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Routes in Mt. Formidable

NE Face Direct T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
Elevation: 8,325 ft
GPS: 48.416, -121.067 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 1,359 total, 29/month
Shared By: Dane Burke on Feb 2, 2014
Admins: Scott Coldiron, Nate Ball, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick

Description

The aptly named Formidable is an imposing mountain in the depths of the Cascade wilderness. It is summited by a handful of parties each year, generally by the south scramble route - which, at "only" class 3, is quite serious and has been the scene of at least one fatality. The south route is the only practical descent and involves difficult route finding, constant exposure and loose rock. There is no cell reception and you're unlikely to be on the mountain within a week of another party. If you set out for this summit you will be on your own in an incredibly scenic yet dangerous and inhospitable setting.

Getting There

Mt. Formidable is almost always accessed via the Ptarmigan Traverse route. From Cascade Pass (five miles by trail from the Cascade Pass TH) take a boot path heading uphill to the south. Traverse along Mix-Up Arm on a mix of heather, talus and snow. Ascend the mellow Cache Glacier to Cache Col (cornice in early season). From the col you'll get your first view of Mt. Formidable...above the heavily crevassed Formidable Glacier rises the NE Face, an awe-inspiring view familiar to anyone who's summited peaks in the Cascade Pass area. Cross the col and make a descending traverse SSE to Kool-Aid Lake (good campsite) along more heather, talus and snow. Contour south to the Red Ledge, which affords passage beyond the west ridge of Art's Knoll. Continue south to Middle Cascade Glacier - aiming for the col at the south end of the glacier if doing the south route or Ptarmigan Traverse, or dropping down on easy heather to cross the glacier below an icefall if heading for the NE Face.

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