Southeast Face

Page Type
Washington, United States, North America
Route Type:
Easy Technical Climb
Time Required:
Less than two hours
Grade II - 5.0

Route Quality: 2 Votes

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Southeast Face
Created On: Oct 14, 2002
Last Edited On: Apr 8, 2004


The normal approach follows the Pinnacle Saddle Trail to the saddle between Pinnacle and Plummer peaks, along the South side of Pinnacle Peak and The Castle, and finally around to the East side of The Castle.

Start at the Reflection Lakes parking lot and follow the trail 1.3 miles South to the Pinnacle Saddle. From there, traverse Northeast behind Pinnacle Peak to the saddle between Pinnacle Peak and The Castle. Continue along or just below (south) the saddle ridge until you arrive at the base of the headwall on the South side of The Castle.

From here, you may be tempted to climb up a loose, 4th class gulley. However, it is easier to descend about 100 yards slightly southeast along the headwall until you reach a 50 foot shallow gulley (4th class) up the headwall.

Climb up the gulley and arrive at a large, flat alpine area on the Southeast side of The Castle. Here you can distinctly see both ridges. The Northern ridge is the true summit.

Early Season Approach:
In early season when the approach is snow covered, it is easier to climb directly from Reflection Lakes to the East side of The Castle.

Route Description

There are many shallow chimneys and crack systems that provide access to the top of the ridge. Most range from low 5th class to about 5.6 and are about 30 -50 feet long. They are all on solid rock and provide ample opportunity for protection, although many climbers will not even bother to protect them. Choose whichever route looks best to you.

Once on top of the ridge, it is easy scramble along the ridge to the large block that comprises the actual summit.

You can downclimb a chimney for the descent, but I recommend rappelling. There is a great block for an anchor and a clean line down a dihedral slab. The rope won't even touch the rock.

Essential Gear

Crampons and ice axe would be helpful for early season approaches. For the climb to the summit ridge, a few wire stoppers or hexes to 2 inches can be used. You will probably find that only 1 or 2 placements are necessary to protect the climb.

Miscellaneous Info

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