Approach-Deluge Lake Trailhead (8,700-ft) to Deluge Lake (11,700-ft)-3,000-ft
Southwest Slopes (11,700-ft) to Northwest Ridge Route (13,180-ft)-1,325-ft
Starting at the Deluge Lake TH, follow the obvious trail as it begins its relentless ascent up into the Deluge Lake Drainage. The first two miles will do 2350-ft of vertical gain! After two miles the trail will begin to moderate. Continue on this single-track trail as it makes its way to Deluge Lake. The last 1.63 miles to the lake will do only 770-ft of elevation gain.
Once at Deluge Lake, locate the steep, grassy southwest slope to the left of Mount Valhalla’s summit. This is your route to the distinct northwest ridge, which leads to the summit.
Immediately hike around the east (right) side of the lake. Negotiate a minor headwall and veer to the left, continuing up through the boulder field under Valhalla’s grassy, southwest slope. Take the grass slope head-on and start the grueling ascent, keeping a close eye on others above you for rock –fall. Ascend this slope, generally veering to the right. This slope will deposit you directly on the northwest ridge.
The remainder of your route up this ridge is straightforward, fun, class 3 scrambling with solid rock. First, ascend a minor gendarme, head on (class 3 climbing). Next, the ridge will narrow and you will have to pick your way around some large rock pinnacles, by using a short, exposed ledge-system (class3.) Afterwards, ascend the talus-covered ridge to the summit (class 2+.)
Expect snow up in the Deluge Basin until early June. I wouldn't recommend the southwest slope for a snow or winter ascent. The slope has very poor run-out, often cliffed out. Plus there is too much loose rock balancing above that really doesn't need the melting snow around to help set it in motion.
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