Easy Ridge/Challenger Glacier

Easy Ridge/Challenger Glacier

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 48.83640°N / 121.3422°W
Additional Information Route Type: glacier with a little rock and scrambling on appro
Additional Information Time Required: A few days
Additional Information Difficulty: easy glacier, short 5.7
Sign the Climber's Log


This route starts from the Hannegan Pass Trailhead. From the trailhead, hike four easy uphill miles up Ruth Creek Valley through open avalanche terrain on good trail to Hannegan Pass gaining about 1900ft. Then follow the trail straight over the pass and down into the Chilliwack Valley losing about 2400ft. Once at Copper Creek Camp in the bottom of the valley, hike about two mostly flat miles to where you can first actually see the Chilliwack River about five miles from Hannegan. Somewhere around here, an obvious though unsigned trail departs to the right and leads down to the river. One must ford the river (ankle deep in late season, no easy task early). Pick up the abandoned Easy Ridge Trail directly on the other side. For about half a mile, the trail is very brushy with annoying blowdown. After that though, things improve somewhat, although brush and blowdown are present all the way up. Climb up the trail to a saddle in Easy Ridge 2500ft. and three miles up. Camping here, ponds for water.

From here, a climber's trail departs right up the ridge. It is fairly easy to follow until right before Easy Peak. A class two scramble with cairnes leads to the top of this peak. From here, follow the ridge across point 6553 and to the notch on its far side. From here, descend diagonally south mostly on talus (no climber's trail anymore) aiming for the bottom of a prominent buttress descending from Whatcom Peak. Cross underneath this at about 5200ft. and immediately come to the Imperfect Impass, a hellish gully/canyon. One possible crossing is to ascend about 150ft. and cross up there. That's what we tried and we got very scetched on cold, slabby, loose rock with terrifying exposure. I'm not sure what this is rated but it feels hard. If one really tried, they might be able to set up a belay here but we were freaked out and turned around.

Supposedly, there is a better crossing, about 1000 feet further down. Please anyone who has found a workable way across this thing leave an addition. It will be greatly appreciated.

From the opposite side of the Imperfect Impass, scramble back up 1000 feet to Perfect Pass at the edge of Challeger Glacier. Camping here.

Route Description

From Perfect Pass, make a rising traverse across the relatively gentle Challenger Glacier avoiding crevasses to the northeast ridge (on snow). Ascend up this to the rock (possible bergschrund). A short pitch to 5.7 on reasonably good rock completes the climb. This pitch has some fixed pins and/or bolts.

Essential Gear

GOOD RAIN GEAR!! crampons, ice axe, glacier equipment, very small rack (maybe four pieces), a few slings for rappels. A helmet is suggested but not really required (use your judgement).

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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chriswilder - Sep 26, 2005 11:12 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

As meganerd describes make a rising traverse about 100-125feet and approach the lip of the treacherous gulch. Protection is hard to place but enough spots exist to get into the gully laterally arriving at a small landing immediatley below belay slings high on the far side. Climbing out is relatively simple compared to going in. Follow meganerd's directions from there. On return, rappel into gully and climb out using an inverted "V" route landing you about 100 feet above trail end. Route is definitely a dry weather route but is very doable even in large climbing boots and a full pack. Going down and back up the 1500' would be less exciting and somewhat of a tiresome burden. See Beckey's route guide for details but unlike his advice, use a rope.

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