up Eliot Glacier, over Cooper Spur, down Newton Clark glacier (update June 2020, page 2)

Discussions and Trip Reports for off-trail adventures and rediscovering lost trails
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Chip Down
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Re: up Eliot Glacier, over Cooper Spur, down Newton Clark glacier

Post by Chip Down » July 22nd, 2019, 6:59 pm

Thanks Mike.
So let's use the old roped route as a reference point.
I've always felt comfortable going up, slightly uneasy going down. (I mean, you know, without the rope.)
How would you compare the higher route up around 7300/7400'?

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mjirving
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Re: up Eliot Glacier, over Cooper Spur, down Newton Clark glacier

Post by mjirving » July 22nd, 2019, 7:17 pm

I would say the upper route is similar in steepness but with bigger rocks, so if nothing moves, then the upper route is easier, but if something does move it’s bigger so you have to be a bit careful about that. Does that make sense? Jerry may have some insight too as I believe he’s done both.

Here is a picture. It’s steeper than the picture portrays, but you can get a feel for the rock sizes.


https://www.dropbox.com/s/tb1t1w4zd6scn ... 0.JPG?dl=0

Based on what you’ve done I’d say it’s a piece of cake for you (knock on wood)

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Chip Down
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Re: up Eliot Glacier, over Cooper Spur, down Newton Clark glacier

Post by Chip Down » July 22nd, 2019, 7:43 pm

Okay, looks good. Pic makes it look like you'd have to get way up into the crevasse zone, but I'm sure that's not the case. Pretty sure I recognize that peak up to the right, and if I watch the altitude and utilize my immense alpine expertise ( :lol: ) I should be fine.

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mjirving
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Re: up Eliot Glacier, over Cooper Spur, down Newton Clark glacier

Post by mjirving » July 23rd, 2019, 2:55 am

Yeah you stay below the crevasse zone for sure. Just the ones we don’t see. :shock:

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retired jerry
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Re: up Eliot Glacier, over Cooper Spur, down Newton Clark glacier

Post by retired jerry » July 23rd, 2019, 5:21 am

I've tried getting up the west side several times

If you skirt the bottom of the glacier, at about 7200 feet, the slope is rocky and you can get up it not too bad, easier up than down

Below that, at maybe 6800 feet, there's a really loose slope up. Typical moraine material. Down is much easier because for each step down, you slide another. Going up - for each step up you slide 3/4 step back down. I wore these shoes with a mesh outer and a Goretex membrane inside. Glacier silt got between the mesh and the membrane. I had to throw them away.

Now I just take that nice trail they put in

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Chip Down
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Re: up Eliot Glacier, over Cooper Spur, down Newton Clark glacier (update June 2020, page 2)

Post by Chip Down » June 27th, 2020, 8:26 am

An excerpt from my OP:
Chip Down wrote:
July 21st, 2019, 6:00 am
goal: Set foot on the Black Spider (a distinctive rocky feature on the Newton Clark headwall).
Failed.
I was a little east of Troutdale when I realized I had forgotten my helmet. There wasn't that much rockfall, but when I was on the pulpit I saw a release of several skull-crushers. Actually not that disappointed, it was just something to do.
Day two, 6/27/2020:
Cloudcap Road was still gated. I figured it would be. I wasn't disappointed. The extra 2000' elevation gain earned me some solitude. There were more hikers than I expected, but I never saw anybody up on Cooper Spur. Also, I've wanted to hike the Tilly Jane trail.

When I reached Timberline Trail above Tilly Jane, I turned left and ascended, past Cooper Spur, then up towards Newton Clark glacier. For safety, I figured I'd end up ascending the "back side" of Cooper Spur, rather than a more direct line up the glacier.

At the top of the Cooper Spur hiking route, I saw faint footprints headed up the Cooper Spur snowfield. Followed them, but veered left towards Black Spider. As expected, once I was getting close, some of my goals were hidden, and others were hard to interpret from a new vantage point. I kinda used Eliot Pulpit as a reference point to maintain my sense of where I was. The prominent big outcropping that clearly defines the bottom of the spider's bottom right leg turned out to be a no-go. It was just a tilted rubble heap, accessed via a steep exposed traverse. Risk/reward ratio was horrible. Okay, so continued up and explored. Getting absolutely exhausted. The first 5000' of elevation was pretty easy, but then I started fading fast. No place to rest, huge open snow slope. Finally approached a rest spot, at bottom of outcropping...but 20 feet away, I realized it was guarded by a snowbridge over a moat, so had to curve around, maintaining safe distance, and ascend to the top. Beautiful, flat and roomy, dry, great view. Continued up, never quite sure where I was going. Every goal granted a view to the next (I could only see as far as the next goal). It was quite windy, and there was a period of maybe ten minutes when coarse spindrift was pouring down, but I persisted. Finally got shut down when I saw what appeared to be a crevasse above, and several parallel waves in the snow. No really sensible alternative route. I wish I had finished up at a specific known spot, instead of retreating in a snowy expanse.

Considering that this was just an exploring day with no idea what might work, I'd say it was fairly rewarding. I really wish that pulpit overlooking Newton Clark had turned out to be as fun and scenic as expected. It would make a nice companion to the Eliot Pulpit across the Cooper Spur snowfield.

As hiking routes go, this is expert level, really more of a easy mountaineering route. Wile I think it would be sensible for an experienced hiker to get to the Eliot Pulpit, there's really no corresponding opportunity on the Newton Clark side.
Attachments
1.jpg
2.jpg
Like a tourist at Multnomah Falls, I always have to stop and grab a pic of BABB (Big-Ass Boulder Basin).
3.jpg
A first-timer might think the Cooper Spur snowfield is an easy walk straight ahead. Nope, need to drop onto glacier and climb back up. Or cut over (right) and ascend towards Tie In Rock on Cooper Spur.
4.jpg
Jefferson and Sisters
5.jpg
Looking down on Newton Clark glacier.
6.jpg
7.jpg
So many fun possibilities to get from Cooper Spur back to trail.
8.jpg
Bosterson reminded me it's cherry season, so I pulled this 2013 bottle from my cellar.

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retired jerry
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Re: up Eliot Glacier, over Cooper Spur, down Newton Clark glacier (update June 2020, page 2)

Post by retired jerry » June 27th, 2020, 9:57 am

great! this must mean it's finally summer :)

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Chip Down
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Re: up Eliot Glacier, over Cooper Spur, down Newton Clark glacier (update June 2020, page 2)

Post by Chip Down » June 27th, 2020, 11:44 am

Took a while, huh? This was my first alpine trip, due to lots of spring snow. Still messy above 9000', a bit more firm below.

bushwhacker
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Re: up Eliot Glacier, over Cooper Spur, down Newton Clark glacier (update June 2020, page 2)

Post by bushwhacker » June 28th, 2020, 6:20 am

yup, summer in Oregon. You gotta love it.
snapshot.jpg

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Chip Down
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Re: up Eliot Glacier, over Cooper Spur, down Newton Clark glacier (update June 2020, page 2)

Post by Chip Down » June 28th, 2020, 12:05 pm

Dammit Bushwhacker! :shock:
Based on my friday adventures, I had a fairly good sense of what I might expect for snow conditions elsewhere on the mountain in coming days. Specifically, I have plans around 8000' (2000' higher than the dreary pic above). I guess I need to recalibrate. Doesn't mean I won't go anyway, but I need to be prepared for whatever.

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