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Sliding down Andrew's Glacier

Information on peaks other than the CO 14ers and 13ers.
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Sliding down Andrew's Glacier

Postby Mooms » Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:16 pm

A friend of mine and me are head up Flattop and then around to Hallet and Otis peaks. I was think it would be fun to slide down Andrew's Glacier on the other side of Otis. I have done it before but i hiked up the side of the glacier and then slid down. I was wondering if anyone has ever come over the top from Otis??
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Re: Sliding down Andrew's Glacier

Postby NYRyan » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:16 pm

Consider bringing a mountaineering axe. Andrew's glacier can make for a great glissade if done properly.
Thank you Bill M for this great site.

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Re: Sliding down Andrew's Glacier

Postby sanchomurphy1 » Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:12 pm

I did it after a hike from Grand Lake in late July a few years ago. Its the fastest way to get off the divide. I was a little scared but it turned out to be a blast and I had no equipment beyond average hiking gear. Although I would second an ice axe as a safety precaution. I say go for it.
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Re: Sliding down Andrew's Glacier

Postby gurlyclimber » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:32 am

I've done it from Otis. It's a great way to get down. We also did an awesome glissade this year after going up Taylor. Super fun. Like others have said, bring an axe.
There are some trips you never fully come back from.

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Re: Sliding down Andrew's Glacier

Postby Mooms » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:48 pm

Thanks for the info everyone. I will head to REI and get an axe. any suggestions on a good inexpensive axe. I have never use one or need one but it sound like it is good to have.
\:D/
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Re: Sliding down Andrew's Glacier

Postby tinman » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:53 pm

I ran / glisaded down a 45 degree pitch off of Wheeler Peak in GBNP last weekend. It was the first time I had done anything like that and it was a blast. All I had was my hiking sticks and I was planning to use one as an axe but never needed to. Do folks carry shovels up to use coming down? My butt got kinda cold (numb actually).

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Re: Sliding down Andrew's Glacier

Postby Kruck » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:59 pm

Mooms wrote:Thanks for the info everyone. I will head to REI and get an axe. any suggestions on a good inexpensive axe. I have never use one or need one but it sound like it is good to have.
\:D/


Black Diamond Raven Pro seems to be the standard for general purpose these days. Usually a couple bucks cheaper than a Grivel or CAMP, too. I've used mine for years and love it.

When you go to REI, make sure you have a dude there help you select the correct size. When you hold it with the correct grip with your arm dangling at your side, the end should be between your ankle and the floor.

^^^Edit to say that's the sizing that works for me. I have short legs. My dad's built like a gorilla and I inherited that part. Others might give you different advice.
Sausage, mushroom, and green pepper

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Re: Sliding down Andrew's Glacier

Postby jjust » Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:00 pm

I've descended down Andrews Glacier several times and it is a lot of fun. Twice from Taylor Peak and once from Otis Peak. The end of the video shows a glissade.

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Re: Sliding down Andrew's Glacier

Postby Gary Brady » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:01 pm

I did it with some friends without an ice axe. I really would recommend one.
You guys have fun climbing this weekend. I can't go. Lumbergh's gonna have me come in on Saturday, I just know it.

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Re: Sliding down Andrew's Glacier

Postby ChrisRoberts » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:45 pm

Not to discourage you from being prepared by having an axe, but I've done it probably 4 times now and have never needed one. Trekking poles are nice, but not required. Generally speaking, the snow stays soft and wavy into mid-August and then the ice becomes exposed and crevasses form (at that point dont even go near it without an ice axe!) but for now you're probably fine. I'd actually be more worried about whatever lingering snow patch is left on the headwall below Andrews Tarn, its a lot steeper and with all the snow we've gotten is probably still pretty big.

Have fun, Otis is a nice summit
Some rise, some fall, some climb to get to terrapin
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Re: Sliding down Andrew's Glacier

Postby rijaca » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:53 pm

DONT GLISSADE WITHOUT AN ICE AXE!!!!! EVER!!!!

All it takes is one icy patch and you're out of control.
"Spent a little time on the mountain
Spent a little time on the hill"

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Re: Sliding down Andrew's Glacier

Postby Kruck » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:29 pm

ChrisRoberts wrote:Not to discourage you from being prepared by having an axe, but I've done it probably 4 times now and have never needed one. Trekking poles are nice, but not required. Generally speaking, the snow stays soft and wavy into mid-August and then the ice becomes exposed and crevasses form (at that point dont even go near it without an ice axe!) but for now you're probably fine. I'd actually be more worried about whatever lingering snow patch is left on the headwall below Andrews Tarn, its a lot steeper and with all the snow we've gotten is probably still pretty big.

Have fun, Otis is a nice summit


This person is assuming a lot. This advice is OK, given good conditions. However, as the cow person above this post aptly points out, an icy patch can ruin your day and/or end your career as a human. If you are able to judge conditions well on your way up, and are glissading a slope with the same aspect and relative pitch as the slope you ascended, you can do as this person says and say to hell with it, I'm fine with Nike Airs. Otherwise, if you are not sure, an axe is nice to have. What hasn't been pointed out is that you should be able to use it in a way that arrests an out-of-control slide. Check that out. Google it. Think about it. Practice it when you can.
Sausage, mushroom, and green pepper

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