Mt. Formidable Rock Climbing
Mt. Formidable as seen from Kool-Aid Lake
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.
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.
Climbing Season For the North Cascades area.
Weather station 21.9 miles from here
1 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Featured Route For Mt. Formidable
NE Face Direct 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
: Northwest Region
: ... : Mt. Formidable
Ascend the Formidable Glacier to the low point of the NE face. Find a good spot to cross the moat and climb approx. 80m up low angle dirty 4th (no pro). Traverse left to an obvious couloir. Climb the couloir (50-60 degree snow or AI2, rock pro to right) and pull over the chockstone at the top. Make another short traverse left then ascend directly up the face on low-5th with occasional steeper steps no harder than 5.6. Keep an eye out for the "duo-lith", an obvious boulder split by an off-width. ...[more] Browse More Classics in Washington