Mount Washington (Oregon) Climber's Log

Viewing: 1-20 of 78

dkantola - Aug 2, 2004 10:59 pm

Route Climbed: North Ridge Date Climbed: July 27, 2004  Sucess!

See Cornvallis's entry below. There's definitely more than one way to climb "the nose" just above the notch. I'm not sure that a standard route exists. First ramp or second ramp? Just gives me a reason to try the second ramp sometime. I placed a new register book in the summit ammo can.


Cornvallis - Aug 2, 2004 12:32 am

Route Climbed: North Ridge Variation Date Climbed: July 27, 2004  Sucess!

Another early start for dkantola and myself. Left Salem by 3:00 AM and were on the trail by 5:30. Took the first ramp. Wow, just a bit of exposure as you climb the first chimney and find yourself hanging over the east face. No worries, David led the route well and placed solid pro (as solid as you could on this heap). Would not recommend climbing this variation unroped! Free climbed the next two pitches to the summit. Flies were overwhelming on the true summit, but 50 ft. to the north they left you alone.....king of the hill eh? Rapped the first pitch back to the notch. Don't believe the hype about the great rock on Washington, are holds supposed to move?


dkantola - Jul 25, 2004 6:58 pm

Route Climbed: North Ridge Date Climbed: July 24, 2004  Sucess!

I found the rock not to be as solid as advertised. Many flies swarming at the summit rocks. The summit register needs a new book.


Pawkala - Jul 1, 2004 11:47 pm

Route Climbed: North Ridge Date Climbed: Multiple  Sucess!

Have climbed it 3 times now. Was the first mountian I climbed....was in 2000. Scared me climbing the pinnicle the first time since it was just before sun set and the winds were high. Slept on top that trip. Second time set out to sleep on top again in early June 2002 but missed the trail up the North Ridge and ended up going up the NW Ridge and traversing to the saddle. We ran into high winds again and this time ran out of daylight. Had to bivouc down from the saddle and tie into the only tree we could find due to the steep slope. Hairy night sleep listening to the rock fall all night and not being able to see outside the clouds. Did not summit the next day due to time crunch. Thrid time summited no problem and back down in a day in late June of 2003. Glad to get to the trees by the time the lightning started. Awesome mountian. Love the adventure.


eckdoerry - Nov 28, 2003 1:12 pm

Route Climbed: West Ridge Date Climbed: July, 1998  Sucess!

A fine summer climb --- but don't forget the DEET. We would have been dead of anemia had it not been for a friendly camper!

Washington is the best (only) volcano around that has climbable rock. Zoomed up the west ridge to a small saddle below the summit. There we broke out the rope and led about half a pitch --- that's all that was sketchy, with a nasty drop to the left. Purely positional belay since the pro was mostly weak. Nice summit --- until a storm came out of nowhere. We rapped the pinnacle, then plunge-stepped (ran?) down a NW snowface with lightning coming down all around. Exciting...


cluck - Nov 3, 2003 2:31 pm

Route Climbed: North Ridge Date Climbed: 10/26/03  Sucess!

Unusually beautiful weather for late October. Got really hot slogging up the ridge to the saddle, but was nice climbing in the shade. Saw dog prints on the summit and the last entry in the register was from a solo climber and her dog!


jhalz - Jul 30, 2003 9:05 am

Route Climbed: North Ridge Date Climbed: July 26, 2003  Sucess!

First pitch was a perfect example of rotten volcanic rock. Beyond that everything was much more soild. Beautiful day, had the mountain to ourselves.


tymelero - Jul 15, 2003 9:34 am

Route Climbed: North Ridge Variation Date Climbed: July 12, 2003  Sucess!

This was one of my first outings as a climb leader for the Ptarmigans climbing club. I lead 9 others to the top of this mountain doing a variation of the North Ridge Route. We had sunny weather except for the wind which was blowing very hard. Congrats to all the attendees of this outing for their successful summit.

OregonNative - Nov 13, 2002 9:03 pm

Route Climbed: North Ridge, East Buttress Date Climbed: 2000, 2001, 2002  Sucess!

November 2000 - Soloed North ridge to summit in running shoes. Downclimbed.

Also climbed North Ridge in November 2001 with my partner JZ. Had to use a rope that time - verglassed.

Also climbed the East Buttress in Summer 2002 with JZ. 5 Pitches of 5th class to 5.8 then 4th/5th scrambling for a few hundred feet to summit. Please do not try this route unless you are prepared to climb a full pitch of very loose and poorly protected 5th class.


cluck - Sep 22, 2002 4:36 pm

Route Climbed: North Ridge Date Climbed: September 22 2002  Sucess!

