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Routes in Mt. Washington

North Ridge T Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c Easy Snow
North Ridge - Summer T 5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c PG13
Southeast Spur T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13
West Ridge T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
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Type: Trad, 350 ft, 3 pitches
FA: Ervin McNeal, Phil Philbrook, Armin Furrer, Wilbur Watkins, Leo Harryman, and Ronald Sellers known as the "Boys from Bend"
Page Views: 2,767 total · 44/month
Shared By: Paul Wellner on Mar 19, 2013
Admins: Nate Ball, Micah Klesick

You & This Route

19 Opinions

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Description [Edit]

Just a couple additions to add for a summer climb
I parked at the PCT trail head and found the cairn on the left about 2.5 miles in on the PCT.
Turn left at the cairn and with some light bushwhacking for about 200 yards you'll find trials that lead up to the North Ridge.

Once on the ridge any obstacles you come to pass them on the West side which has less exposure.
At the base of the summit pinnacle you will encounter a loose gully. Follow the gully up left and eastward until you see a ledge up 10 feet and on your right.
Climb to the ledge and follow it still facing east until you see what I call the notch.
Once you pass through the notch you'll find a one foot wide ledge extremely exposed that you follow for about 20 feet.
At the end of this ledge there will be a slight gully on your right with nice holds, the crux but remember to test them well before trusting them. Climb this with a couple of un-nerving moves then it will ease up and scramble to the summit.
I climbed this route solo but... please use a belayer if at all possible as solo is not safe. These few difficult moves are only difficult due to the exposure and would be nothing in your living room.
The descent is straight forward using two existing rappel stations which will land you back in the gully.

Location [Edit]

Take US 20-126 to the Hoodoo Ski Bowl and Big Lake turnoff one mile west of Santiam Pass. Turn south off of 20-126 onto USFS 2690 and follow it south until you reach NF-811(NF500). Turn left and follow to the PCT trail head which will be on your right. This is a bit longer but easier to follow than the other description for the North Ridge route approach.

Protection [Edit]

Webbing, rappel rings, and one 60m rope. There are two rappel locations/anchors for the descent.
First pitch definitely the most difficult. Don't be suckered into the left-most ledge, go a little further over, and there's a pretty obvious rotten chimney to head into. You'll find that it curves to the right, and puts you into a good standing platform with a tiny notched roof. I'd say this is the crux bit right here [especially if you're short like me], a single vertical 5.5ish move to get up and over, and travel up and to the left, until you curve around to a slung horn. Definitely bring a ton of extendable draws to reduce rope drag. After first pitch, pretty straight forward 4th class on rotten rock with tons of exposure. Aug 25, 2014
Portland, OR.
brucelacroix   Portland, OR.
Crumbly volcanic rock, an Oregon classic. Sep 3, 2014
Ben Stabley
Portland, OR
  5.3 PG13
Ben Stabley   Portland, OR
  5.3 PG13
If you have a large (more than 2 or 3 people), or if there are parties on the approach ridge or descending behind you, taking the scree-ski descent may not be the wisest idea due to a high probability of rockfall induced injuries. It's very easy to dislodge softball-sized and larger rocks while coming down the loose scree and talus, and not a lot of "safe" places to move between. Aug 4, 2016
Greg Turnbaugh
Portland, OR
  5.3 PG13
Greg Turnbaugh   Portland, OR
  5.3 PG13
There is a Beta Photo (from Summit Post) running around of this climb that indicates a single rack, tricams and some slings. After leading all three pitches last weekend, save the weight, the entire route can be protected reusing 6x 120cm slings. I recommend Nylon over Dyneema. Sling horns as you go, the rest is unnecessary.

Rappel: There are 4 Rappel stations, and 3 Belay stations. The additional rappel station is an intermediate on pitch 2 on the right. A doubled 60m rope for rappel will not reach from the top of the 2nd pitch back to the 1st pitch belay station.

Use the intermediate station west of the route to traverse back to the 1st pitch belay station, otherwise you will have to down freeclimb the hardest section of pitch 2.

Take your time approaching the Notch, the scrambling is the sketchiest part of this mountain. Sep 2, 2017

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