Contact us

 Activities  Climbing Instruction 

Broken Top, Eleven O'clock Couloir Route

Fellow SACsters,

This last weekend, SAC members Gregg Huld, Rich and Dana Margosian, and friend Todd Wonder made a valiant effort to conquer that majestic monolith of the Cascades - Broken Top. It was Rich and Dana's second effort at a Spring snow climb from the crater. This is always an interesting climb because it combines a fairly long approach (about 7 miles on snow shoes or skis), with always interesting snow conditions. This time we thought we had stacked the cards in our favor: we scheduled it for a weekend with perfect weather (we have inside knowledge that makes this an almost sure thing!), and gave ourselves plenty of time (we thought) by staging it over two days. We even brought our own porter, Todd, to help schlep our climbing gear to base camp on Saturday.

All this terrific planning went for naught as we overslept on Sunday (blame it on the daylight savings change-over). The crater captures the morning eastern sun and bakes the snow early. By 8:30 am, our route on the Eleven O'clock Couloir (directly above Gregg's red helmut in the second picture) was already mush. But stout lads and lasses that we were, we postholed our way up the couloir to the crater rim and set out traversing the west side on friable, collapsible ice. Half way around to the northwest ridge, we simultaneously ran out of pickets, looked at our watches, and decided to put this climb on next year's calendar on a day where the daylight savings time change won't confuse us.

As we returned to camp, we called home and got the news that Doug and Debra had been in an accident on the Reid headwall. The preliminary news was sketchy and put a bit of a damper on our return. We are pleased to hear that both Doug and Debra should recover completely. Next year we'll get Doug to lead this climb and surely he'll get us awake and started on time.


Santiam Alpine Club


E-mail group

GPS routes


Membership application

Member info update

Mountain climbing sites

Rope locker

Site map

Trip reports

Club officers


Mountain climbing school

Rock climbing at Smith Rock

Glacier travel and crevasse rescue

Ice climbing

Mountain Climbing School Manual

Mountain climbing terms