NE Face

Page Type
Washington, United States, North America
Route Type:
forest, snow, rock bands
Time Required:
One to two days
Rock Difficulty:
Class 4
Number of Pitches:

Route Quality: 2 Votes

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NE Face
Created On: Mar 7, 2005
Last Edited On: Feb 21, 2006


>Drive the Silver-Skagit road from 1.8 (3km) miles W of Hope, B.C., south 37.5 miles (60.3km) to the border crossing on the E shore of Ross Lake. Look for the Trail of the Obelisks near the border that climbs up and along the boundary. We drove there on Friday night to get an early start. Much of the approach is steep, dry, W-facing forest – you'll want to be past that before noon.

Route Description

The Trail of the Obelisks will take you up onto a marshy bench at 1,820 feet (555m) and join the logged swath that follows the 49th Parallel up the mountainside. Don't expect too much of the trail; it's there to satisfy the curiosity of campers who want to see a border monument, but for most of the ascent you'll be picking your way up through forest. The route takes advantage of the border swath, but does not follow it consistently. At about 4,000 feet (1220m) bear right and follow a small creek valley (no water when we were there in late July) to a pass just below 6,400 feet (1950m).

Step into the broad, open basin NE of the peak and soak up the views. Head straight for the peak and the chain of permanent snowfields and rock bands that take you to the top.

When Leonard and I descended we continued N until we hit border monuments, then turned W and descended toward Ross Lake. Routefinding didn't seem like an issue.

Essential Gear

Ice axes and light boots. Carry lots of water. We used a single rope and a few slings and chocks for one or two of the rock bands up high. Fast climbers may make a day trip out of this, but Leonard & I carried sleeping bags and bivied on the summit. Turned out to be the best night's sleep I've ever had in the mountains.

NE Face

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