Drove from Portland and hit trailhead at 10:40AM

Sunny day but VERY windy.

Got to the base of the summit pinnacle just in time to see another team nearing the summit on the same route. Because of a reputation of loose rock, we chose to wait until the team above returned to the notch before climbing. Hung out in sun to warm up.

Climbing team above was very, very cautious and therefore slow. By the time they rapped off and we started climbing, we had burned 2 hours of daylight and it was 4:30PM.

We belayed the first pitch and last pitch due to some less experienced climbers in our group, but this route can be easily climbed without a rope by experienced, confident climbers.

Rope is great, however, for last rappel back to notch and more fun than down climbing.

** Note on first pitch. Unless you are up for it, don't get suckered into the first left leaning ramp, as it leads to some serious exposure. The 2nd ramp, immediately above and slightly East of the 1st and most obvious gully, is much less exposed and easy to climb.

Summit views (early evening mountain shadow) were great and it was nice to find a summit register to sign.

Made it down scree descent and to the climbers trail before dark. Hiked back to the car via head lamp.

Next time will try more technical west face routes.

Brian Jenkins

Brian Jenkins - Aug 19, 2002 1:58 pm

Route Climbed: North Ridge Date Climbed: August 17, 2002  Sucess!

Wow, what a fun climb! Camped at the trailhead to the PCT and had no problem finding the climber's path. Fun scrambles up the ridge (although crappy "rock", more like graham crackers). Had some food in the little col next to the start of the technical climbing. Traversed over to the ramp on the right side and walked up to the first belay station. We went in teams of 2 to try to speed things up. Pleasantly surprised to find decent holds on the first move over the knob and then an easy scramble up to the next belay station. Carried the rope up as we scrambled. We went left of the main route up the next technical section and my friend Mark jokingly yelled down at me as he placed pro "Setting webbing over marginal rock" or "Crappy placement here" but as it turned out, he wasn't joking. But the climbing was easy enough (easy 5's) and before you know it we had scrambled onto the summit. Spent an hour there catching rays and waiting for 2 of our party that had traversed over to the west face to try to find a 5.8 chimney to do. They never showed.

We gave up waiting and downclimbed to the first belay station although I think most rap off. Long rappel from there to the col, make sure you bring a 60 meter rope. Two other climbers who showed up at the summit after us brought their 50 m. which would have left them hanging so I let them rap down on my rope. Just before I pulled the rope, our friends who had climbed the west face showed up and rapped down as well.

Turned out that one of the climbers in our party who was a friend of my friends was Sykoman who liked to climb in a Hawaiian shirt.

Descended down the scree field and back the dusty choking PCT to our cars. Awesome day.


rpc - Aug 19, 2002 9:41 am

Route Climbed: North Ridge Date Climbed: 8/18/02  Sucess!

My wife and I did this mountain as our first 'real' alpine trad experience. Took lots of unnecessary rock gear but ended up using slings ONLY. I thought that the pro I've placed (slings over horns) was pretty marginal in most cases so made an effort not to fall (not a hard thing to do since the rock is very easy). The summit was spacious and the weather was perfect (could hang out there for hours - no wind, lots of sun). From the summit we decided that it might be faster to just rappel over the 4th class stuff (starting about 50 ft below the summit). Did 3 of those up above the 'main' rappel down to the notch. It was a fun climb. Thanks to Hammer (here at SP) for the route beta.


synne.chadwick - May 18, 2002 5:38 am

Route Climbed: North Ridge Date Climbed: September 1997  Sucess!

After having climbed several long granite routes, I realize how crappy and loose the rock at Mt. Washington was when we climbed it a few years ago.

My husband, who was my boyfriend at the time, did his best to make the anchors solid. We made it to the summit and all the frustrations of getting to the top proved to be worth it. The view was spectacular and the weather was perfect.


darinchadwick - Apr 4, 2002 6:09 am

Route Climbed: North Ridge Date Climbed: September 1997  Sucess!

Does anyone really know the best way to start up the base of the summit pinnacle? We traversed out left over the east face, instant exposure time. Then went up from there. Rappeling off the pimple of rock on the descent was fun too. If this is what 'solid volcanic rock' is, I think I'll avoid the loose rock. Solid alpine rock...what a joke. Still, after seeing it so many times while cragging at Smith, it was nice to summit.

