North Face

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 47.47890°N / 120.8322°W
Additional Information Route Type: Mixed Snow/Ice/Rock
Additional Information Time Required: One to two days
Additional Information Difficulty: AI 2, 5.7
Sign the Climber's Log


Reach Leavenworth by driving US 2 east from Everett or west from Wenatchee. At the west end of Leavenworth, turn south on Icicle Creek road (hopefully plowed). Park at the Bridge Creek campground. Hike or ski up road no. 7601, 4 miles to the Lake Stuart-Colchuck Lake trailhead, elevation 3540 feet. Follow the Colchuck lake trail 4.5 miles to Colchuck lake. Either skirt the lake on the right or cross directly over the frozen lake, aiming for a clump of trees on the far side, below the north buttress of Dragontail. These trees offer a fine bivi site.

Route Description

This route is best done as a winter/ early spring route when it is well iced, December through April. It is a good alternative to the popular Triple Couloirs when the crux runnels are not formed, although it ups the difficulty and length.

This climb shares the same start and finish as Triple Couloirs. Find the obvious 'Hidden Couloir' that starts left of the lowest point of the north face. Climb 40-50 degree snow for 800 feet. Triple Couloirs branches left up slabs at this point. For the North Face continue straight up the narrowing gulley belaying 3 pitches of mixed climbing.

Exit right onto the north face bowl. Climb a few hundred feet of 60 degree snow, aiming for a broad, but inobvious gulley on the left hand side. Climb three pitches of mixed climbing to 5.7 to exit up and left to the base of the obvious 35 degree couloir. Climb this several hundred feet to the summit.

Descent: Scramble south, making a couple of rappels from fixed stations to flat ground. Contour east to Asgard pass. Hike down Asgard pass to the tree bivi.

Essential Gear

Helmet, two ice tools, crampons, 60 meter rope, skis or snowshoes for the approach (snowmobile optional). Moderate rack including 4 screws, pitons: 2 KBs/Bugaboos, angles #1-3, 6 small-medium nuts, 4 cams .5-1", 8-10 slings, carabiners.

Miscellaneous Info

Here is a nice series of photos from this route.



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