From the west, Lexingon on the R, Concord on the L
On E Face
Lexington Tower is the middle of the five main towers in the Liberty Bell Group
above Washington Pass in the North Cascades of Washington State. The rock is excellent granite and like the other summits in the group, Lexington Tower has long and very difficult rock climbs on its east face with shorter more moderate routes on its north and south faces. The top of the tower has a prominent notch separating east and west high points. The eastern summit is the highest.
Tim Kelley and Dick McGowan made the first ascent of Lexington Tower on 5 July 1954 via the North Face Route.
|From the NE |
|From the E |
|From the SW |
|From the W
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.
Lexinton on 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
In the E Face
, 5.7, two pitches. First Ascent: Tim Kelley & Dick McGowan, July 1954
, 5.7, one pitch, First Ascent: Donald Anderson & Larry Scott, August 1964.
Grade IV 5.9+ or 5.9, A3, eight pitches, a long day from the car. First Ascent: Steve Marts & Donald McPherson, June 1966.
, Tooth and Claw, Grade IV, 5.12, eight pitches, a long day from the car. First Ascent: Steve Risse & Dave Tower, June 1989.
It is possible to climb the steep gully on the east side to the Lexington - Concord Notch. This involves some snow until late in the season, rotten rock, and some easy 5th class rock. It is not recommended.
Red Tape & General Forest Informaiton
Setting from the west
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.