Avg: 3 from 7 votes
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 1500 ft (455 m), 12 pitches, Grade III|
|FA:||Hans Kraus and Roger Wolcott, 1946.|
|Page Views:||9,686 total · 62/month|
|Shared By:||Joe Stern on Dec 11, 2007|
|Admins:||Mike Snyder, Taylor Spiegelberg, Jake Dickerson|
As you're looking at the West Face of Mt. Helen from Titcomb Basin, the Tower Ridge starts by ascending the gentler ridge on the right side of the steep West Face. This involves about 1,000' of climbing, with lots of 5.7 sections in the middle and some 4th class to easy 5th in the beginning and near the top of Tower 1. Pass Tower 2 on the right (to the south). Pass Tower 3 to the left (north) and climb a short section of steep, exposed easy 5th class rock (which often holds snow/ice) to get to the knife-edge saddle between Tower 3 and the summit of Mt. Helen. The summit ridge provides another 500' of entertainment, including the crux climbing.
The entire climb is on excellent rock.
Descent options are many. Frequently, parties will make a shorter outing of the climb by descending from the summit of Tower 1 instead of continuing to the top of Helen. The mountain is a complex collection of spires, towers, ridges, gullies, ice couloirs, and talus fields. Invest some time in scouting out your options for descent.