Sign Up  |   Log In:Login with Facebook
REI Community
Mount Rainier
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Central Mowich Face 
Curtis Ridge T 
Emmons Glacier 
Fuhrer Finger 
Fuhrer Thumb 
Gibraltar Ledges 
Ingraham Glacier Direct 
Ingraham Glacier-Disappointment Cleaver Route T 
Kautz Glacier 
Liberty Ridge 
North Mowich Headwall 
Ptarmigan Ridge 
Skookum Falls 
Willis Wall 
Unsorted Routes:

Liberty Ridge 

AI2-3

   
Type:  Ice, Alpine, 10500', Grade IV
Original: AI2-3 Steep Snow [details]
FA: Ome Daiber, Arnie Campbell and Jim Burrow - 1935
Season: May - June
Page Views: 36,591
Submitted By: Josh Garner on Jun 12, 2009

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (60)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Around the sround.

Description 

Approach via the White River Campground/Glacier Basin Trail and hike into the base of the ridge on the Carbon Glacier via St. Elmos Pass and across Curtis Ridge (most parties camp on Curtis Ridge). After negotiating the cracks on the Carbon Glacier, start scouting your access onto the ridge (either side can be accessed around 8000 ft). Climb 30-40 degree snow slopes and traverse scree and rocks up to Thumb Rock at 10,500 ft. From Thumb Rock, either go straight up a short ice pitch (70-80 degrees) in the center of a rock band, or traverse up and left/right around the cliff. From 11,000 to 12,000, stay on or near the crest of the ridge and climb increasingly steeper slopes and maybe a few icy sections up to 50 degrees. At 12k (Black Pyramid) go east (left) out onto the Willis Wall on exposed snow/ice faces up to 60 degrees. Climb several pitches of 50-60 degree ice and negotiate steep glacier travel until gaining the Liberty Cap Glacier around 13,500 ft. Seasonal bridges and icy ledges provide passage up onto the glacier - be prepared to climb a few short (5-8 ft) vertical ice sections to surpass the bergschrund and other cracks. Once through, the slope angle decreases until the Liberty Cap summit is reached at 14,112 ft. Either head down from here or go across the broad plateau to a col (13,600 ft) and then on to Columbia Crest at 14,411 ft. Many parties descend the well-traveled Emmons-Winthrop route down to Camp Shurman.

