From the west
Concord Tower is the summit immediately south of Liberty Bell Mountain in the Liberty Bell Group
above Washington Pass in the North Cascades of Washington State. The rock is excellent granite and the tower has two routes on the north face and two routes on the south face. Unlike the other summits in the group, there is not a long difficult route established on its east face, rather, there is a subsidiary tower called The Minuteman which has a six or seven pitch route to its top which is about 600 feet below the summit of Concord Tower.
From the north
The most popular route on Concord is the North Face, which is easily combined with an ascent of the very popular Beckey Route on Liberty Bell since they both start from the Liberty Bell - Concord Notch. Another good combination is one of the south face routes on Concord with the North Face Route on Lexington Tower
as the routes start in the Concord - Lexington Notch.
It is possible to descend either the north or south (a long two rope rappel) side of Concord to put together any kind of combination wanted. (I am aware of at least one north to south and one south to norht traverse of all five summits of the Liberty Bell Group in one long day)
Fred Beckey and John Parrrott made the first ascent of Concord Tower on 12 June 1956 via the North Face Route.
Hairpin approach and view from east
Eastern side / aerial winter view
Lexington Tower is approached from the vicinity of Washington Pass on State Highway 20. The approach from the west starts at the Blue Lake Trailhead just west of the pass. Climbs on the east side are approached from the hairpin curve or several smaller parking spots just east of the pass.
The easiest approach to the west side of the spire is from the Blue Lake Trailhead via the Blue Lake Trail to the climber's trail into the basin on the west side the Liberty Bell Group. From the Blue Lake Trailhead, follow the main trail about one and a half miles to the well-worn climber's trail and climb it into the basin. From there, scramble to the base of the tower.
West side approach.
Concord second from R
It is also possible to reach west side from the hairpin curve to the east of Washington Pass. Climb to the top of the basin to the south of the Early Winters Spires, then traverse high along the base of the rock on the west. This approach is best done when the basin is still snow filled (taking care regarding avalanches).
Washington Department of Transportation web site with information and updates on the spring opening of Washington Pass:
Washington Pass Information
, 5.6, three pitches, about two hours. Follows an obvious crack system more or less directly up the face to the summit.
First Ascent: Fred Beckey & John Parrott, 12 June 1956
, 5.8 R, 3 pitches on North Face - not recommended by author of route page.
North Face, Tunnel Route
, 5.8, four pitches, about two hours. Starts well west of the North Face route, involves some long leads and tops out via the west face.
First Ascent: Ron Burgner and Don McPherson, 1968.
North Face Directismo
, 5.8, shares pitches with normal North Face Route
South Face, East Side
, 5.6, two pitches to the top of the face, then an exposed traverse along the top to the summit which must be reached via the last 5.6 bit of the North Face Route. Climbing on the face itself is about 5.4.
First Ascent: Donald Anderson, Donald Cramer, & Fred Stanley, 1965.
South Face, Center
, 5.7 / A3, two pitches on the face and a finish via the last bit of the North Face Route. Starts about 100 feet west of the East Side Route.
First Ascent: Mark Fielding & Frank Tarver, May 1966.
5.8 / 5.9; four pitches up the west face. Trip Report
South Face East Side |
Near the summit |
From the NE
is a subsidiary tower on the east face of Concord Tower. The top of the Minuteman is about 600 feet below the summit of Concord Tower. It has a six pitch Grade III, 5.10b or 5.8 / A1 route on its east side which is approached from the highway either from the hairpin curve or one of the small pullouts between there and the pass. There is no established route from the top of the Minuteman to the summit of Concord Tower. The descent is a rappel (two ropes needed) and down climbing route to the north of the tower.
Scott Davis and Bill Lingley made the first ascent of the Minuteman on 30 July 1967.
Red Tape & General Forest Information
A Northwest Forest Pass is required to park at the Blue Lake Trailhead.
The Okanogan National Forest web site has current information regarding obtaining a NW Forest Pass, road and trail conditions, closures, campgrounds, etc.:
Okanogan National Forest
There are official USFS fee campgrounds on both sides of Washington Pass. The nearest is Lone Fir to the east with Klipchuck and Early Winters a bit further east, but at lower elevations and thus open earlier in the season.
Some folks "bivouac" at the Blue Lake Trailhead or even at the hairpin curve.
Suitable campsites can be found in the basin to the west of the rocks. See Getting There for the approach.