Forbidden Peak, Washington USA (One of 50 classic climbs)Forbidden Peak, North Cascades National Park
A three-day climb on the West Ridge (Approach, climb, hike out).
Left high camp in Boston Basin at 5 am.
Arrived at coulior to left of west ridge at 6:30 am
Freeze occured overnight so snow conditions up coulior were excellent even at 50 degrees of slope. Crampons worked text book.
Two groups of 3 climbed the coulior with no problems (Beckey reported a death on same coulior in 1968.) Coulior was not the most challenging part of climb, however.
Exited coulior onto rocks and moved right onto rock notch. No snow from here on out, but continued to climbed in plastic boots minus crampons.
Simul-climbed in groups of three on ridge with constant exposure but excellent rock (We did dislodge three lose rocks on purpose). We clipped into two existing runners, but did not use any of our own.
Third chimney 100 from top was crux and rated at around 5.6.
We used some waist belays on ascent at hard spots.
Two of our group decided not to climb final chimney and waited at a nice flat spot at the bottom of this chimney.
Some nice laybacks on climb as well as rappels on descent (1 on uppermost chimney and 2 on middle). We think we found Beckey's green piton midway on ridge.
Ridge ascent/descent - 4.5 hours.
Descended to notch and downclimbed rotten snow to first rappel at top of coulior. At 30 feet we reached second rappell on a snow ledge (here there are actually two rappell stations - one in the middle of the coulior and the second is to the left on the rock ledge. Both of these 30' rappells went smoothly.
A third and fourth rappell station are available (the third is above a shurnd before the coulior turns slightly right while the fourth is on the right high in the rocks. We bipassed these and chose to descend without rope (turn-in descent). Snow had become soft during afternoon sun and we glissaded some down to camp.
11-hour total time. Returned to Boston Basin camp at 3:30 pm.