Protection 

4-6 screws and a few pickets


Photos of Liberty Ridge Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The Liberty Wall calves a McMansion-sized serac an...
The Liberty Wall calves a McMansion-sized serac an...
Rock Climbing Photo: i love this stuff!  beautiful
i love this stuff! beautiful
Rock Climbing Photo: Intricate crossing of Carbon gl. - 06/29/2013
BETA PHOTO: Intricate crossing of Carbon gl. - 06/29/2013
Rock Climbing Photo: winter wonder land on the Winthrop. This is on the...
winter wonder land on the Winthrop. This is on the...
Rock Climbing Photo: Scott Bell taking a break below the Black Pyramid ...
Scott Bell taking a break below the Black Pyramid ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Awesome pic of climbers at the bergschrund / top o...
BETA PHOTO: Awesome pic of climbers at the bergschrund / top o...
Rock Climbing Photo: bivy ~11k.  Fits 2 person tent perfectly but is ex...
BETA PHOTO: bivy ~11k. Fits 2 person tent perfectly but is ex...
Rock Climbing Photo: Steep snow above Thumb Rock (5-23-09).
Steep snow above Thumb Rock (5-23-09).
Rock Climbing Photo: Enjoying the corn on the Inter Glacier after carry...
Enjoying the corn on the Inter Glacier after carry...
Rock Climbing Photo: Crossing the bergschrund before the final ice pitc...
Crossing the bergschrund before the final ice pitc...
Rock Climbing Photo: At the Thumb rock high camp. 06/30/2013.
BETA PHOTO: At the Thumb rock high camp. 06/30/2013.
Rock Climbing Photo: Early season looking SE onto the Carbon Glacier fr...
BETA PHOTO: Early season looking SE onto the Carbon Glacier fr...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pete Lardy crossing the Carbon near the toe of Lib...
BETA PHOTO: Pete Lardy crossing the Carbon near the toe of Lib...
Rock Climbing Photo: Exploring the lower Carbon Glacier.  June 2012
Exploring the lower Carbon Glacier. June 2012
Rock Climbing Photo: Myself getting over the Liberty shrund
Myself getting over the Liberty shrund
Rock Climbing Photo: Coming up the ice before the bergschrund
Coming up the ice before the bergschrund
Rock Climbing Photo: Liberty Ridge from Curtis Ridge. July 01, 2009 -- ...
Liberty Ridge from Curtis Ridge. July 01, 2009 -- ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Coming over the "rock step" at dawn in s...
Coming over the "rock step" at dawn in s...
Rock Climbing Photo: Light and fast at the Thumb rock high camp. 06/30/...
BETA PHOTO: Light and fast at the Thumb rock high camp. 06/30/...
Rock Climbing Photo: Near the Black Pyramid/Shield.  Photo By John
Near the Black Pyramid/Shield. Photo By John
Rock Climbing Photo: On the Lib cap summit. 06/30/2013.
BETA PHOTO: On the Lib cap summit. 06/30/2013.
Rock Climbing Photo: On the lower ridge, below thumb rock.
On the lower ridge, below thumb rock.
Rock Climbing Photo: View of the route from Curtis Ridge
BETA PHOTO: View of the route from Curtis Ridge
Rock Climbing Photo: Above Black Pyramid at 13700'. 06/30/2013.
BETA PHOTO: Above Black Pyramid at 13700'. 06/30/2013.

Show All 37 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Liberty Ridge Add Comment
Show which comments
By Martin le Roux
From: Superior, CO
Jun 21, 2011

Beware of loose rock on the lower part of the ridge, especially after the snow cover melts later in the season. We were almost taken out by rockfall when crossing from the Carbon Glacier onto the ridge.

Otherwise it's a great route, although some of the slope angles in the above description may be exaggerated. I don't remember anything in excess of 60 degrees except for a short section at the bergscrund near the top.
By Curt Nelson
From: Fort Collins, CO
Jul 8, 2011
rating: AI2-3 Steep Snow

20 hours? Car to car! That's friggin awesome Phil.
By Oliver Deshler
Jun 23, 2012

Likely new ski descent off Liberty Ridge (from the ridge into thermogenesis.)

county5.blogspot.com/2012/06/l...
By Portwood
From: Your moms house last night
Oct 8, 2012
rating: WI2 Steep Snow

By Alissa Doherty
From: Boston, MA
Jul 11, 2013

Warm conditions can make the lower portion of the ridge very difficult to navigate. You should be able to gain Thumb Rock with minimal rock/scree traverses. If climbing sustained choss, back off or find another gully (best entry is on the West side).
By Jon Nelson
Administrator
From: Bellingham, WA
Jun 5, 2014

Thanks for pointing this out Jikimika.

There is a bug in the averaging algorithm when two grade types are used. In this case, some people use WI and some use AI. The site guru is working on it.

(Update June 10: Now fixed. Thanks to the site manager who is constantly improving things.)

But in the meantime, is WI appropriate here? I haven't been on the route, but I would guess that most of the ice is year-round.
By Don Morris
From: Denver, CO
Jul 2, 2014

After mounting Liberty Cap with high winds, blowing snow and/or poor visibility it may be difficult to see entry point on to the Emmons glacier. Do not go too low towards the Winthrop glacier. Stay around 13,500 feet until you find a moderate entry point onto Emmons.

The Definitive
Climbing Resource

Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run

Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps

Backcountry, Sidecountry
& Secret Stashes

Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!