Type: Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches
FA: Robin Barley, Nick Barley, Kevin McLane, 1994
Page Views: 6,726 total · 127/month
Shared By: Hans on Aug 14, 2014
Admins: Nate Ball, Kate Lynn

You & This Route

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Life On Earth is a fantastic 5 pitch route that receives a a fair bit of traffic despite the long approach. The route is very clean with well featured rock, and has great exposure and amazing views along its entire length. The route has some crack climbing but mainly consists of lower angle face climbing on small holds. Cruxes are often protected by bolts, and though there are some runout in general the route is very well protected.

Ledge mountain and Sky Pilot as seen from the route Life On Earth, Mt. Habrich.

Note that the route at times feels somewhat contrived, as the climbing line generally climbs along an arête/buttress, protected by bolts, while sometimes easier crack climbing lies just a few metres to the right. Having said that, the route is great fun and is highly recommended.

All belays are fixed with bolts. Pitch lengths and grades described below are estimates. Feel free to send me a message if corrections are needed.

Photo topo of Life On Earth, Mt. Habrich

See the Mt. Habrich page for details on the approach.

Looking up from the base of Life on Earth on an unsummery mid-August day.

P1: 40m, 5.10b. From around the right side of the arête, climb easily up a to the top of a pedestal. Clip a bolt, then move right into the left-facing corner. Climb the corner, wide at first, for several metres until a line of bolts lead left and up to the belay.

I placed a BD#4 in the corner, but this was the only place I used it on the entire route.

Pitch 1 of Life on Earth.

A direct start to pitch 1 begins left of the regular route and climbs directly up the arête at 5.11c.

P2: 45m, 5.10b. Climb up the left facing corner on somewhat grainy rock through a bulge (10a) for a few metres until reaching bolts on the left face that lead left and up to the belay.

Looking down on pitch 2 of Life On Earth, Mt. Habrich

P3: 50m, 5.10c. A mix of easier cracks and bolted face climbing lead to a belay on the crest of the arête. The crux is near the end, and consists of stepping left from a groove and climbing a bolt protected face.

Pitch 3 of Life on Earth.

P4: 55m, 5.10b. Climb straight up the face. The first bolt is quite high - look for nut placements. Step left of the arête into a groove, then back right to face climbing that leads to a belay on the right side of the arête.

P5: 55m, 5.10b. Climb left and up to a short crack, then up and right on a lower angled bolt protected face.

The summit of Mt. Habrich is a short scramble from here.

Looking northwest from the top of the final pitch of Life On Earth, Mt. Habrich. The summit is a short scramble from here.


Rappel the route with two ropes, right back to the packs you left at the base (recommended).

Alternatively, from the summit make six rappels, up to 30 metres in length, down the route Escape Velocity to reach the col on the west side of Mt. Habrich. The first rappel anchor is just below the summit. All anchors are fixed.

Alternatively, from the summit downclimb the regular route, skiers left of Escape Velocity. As of July 2014 this was equipped with some fixed lines, though a rappel or two may be necessary as you get near the west col. At this point the regular route is very close to both the second and third pitches of Escape Velocity, and it would be easy to use the rappel anchors on that route if necessary.

See the link below for a topo of Escape Velocity that also shows the regular route. Note that this topo describes the regular route as a "bush thrash", but it seemed quite reasonable to me. jeremyfrimer.com/uploads/2/…


I brought a rack from green Alien to BD#4 along with a set of nuts. I placed the 4 just once, and I don't remember ever placing the 3. There are a lot of bolts, and so just a single rack of cams is sufficient. There are many places where nuts fit great and cams do not.

Bring at least 10 draws, including some "alpine type" draws.

Double ropes are needed to retreat or to rappel the route.
wayne wallace
wayne wallace   Seattle
I did a trip report on this route 2015 waynewallace.wordpress.com/…
It is worth doing for the views, climbing, and tram ride.

We took the Sea-to-Sky Tram which takes you just over half way up the mountain. A few easy miles, then long steep up-hill trail, leads to the split heading to the right in the trail, then the base of the route. Look for a red rope heading up to the base of the climb. The first pitch is very fun with cracks and face moves. The rest of the route has an occasional hard face moves with decent rock the whole way. We were surprised to see many parties up there even on a Friday, but we never were slowed down. We teamed up with the party behind us to double up our collective ropes and rappel the route. Much better option than going down the other way in rock shoes. Sep 14, 2015
Doug Hutchinson
Seattle, WA
Doug Hutchinson   Seattle, WA
Every pitch is fun and cerebral climbing, and those views... Jul 9, 2017