North Face of North Peak

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 47.77470°N / 121.58°W
Additional Information Route Type: Alpine Rock Climb
Additional Information Time Required: One to two days
Additional Information Difficulty: 5.6 (YDS)
Sign the Climber's Log


Hike to Lake Serene via one of two trails (the regular trail, or the shorter, steeper old trail). From the lake, work your way through brush to a boulder/scree slope. Climb it to the skyline to meet some unpleasant brush. Follow a vague trail through the brush to 3rd-4th class slabs. Enjoyable scrambling up past a few bad rappel stations brings you to the start of the route in a shady corner.

Route Description

Steve approaching the summit

all of these notes pertain to a summer climb of the route, apparently the route is popular in winter too

From a belay in the corner, climb carefully around the corner to the left, to enter a shallow bowl with a cliff. You want to climb up then back right around the corner and follow brushy ramps up for several pitches to reach the great bowl (holds snow until July/August). We went left from the shallow bowl and found our way up, but it's not recommended!

Climb the left edge of the bowl on 3rd class rock, then climb sparsely protected 5.4 pitches up a gully past a few rappel stations. You'll emerge on a brushy slope below a notch in the north ridge. Climb to the notch. From here, 3-4 very pleasant 5.5 pitches on the crest gain a patch of trees, and the end of technical climbing. Scramble up heather slopes to fine traverses over or around a few sub-summits. Sign the summit register (It didn't have a pen when we were there).

To descend, retrace your route with many rappels.

Notes: The climb took much longer than we expected. We tagged the summit then bivied on ledges above the 5.5 ridge climbing. The descent the next morning took at least 6 hours. To climb and descend in a day, be able to simul-climb most of the route. Even with lots of memorizing of features, etc., we still got off route. I think the best is to plan that your first time up there, you may be stuck out overnight. So what? If it's August and good weather, you are below 5000 feet, you won't get very cold...

There are some very brushy sections. But there was enough fun climbing in a wild location that it was definitely a worthwhile climb.

Eric Sandbo contributed the following information about the bowl - it can be hazardous with snow as he attests:

"The steep, narrow basin that's so prominent from the highway can hold a lot of snow. On my second trip there, we rappelled the basin because that's where the anchors are. I waited in the bottom of the basin for my partner to join me, then belayed him out to the ledges East. Two minutes after he brought me out of the basin it avalanched. Tons of wet snow funnelled past where i'd stood, then 10 feet later, went airborne for 200 feet to the talus below. Howard almost puked."

Essential Gear

A 50 meter rope and a static rap line (or double ropes), small rack. Lots of slings are useful. Rock shoes are not necessary, but will speed you up on some terrain. Bring more water than you think you need. When in the brush, the lack of wind will cause copious sweating. If a bivy is possible, bring a light sweater, a tiny wind jacket, and a hat. Wear a helmet.

Miscellaneous Info

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



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