Starting Point: Barlow Pass (2400')
Mid Point: Foggy Lake (5200')
Summit Elevation: Del Campo Peak (6613')
Round Trip Distance: 11 miles
Summit pinnacle: Class 3 - 4 Rock Scrambling
The Standard Route
Depending on the year, the trail to Gothic Basin should be clear and easy to follow to its end at Foggy Lake by the end of July. Make sure to bring a map and compass especially earlier in the season when snow makes teh upper trail impossible to follow. The trail peters out when you reach Gothic Basin. There are several smaller tarns just below Foggy Lake that sometimes cause some confusion. You will know you have found Foggy by the large size of it. At the widest aspect it is about one third of a mile wide.
From Foggy Lake the next step is to gain the southwest ridge. One way to do this is to follow the east shore to a small pond that is oblong and runs off to a ridge, then up the southwest ridge. From the top of the ridge, ascend the permanent snow field (axes highly recommended) on the south slope. Rock and snow go up to an obvious notch between the South Buttress and the summit of Del Campo Peak. Ascend class 3 and 4 rock just left of the obvious gully leading to the notch. From the top of the snowfield, the gully looks like the easier way but you will encounter a vertical wall if you go this way. This is one of those cases when the way that looks harder is actually easier. After about 150 feet of scrambling the route gains the east face and scrambling continues westward. From here it is not far.
There are other routes that start from the base of Del Campo (Foggy lake) that Beckey describes, so please refer to his book for other options.
|NW Forest Pass required at Trail head (Barlow Pass)|
The Monte Cristo road is now gated adding one mile each way to the hike. The road is washed out in two places and there are large mud/clay slides to cross before reaching the trail head. Exercise caution when crossing and beware of loose ground. There is a new trail forming that skirts a larger section of the damage.
The Mountain Loop Highway does close down depending on snowfall. Contact Verlot Ranger Station in Granite Falls for more information.
When To ClimbClimb May thru October/November. Or climb it all year if you can get to the trailhead. In the winter, be aware of current avalanche conditions.
CampingCamping is allowed in Gothic Basin and around Foggy Lake. Please practice the leave no trace policy. Pack it in pack it out.
Weather ConditionsHere is a link to weather in the North Cascades.
- Theron Welch's mountaineering in the Pacific Northwest
Excellent Del Campo solo trip report and a few photos.
- Cascade Climbers Trip Report
Some great pictures here.
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