into the basin below Granite, but the scramble itself was awesome. There was no need to bring a rope, and a few sections had some sketchy fixed ropes. Near the top, it is important to cross over onto the ridge (on climber's right) to gain the summit.


fallonclimbs - Aug 30, 2015 12:58 pm

Gorgeous backpack, wild scramble  Sucess!

Trip Report on my blog is here

Definitely rock fall, but we climbed staggered to prevent injury in our team of 2. Would be trickier if other teams were on the route. Amazing views and beautiful area! Definitely want strong scrambling/third class skills..


idahomtnhigh - Sep 3, 2013 11:47 pm Date Climbed: Aug 31, 2012

Best trip ever  Sucess!

Car to car in 36 hours.


montanajames - Sep 3, 2013 12:35 pm Date Climbed: Sep 1, 2013

Labor Day Weekend Summit with Family  Sucess!

Stood on top on a perfect day with no clouds and no wind. Thanks to all my family who came on the hike with me.

Matt Lemke

Matt Lemke - Aug 19, 2013 4:23 pm Date Climbed: Aug 4, 2013

Our descent route  Sucess!

We descended this way after doing the Granite Peaks traverse. Loose but straightforward. Those big slabs at the base of the gully are cool!


musicman82 - Aug 29, 2012 10:26 am Date Climbed: Jul 24, 2012

Great Route  Sucess!

Loved this climb - may have to do it again someday!


IamLubos - Aug 15, 2012 3:55 pm Date Climbed: Aug 12, 2012

my 48th highpoint  Sucess!

Absolutely spectacular scenery. The actual hike and climb is very physically and mentally taxing, with a lot of route finding and boulder hopping. The couloir is full of loose rock, one of my climbing partners dislodged a massive rock which flew right past us into the void below before splatting into a bunch of fragments. I was the only one that went on after that... The rest of the group descended to a lower lake while I was still on the climb and I got totally disoriented the next morning trying to get down from the Sky Top Lakes. What was supposed to be a one hour segment turned into a 7 hour class 3 ordeal through the high country. Make sure to bring a good map and keep an eye for viewpoints to get back! There is a lot of lakes here and no route so it is quite easy to get lost. The weather was amazing, we had 3 days of perfect temperatures and not a single storm.

Trip report


Redwic - Sep 2, 2009 3:27 pm Date Climbed: Aug 31, 2009

Turned Around On SWC Route

During morning hours and with only 540' elevation to go to the summit, in the Southwest Couloir, I suddenly had a bad feeling that a freak storm was coming. It was one of those "smell a storm coming" moments. Although we knew we could reach the summit OK, we were concerned about the possibility of questionable weather while trying to descend the couloir, so my partner and I agreed to turn around. Shortly after getting off the mountain, we turned around and could no longer see the mountain! We considered waiting out the storm to make another attempt, but the storm lasted (for the most part) for two days! It was a frustrating decision to turn around, but it was the right decision. We lived to climb another day, and the mountain is not going anywhere.


CBakwin - Aug 12, 2009 12:02 pm Date Climbed: Aug 11, 2009

YO  Sucess!

Much more beautiful approach than Froze to Death. Better campsite on middle Sky Top lake as well. The Coloir was filled with ice in places so we climbed easy 5th class rock on the left, then the right on the way up. Exit the coloir short of the top, to the right for easier climbing. Very fun route!


Tbacon251 - Jul 3, 2009 12:39 pm Date Climbed: Jun 27, 2009

Made it!  Sucess!

Finally reached the summit after three tries for the Cops on Top Summit for Heroes memorial climb!


reboyles - Sep 15, 2007 8:05 pm Date Climbed: Sep 14, 2007

Southern approach  Sucess!

We started the approach to the S.W. Couloir route using the (Summit Post recommended) route that goes to Lower and Upper Aero Lakes but veered off to the Lone Elk and Skytop Lake drainage which we found to be much better. On descent we avoided Aero lake and used the Sky Top Creek drainage all the way to the junction above the Lady of the Lake trail. See the Sky Top Creek approach map for more details.

Climbers note:
Staying right at the top of the couloir will lead to a rib that keeps you on 3rd class ground all the way to the summit. Veering left out of the couloir quickly leads to 4th and 5th class climbing. Ice or snow in the couloir could make this route much more difficult.

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