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Kachess Ridge and French Tongue

Kachess Ridge and French Tongue

Kachess Ridge and French Tongue

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: North America

Lat/Lon: 47.32850°N / 121.2066°W

Object Title: Kachess Ridge and French Tongue

Activities: Hiking, Scrambling

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Elevation: 5525 ft / 1684 m


Page By: larryN

Created/Edited: Mar 6, 2011 / Mar 24, 2011

Object ID: 702830

Hits: 2723 

Page Score: 74.01%  - 4 Votes 

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The Kachess Ridge high point, Pt 5524, ranks #61 on the Home Court list. I combined this page with with an interesting looking tower, Pt 5400+, "French Tongue".

This trip was motivated by knowing that on the following Tuesday, we would consume one FatBurger for every summit on the Home Court list tagged.

Getting There

We started at the French Cabin TH. Note that we parked at 3900' using a typical small car.

Red Tape

A NW TH pass is required.


There's plenty of flat ground east of Pt 5525. I don't recall finding any running water at the end of October, and didn't expect any.

Kachess Ridge High Point, Pt 5525

Kachess Ridge TOPO! map
GPS tracks for French Cabin, Pt 5525, French Tongue, and Hard Knox

From the car, hike west and gain about 1000' before teeing into the trail that runs along Kachess Ridge. Go south, and over the 5300' saddle. Head West and make your way up to Pt 5525.

SW slopes of French Cabin Peak
Western flank of French Cabin Peak

Meadow East of Pt 5525
Meadow East of Pt 5525

We first climbed French Cabin Peak, so I'll briefly describe that approach. The West flank of French Cabin is pretty open, so you can choose your route and get back to the trail. As you approach the North end of the large meadow, head West, looking for any track. We didn't see anything down low in the meadow, and eventually hit a trail higher up. This led us to another point South of the high point. (See the purple track on the map.) An easy ridge scramble leads to Pt 5525.
South of Pt 5525
Ridge South of Pt 5525

French Tongue, Pt 5400+

French Tongue, a.k.a. "Little Pecker Peak", is an interesting rock tower. It looks imposing from the trail, and more scramble-able from Pt 5525.
French Tongue from the North
French Tongue from the North

French Tongue from the West
French Tongue approaching from Pt 5525

Descending French Tongue

When approaching it from Pt 5525, you need to first climb up a 20' 4th class wall. Karl and Vlad went up a section that was wet from the recent snow, and I went up farther to the left (North), looking for, but not finding an easier way.

This brings you to the base of the final scramble. It starts out with a traverse to the right, before heading up loose 3+ class rock. Be very careful here, and you will definitely want your helmet.

Look at our yellow track on the map, and you can see that the 20' 4th class wall is easily avoided by approaching the tower from the South.

We finished our day by heading North to "Hard Knox", or "South Thorp." It would have been nice to get to Thorp too, but we left that for another day.
French Cabin and Kachess
Headed to Hard Knox, looking South, French Cabin Peak, left, Kachess highpoint, right

External Links

Hard Knox pt 5522, French Tongue
Thorp, Hard Knox, pt 5522, French Tongue, French Cabin
WTA French Cabin TR's


French Tongue from the WestPt 5525 from French TongueDescending French TongueFrench Cabin and KachessKachess Ridge TOPO! mapFrench Tongue from the NorthSW slopes of French Cabin Peak
South of Pt 5525French Tongue from Pt 5522Meadow East of Pt 5525French Tongue from the South