East Ridge

Page Type
Washington, United States, North America
Route Type:
Time Required:
Most of a day
Almost no exposure
Rock Difficulty:
Class 3

Route Quality: 1 Votes

3553 Hits
71.32% Score
Log in
to vote
Page By:
East Ridge
Created On: Sep 26, 2006
Last Edited On: Oct 3, 2009

Route Description

Route map for Bedal PeakRoute map

1. First step is to get across the Sauk River. This is no easy task in early season. On our September day in 2006, there were no logs across the river any where to be seen. The area is a jungle, so you don't want to wander too far up or down stream looking for one.
Even though 2006 was a big snow year, the river was easy to wade across in Tevas.

2. Take the Sloan Peak trail to about 3050' where it crosses Cougar Creek. There is a big waterfall / cascade that even in September is a big sight. Lots of good drinking water here.

3. Leave the trail and head WNW generally aiming for the cliff band between 3800' and 4000'. There are bits of trail to follow, but mostly the area is easy to navigate forest. Traverse north under the cliffs then head back up hill staying near the left edge of the ridge all the way until you break out of the trees just above 5000'. Again, there were bits of trail, but this area is fairly brushy.

Between Cougar Creek and timber line, I recommend you wear long pants, long sleeves and gardening gloves. This is partially due to the brush and also because in September you will find bees / ground hornets. The bees never hit the first or second party member, so spread out left and right for less chance of making them mad.

4. Somewhere a bit above 5000' you happily break out of the brush and into heather meadows. As you look up, you will see the ridge continuing up. Off the left side of the ridge are cliffs - don't go there. The immediate right side of the ridge is heather slopes, which are not too steep, but hard to traverse on. Further to the right of ridge is a wide gentle gully with rocky slopes to its right. Do not get sucked up the ridge. Traverse off to the right of the ridge and a bit down to the gully and rocy slopes to the right/north. Instinct will tend to keep taking you up that ridge. Avoid the temptation. You will cliff out in some notches if you try to go all the way up the ridge to the summit. The gully and rocky area north of the NE ridge is very pleasant granite with lots of big boulders and slabs.

Remember to take note of where you need to get back to on the way down.

5. Stay on the rocky gully and/or slope to the north of the NE ridge until you are at about 6000'. You should be about 100' below the cliff band that runs from NW to SE below the summit. Looking straight at the summit, there is a ledge at about 1 o'clock, which looked attractive, but appeared too slippery on our day, (which had dusting of snow in some places). Turn 90 degrees to the left and climb up on to that NE ridge you have been avoiding. I did not write down the elevation, but it is probably about 6200'. For us, the rock was a bit slippery getting up on the ridge due to the recent dusting of snow, so we ended up setting up a hand line for some party members.

Looking up at summit of Bedal

6. Once on this final section of the ridge, the route to the summit is easy and very pleasant.

Essential Gear

Ice Axe if you go before mid August. After that, a helmet and hiking poles are all you need.