The Cascades of Northern California, Oregon and Washington is not known for its alpine rockclimbing. Most of it is decent but not fantastic. One of two or three exception to this generalization is the peaks around Washington Pass in the North Cascades of Washington. Here are spectacular peaks and an abundance of solid granite.
The striking northern most sentinel in the rugged Wine Spires above highway 20 is, according to Becky, one of the most technically challenging summits in the Cascades. Easiest route is 5.7 (at least), and all are long and fairly commiting. The ' voie normale' is the North Face/North Ridge, 5.8, about ten pitches.
Burgundy Spire is easily seem from Highway 20 about 4 miles east of Washington pass. The deep notch north of the peak is Burgundy Col, starting point for the North Face/North Ridge route. Park your vehicle in the big pullout directly on the highway and descend to Burgundy Creek. Look for a log crossing (of which there are many) that connects you to an initially faint climbers path. Some inevitable brush thrashing will likely happen before this crucial trail is located. When found you're golden. Follow it up.up, up, passing some bivy spots on the way to the col, or bivy in the col proper. No water on the trail in late season.
When To Climb
Seasonal snow closure of Highway 20 limit ascends to early summer to late fall. North facing routes should be free of snow for an enjoyable ascent. The gully to Burgundy Col holds snow well into summer making the approach either harder or easier depending on your attitude towards the white medium.
Highway 20 has a number of Forest service campgrounds in the area, most of which are free. Mazama down in the Methow has lodging and a few amenities, while Winthrop 30 miles down the road has everything from brew pub to groceries.
Most parties attempting the peak from Highway 20 will want to hike up to a bivy in the basin at 6500 ft (no water here in late season) or to Burgundy Col (possible water from glacier melt here).