This was one place my wife and I had a serious disagreement. I had a pathetic belay set up, a sling around a loose basalt column, backed up by me bracing my feet firmly on either side of the chimney. When she saw it, she cut loose a verbal barrage that was more dangerous than the loose rock. From then on, we stuck to granite for technical climbs, where anchors are of some quality.

Sam Rabe - Mar 4, 2002 9:18 pm

Route Climbed: North Ridge Date Climbed: 6/15/01  Sucess!

My dad and I left the car at Big lake at about 10:00am. We took the supposed Patjens lake trail, it turned out to be kind of a bitch because the trail was very sandy and it was really hot. We kind of overestmated the diffculty of the trail and brought overnight gear bivy, stove ect. When you take that stuff with all the rock gear it can be a little heavy but makes the experence twice as great. My dad and i both climb 5.10 so the only thing that would be new to me is the exposure, it was alsome as you round that first step into the gully. The only thing that kind of ruined it was the rock. Over to the left of the main route we found better rock but harder climbing and more exposure. I would say 5.6 or less with lots of fourth and third class climbing, nothing to vertical. The rappels on the descent are wild, great views of north sister and middle.


Hammer - Oct 11, 2001 10:59 pm

Route Climbed: North Ridge Date Climbed: 7/29/2001  Sucess!

After taking a beginner group up just a few days before, I looked forward to just following as I was doing a sanctioned Chemeketan climb with experienced climbers for the most part.

Essentially, we camped in the same spot, but had a much larger group totalling 12 people. Due to the large number, we spilt into two groups that took off an hour apart from one another. The group that I was in was going to bring up the rear and leave at 0700.

We headed off from the trailhead making incredible time as we reached the cairn marking the climber's trail nearly 15 minutes faster than what I had done the few days prior. As we moved up the climber's trail toward the North Ridge we encountered by uncle who had been dropped by the pace that the first group set. When we reached the ridge, we took a short break and were met by another Chemeketan climber that had gone the wrong way on the PCT while trying to catch us from his different campground. We continued up the ridge making still great time and we eventually met the first group at the base of the summit pinnacle.

The designated leader led the first pitch and belayed a second up. Between the two they belayed the rest of our large group up. Being all somewhat experienced climbers we scrambled the rest of the way to the top in low visibility. I stopped on the way up at my previous rappell stations to retrieve my webbing and rap rings that I had left the few days before.

After we had all summited and taken the necessary photos we made our way down. It began to rain pretty good and the once pretty good rock began to get slippery. It was a bit weird down climbing wet rock that I had rappelled off just a few days before. Needless to say, I sketched out a bit but overcame it. The joys of climbing! We all reached the base of the pinnacle safely after rappelling down the last pitch. All the while, it was really raining.

For the next couple of hours we hiked down the ridge and out to the PCT getting wetter and wetter. By the time we reached the trailhead, everyone was soaked inside due to sweat, outside due to the rain and mud.

We all met over at the shelter, enjoyed a beer and then drove home


Hammer - Oct 11, 2001 10:42 pm

Route Climbed: North Ridge Date Climbed: 7/25/2001  Sucess!

Due to the economy being as slow as it was during the summer, I was afforded a great amount of time off this past summer. Looking for inexpensive things to do on our time off, a group of us that were white water rafting discussed doing some hiking. I suggested that we climb Mt. Washington. In my opinion it was not much more difficult than a dayhike and I advertised it as such.

I believed that the low 5th class climbing wouldn't pose any problems to anyone and I could make diaper harnesses for the ones that did not have them. In total, there would be eight of us going up, five of which had never climbed before. Two others with limited experience on rock. I definitely would have my hands full.

We all met down in the valley and drove up to the trailhead in four vehicles. Luckily it was midweek and we were able to find a campsite that would accomodate our group. We built a nice fire and I watched the younger guys drink more than I would ever consider before a climb nowadays.

The next morning we headed out from the trailhead at 0600 and moved pretty quick up the PCT. I was amazed at what good time we were making and believed that it was going to be a great day. We continued up the climbers trail eventually gaining the North ridge where most of us cached some extra food and water.

After making our way up the ridge, the trail began to get steeper and our progress began to slow quite a bit. When we reached the first gendarme that you can either skirt around the base of or go over the top of we lost our first person. Although the trail had maybe became 3rd class, the exposure was affecting him and he decided to stay where he was. The rest of the group continued on until we reached the base of the loose gully below the summit pinnacle.

This is where the trip began to get fun. A couple people in the group would not move up the gully due to fear and I was insistent that they should at least come up some more to the real climbing. Probably not the smartest thing to do. However after belaying 4 of the remaining seven up the gully we were at the base of the pinnacle.

