North Face of Northwest Ridge

North Face of Northwest Ridge

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 46.20280°N / 121.4894°W
Additional Information Route Type: Snow Climb to 50 degrees
Additional Information Time Required: One to two days
Additional Information Difficulty: Grade II
Sign the Climber's Log


From the town of Randle on highway 12, head south on FR23 for about 15 miles. Look for for FR21 forking off to the left and turn here. Drive for about 5 miles then turn right on FR56. After about 2.5 miles, turn right on FR5603. Go straight for 4 miles then turn right on FR2329. Now drive 4.5 miles to the Killen Creek Trailhead (#113) at 4,600 feet.

Hike 3.1 miles up the Killen Creek Trail until you encounter the Pacific Crest Trail at approximately 6,100 feet. Turn left heading NNW and hike 1 mile, then turn right on High Camp Trail. Hike up to 7,000 feet and establish basecamp. You can also set your camp closer to the ridge if you like, but this would require more hauling with a full overnight pack.

On summit day, traverse accross the snow slopes below the Adams Glacier. Do not go higher than 8,000 feet, you will have to deal with crevasses. Now find a way to obtain the base of the slope. There is a gigantic bergshrund guarding the direct entrance. I highly recommend getting on the Northwest Ridge, climb up about 300 feet, then drop down unto the face, in lieu of attempting to defeat the bergshrund directly. The berg was about 50 feet wide, extemely deep, and covered the entire slope right to the edge of both rock towers.

Route Description

Once on the face, the climb is extemely straight forward. Just climb the snow face all the way to the Pinnacle at just over 12,000 feet. Then walk over to the true summit. The steepest section is approximately 50 degrees. Downclimb the same route or the North Ridge. If the fifty degree section is too steep for you, you can always move over to the Northwest Ridge for the descent.

This route has a lot of exposure, and is not recommended for those with a fear of heights.

Essential Gear

Groups of good basic skill: Crampons, Ice Axe, Helmet

Beginners Add: Rope, Harness, Pickets, Runners & Biners, Belay Device

Do not bring glacier gear, there is no need.



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