West Ridge

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 47.48750°N / 120.7831°W
Additional Information Route Type: rock
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: 5.7
Sign the Climber's Log


From whichever lake you camp at, head for the saddle at the western edge of Prusik Peak. There are some faint climbers paths heading up from the more popular lakes, but it's open country so it's easy. Once at the saddle, head for a big balancing rock.

Route Description

From the balanced rock, head over broken and steepening ground to the left (north side) of the ridge crest. Soon a 5.6 dihedral appears, that's about half a rope length in height. Climb this, then continue along ledges and easier cracks until reaching the ridge crest. When in doubt, trend left, because reaching the ridge crest too early makes the climb more difficult.

Once the ridge crest is attained, traverse to the base of a small slab. This is the crux 5.7 move. It's a blank slab right on the ridge, right off the belay. One of old Fred's pitons (at least it appears so by the rust stains on the rock) protects this, but you can fiddle in a small stopper if it helps. The slab is about 20 feet high or so.

Now traverse right, above the South face, below a small knob\tower. The exposure here is tasty, there's a good crack for pro, and it's easy. After this, head left on the North side to big 3rd class ledges.

When the ledges end, climb up the next wall along a great 5.6 lieback that curves out to the right to bomber holds and a ledge. From there it's a short trot to a squeeze chimney that surprises many climbers, since good chimney techniques are not learned in climbing gyms. From there it's a short scramble to the summit block.

The descent begins at a bolt and webbing around a chockstone on the North side of the summit. Double rope rappels end at stoutly reinforced rappel anchors on decent ledges, single rope rappels lead to adequate anchors, usually on Ok ledges, with less chance of the rope getting stuck, it's your choice.

Essential Gear

One each of stoppers #5-10, maybe double the #7.
One 0.5 and #1 Camalot and maybe a #2 Camalot, but not vital.
The first time I climbed Prusik, I toted a #3 Camalot, and used it, but the hike is bad enough without lugging wide gear along.
One or two smaller cams, I used the #3 Orange Metulios cam on almost every pitch I protected.
Two or three hexes in the 1.5 to 3 inch range.
Lot's of shoulder and double shoulder webbing.

Why you should climb this route.

1. The weather is better.
2. The enchantment lakes are about as good as Washington State gets for scenery, mountain ambiance, and high quality granite, suffer the enormous pack and hang out for a few days.
3. If you've only been cragging and want to sample Alpine rock climbing, this is the perfect introduction.
4. If you have the Hans Florine tendency for go fast and light, this is doable, and the rock is solid enough to solo, if that's your thing. Be able to downclimb 5.6 cracks with complete confidence, or pack a superlight rap line.
5. There are enough granite spires and summits in the area to keep an ambitious climber busy for weeks.
6. The weather is better.



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.