Now was the time for the real climbing and the joy of getting some exposure. When I had climbed it the year before, it was low visibility, and exposure was not a factor. I got a belay and led the first pitch up-or at least what I thought was the route. After belaying two more people up, we realized that we were probably off route and found the true route. I brought up the remaining people that would come which left another at the base of the pinnacle-now we were six!

This is the point in the climb where most people typically scramble their way to the top-however four of our group of six were sketched out by the exposure and wanted to be roped the entire way. Due to the route being such a low angle< iwas forced to free climb up and down several times for four pitches to be able to get the rope back down to where they were. This took an incredible amount of time! Each pitch I would leave them in a secure spot but they thought that it was crazy. At one point, one of my buddies said I was crazy for bringing beginners up there-he was probably right.

After what seemed like forever, the last of the remaining six summited at 1600. Although they had whined and complained, I could see the joy and accomplishment in their faces. I took some personal enjoyment knowing that I had gotten them to somewhere they would have never have gone in their lives and probably would never go again.

After lots of pictures and some high fives it was time to go down. Once again, the pitches that you typically scramble up and down they wanted the security of the rope. I set up rappel stations at each spot-having to leave a lot of webbing on the mountain. I went over the technique of rappelling and I had Zancudo do a fireman belay at the base of each pitch. Once again, due to the inexperience, this took loads of time. By the time we had reached the base of the summit pinnacle the sun was setting and what had been a very warm day was getting cold.

We hurried down the ridge as fast as they could move, but the exposure on the trail made for some slow going until we reached the lower ridge. By the time we had reached our cache of food and water, it was dark. Of course, there was very little light between us. Some of them had flashlights but they quickly went dim. All I had was a Tikka which works fine on snow but in thick forest it doesn't work well. We spaced the lights out between us and made our way down the dark climbers trail. Eventually we met up with the PCT and hiked the rest of the way out-mostly in the pitch black.

By the time we reached the trailhead it was 2330. A

17-1/2 hour day-nearly 10 hours longer than what it takes a pair to do it in. Nonetheless, everyone made it down safe with great stories and pictures to tell their other friends. My lesson learned-never take that many beginners at once ever again.


Hammer - Oct 2, 2001 5:49 am

Route Climbed: North Ridge Date Climbed: July 22, 2000  Sucess!

This was to be the first mountain that Mike and I decided to do on our own. We had both done a couple of others with more experienced people but we thought we would give it a try. We had both been rock climbing for a while and the 5.1 rating seemed as though it would not pose too much of an obstacle.

We decided that we would take it easy and spend some additional days on the mountain eventhough we could have done it from the trailhead. We drove up from Salem in the late afternoon and put up our tent at the trailhead campsites for the night. We enjoyed some excellent food as we were car camping. The next morning we packed up our gear (which was way too much) and headed off down the trail. We had no difficulty finding the cairn that marked the climbers trail and we were soon almost to the ridge. The weather was already getting hot and we decided that this would be a great campsite that afforded some great views. Our only worry was water. We found a 5'x10' patch of dirty snow that would suffice.

We set up the tent and camp and settled in for a day of relaxation in the sun with our books. We had dinner and went to bed early.

The next morning we woke up wet. Through the night a system had come in and the fog was thick! We hadn't put on the fly due to it being as nice as it was, unfortunately leading to wet bags. We got up and ate breakfast only to have near zero visibility. We discussed our situation and decided to go ahead and move up and reassess it as we went. As we moved up it only got worse. We were forced to have to use radios to communicate where we were as we searched out the trail to the summit pinnacle. If we got more than twenty feet apart we couldn't see or hear each other.

After thinking we had summited twice on Gendarmes on the way to the summit pinnace we finally reached the notch. Having never been up there before and trying to remember what the guidebook said we got off route a couple of times and made the route much more difficult than what it was rated. We never did the 5.1 pitch at the beginning but instead a hairy traverse around a very exposed bulge. Near the top we did not move far enough east to see the easy chimney and we ended up leading a variation to the summit that I would rate at 5.6.

After enjoying our accomplishment we headed down through increasingly nasty weather. As we were trying to rappel the final pitch we weren't able to throw our rope down due to the wind. Finally we made it back to our camp, took a short break, broke camp, and hiked out to the trailhead and the biggest mosquitos I have ever seen.

Viewing: 1-20 of 78
Return to 'Mount Washington (Oregon)' main page