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Elevation: 7,011 ft 2,137 m
GPS: 48.61952, -121.15124
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Shared By: Lizzy Trower on Jan 30, 2006 · Updates
Admins: Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick, Zachary Winters
Warning Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closure at Newhalem Crags March 1st to mid-July DetailsDrop down

Description Suggest change

The North Cascades are home to a huge number of peaks with many excellent alpine climbs. It is unlike other North American ranges such as the Sierra, Wind River or Colorado Rockies in that the local relief is immense and consistent - much more like a plateau of summits with deeply cut gorges in between than a series of ridges that ascend to a high point. The North Cascades is also northernly on the continent and has a maritime climate - this results in its containing the majority of the glaciers in the lower 48. Deep, mossy gorges, countless beautiful falls, endless devil's club and banded Skagit gneiss on the west side give way to rattlesnakes, hot summers, endless sharp ridgelines and sedimentary choss. Both sides of the range, however, have pockets of lovely granite scattered hither and yon, and intense bushwhacks to many of the peaks. In a low-elevation range with so much snow and rainfall, plus deep glacier-sculpted cirques and valleys, those who access these sometime-remote peaks are a special type of Cascade hardmen. The mainstays of good rock include Washington Pass, parts of Boston Basin, the Gunsight Range, and parts of the Pickets. With so much to offer and typical alpine approaches, you probably won't find mobs of other people. Where granite exists, the rock is mostly very good, offering cracks, chimneys, flakes, roofs, etc. Summer is the time for alpine rock. 

Getting There Suggest change

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.

223 Total Climbs

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Location: North Cascades Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at North Cascades

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
WI3 Steep Snow
 195
North Ridge
Ice, Snow, Alpine
Easy Snow
 137
East Ridge
Snow, Alpine
4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b AI1-2 Mod. Snow
 136
Fisher Chimneys
Trad, Ice, Snow, Alpine
5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a Mod. Snow
 70
Southeast Ridge (SE Corner)
Trad, Snow, Alpine 3 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Mod. Snow
 275
West Ridge
Trad, Snow, Alpine
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
 74
East Ridge Direct
Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 491
Southwest Rib
Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 234
Northwest Corner (a.k.a. Boving-…
Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 97
East Face
Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 89
East Face / Rebel Yell
Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 85
Clean Break
Trad, Alpine 15 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c C2
 132
Liberty Crack
Trad, Aid, Alpine 12 pitches
5.11- 6c 22 VIII- 22 E3 5c
 283
The West Face
Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
5.11- 6c 22 VIII- 22 E3 5c
 140
The Hitchhiker
Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
 47
Thin Red Line
Trad, Alpine 11 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
North Ridge Mt Baker
 195
WI3 Steep Snow Ice, Snow, Alpine
East Ridge Eldorado Peak > Main Peak
 137
Easy Snow Snow, Alpine
Fisher Chimneys Mt Shuksan > Main Peak
 136
4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b AI1-2 Mod. Snow Trad, Ice, Snow, Alpine
Southeast Ridge (SE Corner) Mt Shuksan > Main Peak
 70
5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a Mod. Snow Trad, Snow, Alpine 3 pitches
West Ridge Boston Basin > Forbidden Peak
 275
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Mod. Snow Trad, Snow, Alpine
East Ridge Direct Boston Basin > Forbidden Peak
 74
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
Southwest Rib Washington Pass > Liberty Bell Group > S Early Winters Spire
 491
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
Northwest Corner (a.k.a. Bo… Washington Pass > Liberty Bell Group > N Early Winter Spire
 234
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
East Face Washington Pass > Liberty Bell Group > Lexington Tower
 97
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
East Face / Rebel Yell Washington Pass > Silver Star & W… > Chianti Spire
 89
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
Clean Break Washington Pass > Silver Star & W… > Juno Tower
 85
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad, Alpine 15 pitches
Liberty Crack Washington Pass > Liberty Bell Group > Liberty Bell
 132
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c C2 Trad, Aid, Alpine 12 pitches
The West Face Washington Pass > Liberty Bell Group > N Early Winter Spire
 283
5.11- 6c 22 VIII- 22 E3 5c Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
The Hitchhiker Washington Pass > Liberty Bell Group > S Early Winters Spire
 140
5.11- 6c 22 VIII- 22 E3 5c Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
Thin Red Line Washington Pass > Liberty Bell Group > Liberty Bell
 47
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b Trad, Alpine 11 pitches
More Classic Climbs in North Cascades »

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