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Forbidden Peak
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East Ridge Direct 

YDS: 5.8- French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 14 British: VS 4c

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.8- French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 14 British: VS 4c [details]
FA: 1940 Fred Beckey, Helmy Beckey, Jim Crooks, Dave Lind, Lloyd Anderson
Season: June - August
Page Views: 4,835
Submitted By: Adrian Lazar on Aug 11, 2011

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (18)
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The last gendarme


A great alpine climb easily accessible (~4-5h from car park).

From camp, ascend north towards Forbidden's South Face. Reach a notch in the ridge and go left around the first gendarme. You'll reach a bivy spot where you can leave your boots+crampons,etc.

From the bivy spot climb a few pitches of low class 5. Climb up a second gendarme and knife edge ridge. After climbing the third gendarme you'll need to rappel into a narrow notch, there's plenty of tat. The third gendarme can be avoided by climbing around it on the north side. The second last pitch is the crux pitch, 5.8 (nothing difficult).

The great rock provides awesome holds.

Descent the north side by rapping and traversing climber's right. We made 5 rappels and simul climbed until we reached the bivy site where we stored our gear.


Forbidden Peak, located in Boston Basin, east of Marblemount on the Cascade River Road


A set of cams, half a set of nuts (small nuts), lots of slings.

Photos of East Ridge Direct Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: On the East Ridge.
On the East Ridge.
Rock Climbing Photo: East Ridge climbin.
East Ridge climbin.
Rock Climbing Photo: East Ridge of Forbidden Peak starting to the left ...
East Ridge of Forbidden Peak starting to the left ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Traversing the East Ledges of doom. This photo was...
Traversing the East Ledges of doom. This photo was...
Rock Climbing Photo: Booyah!
Rock Climbing Photo: Near the top of the ridge on July 4th
Near the top of the ridge on July 4th

Comments on East Ridge Direct Add Comment
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By Daniel Coltrane
From: Seattle, WA
Aug 19, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Why would this be rated PG-13? The gear is good and there are no substantial runouts on hard ground.
By Eric Fjellanger
Aug 25, 2011

I found the rock to be pretty good with ample gear. The climb is largely a rising traverse, so there's nearly equal risk for the follower as for the leader.

Note that you can bypass both Gendarmes on the right/east side. Done this way the whole climb can go at 5.6 or so.

Have your descent figured out!! There's no easy way off Forbidden, so whether you descend the East Ledges, or downclimb the West Ridge (or some more obscure option), when you reach the summit, you are no more than halfway through your day.
By lucander
From: Stone Ridge, NY
Aug 5, 2013
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c PG13

I actually thought this was a better route than its famous neighbor. We went directly over each gendarme, there's some suspect rock at a few points. Note that descent via 5 raps down east ledges gets very dangerous once "3rd classing" begins.
By Nick Seaman
From: Denver, CO
Mar 6, 2014

Classic route in a classic setting! We stayed true to the ridgeline the whole climb and found the rock to be of good quality minus one or two loose easy sections. The real fun (type 2) begins after leaving the summit. I've read that some climbers find the descent down the East Ledges "loose and stressful", and I totally agree. Intense exposure and unprotectable loose scrambling in the no fall zone make for a full-on descent. However, if you can keep your sh!t together it's not that bad, and I would use this descent option in the future.
By Liz Donley
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 9, 2015
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

Fairly safe but time consuming to descend the west ridge. Good judgement and route finding skills needed! The exposure and position were great, but the rock quality was sometimes not the best (in my opinion). I agree with the type II fun comment! The approach and descent were quite strenuous for the number of pitches of technical climbing that you get on the climb. Great exercise, for sure!

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