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North Cascades

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Black Peak 
Boston Basin 
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Washington Pass 

North Cascades Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 48.5093, -120.66 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 124,840
Administrators: Scott Coldiron, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Lizzy Trower on Jan 30, 2006
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You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Gaping crevasse on the Inspiration Glacier, North ...

Description 

The North Cascades are home to a huge number of sharp granite peaks with many excellent alpine climbs. With so much to offer and typical alpine approaches, you probably won't find mobs of other people. The granite is mostly very good, offering cracks, chimneys, flakes, roofs, etc. Summer is the time for alpine rock.

Getting There 

The general North Cascades area can be reached either by driving west on Highway 20 from I-5 (although Highway 20 is more often closed than not) or by driving east on Highway 2 to Leavenworth or I-90, then North on Highway 97 and North again on Highway 153, which meets up with the other side of Highway 20 in Twisp.

Climbing Season



Weather station 12.3 miles from here

116 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',21],['3 Stars',62],['2 Stars',24],['1 Star',6],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',27],['5.7',5],['5.8',17],['5.9',6],['5.10',14],['5.11',20],['5.12',7],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in North Cascades

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for North Cascades:
North Ridge   WI2-3     Ice, Alpine, 3000'   Mt. Baker
Northeast Buttress   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, Alpine, Grade IV   Mt. Goode
West Ridge   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, Alpine, 1500'   Boston Basin : Forbidden Peak
Beckey Route (SW Face)   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, Alpine, 3 pitches   Washington Pass : Liberty Bell
Torment-Forbidden Traverse    5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, Alpine, Grade IV   Boston Basin : Mount Torment
East Ridge Direct   5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches   Boston Basin : Forbidden Peak
Southwest Rib   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 600'   Washington Pass : South Early Winters Spire
East Ridge   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 800'   Southern Pickets : Inspiration Peak
Northwest Corner (a.k.a. Boving-Pollack Route)   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches   Washington Pass : North Early Winter Spire
East Face   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, Alpine, 10 pitches, 800'   Washington Pass : Lexington Tower
Clean Break   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 15 pitches, 1500'   Silver Star and connected s... : Juno Tower
Direct East Buttress   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches   Washington Pass : South Early Winters Spire
The Hitchhiker   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches, 900'   Washington Pass : South Early Winters Spire
The West Face   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches   Washington Pass : North Early Winter Spire
Liberty Crack   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c C2     Trad, Aid, Alpine, 12 pitches, 1200'   Washington Pass : Liberty Bell
Ellen Pea   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 900'   Washington Pass : M&M wall (AKA "Supercave Wa...
The Passenger   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 900'   Washington Pass : South Early Winters Spire
Freedom or Death   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches   Washington Pass : Liberty Bell
Liberty and Injustice for All   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a PG13     Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 650'   Washington Pass : Liberty Bell
Thin Red Line (Free Version)   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Trad, Alpine, 11 pitches, 1100'   Washington Pass : Liberty Bell
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in North Cascades

Featured Route For North Cascades
Rock Climbing Photo: looking down p2

The Hitchhiker 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c  WA : Northwest Region : ... : South Early Winters Spire
The route ascends the south face of South Early Winters Spire and starts in a small left-facing dihedral with 4 bolts. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in WA

Photos of North Cascades Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunrise Eldorado Peak North Cascades NP
Sunrise Eldorado Peak North Cascades NP
Rock Climbing Photo: Johannesburg from across the valley.  North Cascad...
Johannesburg from across the valley. North Cascad...
Rock Climbing Photo: Fog and mountain goats: must be the Cascades.
Fog and mountain goats: must be the Cascades.
Rock Climbing Photo: Weather rolling in looking SW from Buckner summit
Weather rolling in looking SW from Buckner summit
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunrise above the sea of clouds, Eldorado Peak, No...
Sunrise above the sea of clouds, Eldorado Peak, No...
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Asaly - emergency rappel off the Ptarmigan Tr...
Mike Asaly - emergency rappel off the Ptarmigan Tr...
Rock Climbing Photo: Cascade Pass area
Cascade Pass area
Rock Climbing Photo: Deep crevasse on the "Coleman Glacier."
Deep crevasse on the "Coleman Glacier."
Rock Climbing Photo: A few pitches away from the summit of Burgundy Spi...
A few pitches away from the summit of Burgundy Spi...
Rock Climbing Photo: Rainier peaks out above the clouds while climbing ...
Rainier peaks out above the clouds while climbing ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Heading up Entiat Icefall on north side of Mt. Mea...
Heading up Entiat Icefall on north side of Mt. Mea...
Rock Climbing Photo: During a winter attempt on Whitehorse Mtn. near Da...
During a winter attempt on Whitehorse Mtn. near Da...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Liberty Bell group and the North Cascades high...
The Liberty Bell group and the North Cascades high...
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climber on p2 of Becky Route, Liberty Bell...
Unknown climber on p2 of Becky Route, Liberty Bell...
Rock Climbing Photo: Washington Pass
Washington Pass
Rock Climbing Photo: Lupine.  Boston Basin, North Cascades NP
Lupine. Boston Basin, North Cascades NP
Rock Climbing Photo: Mt. Shuksan. Photo by Blitzo.
Mt. Shuksan. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Crevasse Rescue Practice
Crevasse Rescue Practice
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunset in the North Cascades NP
Sunset in the North Cascades NP
Rock Climbing Photo: Mount Baker. Photo by Blitzo.
Mount Baker. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Near the summit of Mt. Baker.
Near the summit of Mt. Baker.
Rock Climbing Photo: Mt. Baker. Photo by Blitzo.
Mt. Baker. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunrise from Eldorado Peak high bivy. North Cascad...
Sunrise from Eldorado Peak high bivy. North Cascad...
Rock Climbing Photo: Wine Spires.
Wine Spires.

Show All 24 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on North Cascades Add Comment
Show which comments
By OReid
From: Denver, CO
Apr 3, 2011
The North Cascades are composed of a wide variety of rock types, but primarily Skagit gneiss, not granite. The rock tends to be crumbly, but there are pockets of good firm climbing. Forbidden Peak, Gunsight Mountain, Dome Peak, and Goode Mountain come to mind as being particularly solid. As the pictures above indicate, it is not the rock quality, but the glaciation and alpine ambiance that make this range unique in the lower 48!

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