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Routes in Forbidden Peak

East Ridge Direct T 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
NW Face T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
North Ridge T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Mod. Snow
West Ridge T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Mod. Snow
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Type: Trad, Alpine, 1200 ft, 7 pitches, Grade III
FA: Fred Beckey and Ed Cooper on July 15, 1959
Page Views: 2,696 total · 96/month
Shared By: Jeff Hebert on Jul 27, 2016
Admins: Scott Coldiron, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick

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Fred Beckey calls it "an exceptional climb of purity." Blake Herrington says "The Northwest Face is Forbidden's best route."

Once at the base of the route (see approach beta below), solo or simul-climb steep, somewhat loose 4th to low-5th class for about 500 feet to the start of a knife-edge section.

Cross the knife-edge ridge at 5.6 and then up through the crux (staying true to the ridge and stemming as well as crack climbing) at 5.8.

Once the ridge blends into the face, head up and left through a wide chimney feature where the rock steepens and then continue up low-5th to 5.6 terrain on good rock to the summit.

Descend the West Ridge or East Ledges.


Two approach options exist—via Sharkfin Col and the Boston Glacier over the North Ridge or via the West Ridge notch.

Most parties seem to opt for the Sharkfin Col approach, which is longer at 6-7 hours (versus ~4), but less hazardous and requires only one rope.


Double rack .3 to 2
Single set of nuts
Light axe and crampons


Peter Cole
New Hampshire
Peter Cole   New Hampshire
This is the best route I have done in the North Cascades and while that number is not that large, this route definitely has all the features of a true alpine classic. Mar 24, 2018

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