Taylor Peak via Taylor Glacier

24 Jun 2000 - by Bill Strand

We climbed the Taylor Glacier in Rocky Mountain National Park on Saturday June 24th. The trail to Sky Pond still had several snow patches. We put on crampons and harnesses just above Sky Pond at the bottom of the snow field. The snow is mostly low angle for the first half of the climb. The glacier gradually increases in slope to an overhanging cornice in the main couloir. The cornice was overhanging approximately 2 feet. We roped up approximately 40 feet below the cornice where a rock rib was exposed on the right side of the couloir. After attempting to surmount the coloir twice I decided to exit the couloir to the left of the cornice on a slope which was approximately 80 degrees. Approximately 30 feet behind and to the left of the cornice I was able to set up a belay on a rock outcropping. The top several inches of snow was soft and appeared to not have frozen the previous night. By the time we finally climbed out of the couloir the top foot of snow was loose and sloughing off. My suggestion would be to start early and rope up approx. 40 feet below the cornice. We spent some time trying to climb around the cornice unroped before deciding we didn't like what we saw. For protection I used 3 pickets, #2 Camalot, .5 Camalot and small to medium nuts. I had a little more pro on hand, but that is what I used. The view of Sharkstooth from Taylor is amazing. We descended Andrews glacier back to the Loch. Below Andrews Tarn a young woman had fallen on moderate snow with out an ice axe and deeply gashed her leg. We donated our gauze, ace bandages, etc. She was able to descend with assistance and a member of her party dialed 911 with a cell phone. Hopefully that all turned out well.


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