North Face of South Butte

Page Type
Washington, United States, North America
Route Type:
Hard Scramble
Time Required:
One to two days
Class 4

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North Face of South Butte
Created On: Mar 5, 2004
Last Edited On: Jan 28, 2008


This is a one-day climb from camp. It is probably too far to be done in a day from the trailhead but not impossible. Having a bike for the Entiat River Trail would be nice.

For a description of how to get to the 7,600+ ft shoulder on the NE Ridge of South Spectacle, see the various approach descriptions on the Main Page.

Route Description

From the talus shoulder, bear SW up to a (permanent) snowpatch with a lone tree on its right (NW) side. From the tree, angle up and right across the blocky, Class-3 North Face slope to the moderate spur ridge between the North Face and the Northwest Ridge. There is a Class 3/4 slabby gully between this spur ridge and the NW Ridge. Climb off this spur and into the slabby gully. Careful with the climbing here as a fall would be disastrous. It may be possible to go straight up the spur all the way to the summit (undocumented). Diagonal up and across the gully aiming for a notch-like feature immediately right (NW) of a featureless slab at the crest of the NW Ridge. The hand and footholds are good getting up to this point. Drop down into the next gully over (on the south side of the NW Ridge). Easy scrambling then gets you to the summit. There was no register save for a plastic bag when I was there in August 2003.

Essential Gear

Helmet optional
Ice Axe in early season
Bug repellant in summer

The climb is mostly exposed Class 3 (has a Class 4 feel). Erroneous routefinding can make it harder than this. A short 30m rope would be nice for less-experienced climbers. Rappeling will not be necessary.


Reverse the route home or, if you're feeling adventurous, go down a different way. Do not go down the NW Ridge. It is a nightmare!

Miscellaneous Info

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