West Ridge

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 48.71500°N / 121.995°W
Additional Information Route Type: Scramble
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: 4th class
Sign the Climber's Log


From the southeast side of the road that loops around the Dailey Prairie find the trail which branches from the main loop at about 48.722 degrees north, 122.030 degrees west; elevation 3240ft. This trail leads to the west ridge. Ascend the trail through the old growth firs until reaching the ridge crest. Follow the ridge to the summit.

Route Description

The West Ridge of North Twin Sister is a wonderful scramble on superb rock. Follow the ridge crest whenever possible. In places where the ridge crest is obviously more difficult to reach than it is to traverse to the right, traverse. There are several places along the route where traversing a bit to the right and then climbing back to the ridge crest is the easiest way to travel. Most of the route is class three. There are a few class four sections and the climbing gets steeper as the ridge gains altitude. The quality of the rock, however, makes even the smallest handhold or foothold seem like a ledge. When climbing this ridge, one gets the feeling that there's no place where a good handhold or foothold don't exist. There is a wonderful route description which I won't plagiarize here in Fred Beckey's Cascade Alpine Guide, Volume 3. Read it.

Essential Gear

Bring an ice axe prior to July as you will need it in the snow before you get to the ridge. Also, bring one if you plan to descend the north route, which is the quickest way down the mountian.

Miscellaneous Info

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

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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schitthaedt - Aug 15, 2003 11:49 am - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

From Bellingham: follow Mt. Baker highway east past Deming, do NOT turn south onto Hwy 9. About 1 mile after junction with Hwy 9, turn right onto Mosquito Lake Rd. Follow main road to large gravel pit, turn left onto gravel road at gravel pit. This gravel road runs along the Middle Fork of the Noosack River. Continue past the first bridge encountered, which runs over Clearwater Creek. Soon the road splits. Take the lower road which quickly ends at a gated bridge over the Middle Fork Nooksack (coords 48.7671 N, 122.0381 W). Park there, do not drive over the bridge as it is presently privately owned by a logging company. Follow the main logging road for a few miles, crossing a small creek along the way. Follow the second right after the creek (coords 48.74588 N, 122.01416 W). You will know this is the right trail because a huge pile of boulders covers a section of the road shortly after it begins. Follow this trail, which turns into another logging road, staying left at the next split in the road. Take the next trail (NOT ROAD) to the left (uphill) which leads to the base of the ridge. The entire approach is easy, relatively flat terrain, but it is long and a bike is recommended. It will also be very useful to take a look at the topo maps of the area (www.topozone.com).

Derek Franzen

Derek Franzen - May 4, 2005 11:39 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

Very good directions. It is also helpful to know that the 2nd left (uphill) is at a slight crest of a hill, where if you continued straight, you would descend and arrive at Dailey Prairie. The trail (uphill) turns into another abandoned logging road, ditched in many places, rising into an older clearcut. Follow the road to near it's end and find a sign, was posted (as of 5/9/04), marking the route to the W Ridge (clearly visible from here), which heads E and uphill from the sign to the base of the W Ridge route.

To reach Sisters Cirque follow the logging road to it's end at a logging landing. At the far end (South end) of the landing there is a trail (faint in spots) which traverses across the clearcut, staying nearly level, and at spots entering the timber above it, the 1/2 to 3/4 mile distance to the entrance of Sisters Cirque. When making the traverse (in either direction) DO NOT descend below the level of the logging landing but maintain your elevation slightly above (the landing).

Viewing: 1-2 of 2



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