Edmunds Headwall

Edmunds Headwall Route Conditions - July 12

A three-day patrol to the Mountain's northwest side over the weekend unfortunately yielded no summit success, though there were plenty of photo opportunities.

The beautiful approach from Mowich Lake through Spray Park is highly recommended as a day hike even if you're not looking to climb. Also note ski tracks on the Russell Glacier (top photo, left of center) if you're searching for somewhere to make July turns.

Camp was established at approximately 8500 feet on lower Ptarmigan Ridge the first evening. Day two consisted of route reconnaissance, skiing, and photographing. It was finally decided that the Edmunds Headwall was the route of choice for the following day, as it appeared to offer the best ski descent.

The next morning alarm failure precluded any semblance of an alpine start. We decided to make an attempt since the face was still shaded and softer snow is better for skiing anyway. Good time was made down the loose rocky slopes to the North Mowich Glacier and across the Edmunds Glacier to the base of the route, but our progress was halted when we reached the bergschrund.

At this point, finding no suitable way to cross the gaping crevasse and taking into account the late hour and rockfall hazard, skiing sounded like more fun than climbing, so that's what we did. This is not to say it's impossible to overcome the obstacle: options do exist, particularly if you enjoy steep, loose volcanic rock and overhanging snow. The rest of the route appeared to be in great shape; some ice was visible up higher but could easily be avoided. Most teams will choose to carry over and descend a different route.

~ Hannah Carrigan