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North Ridge - Summer 

YDS: 5.2 French: 3 Ewbanks: 8 UIAA: II ZA: 8 British: D 2c PG13

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 350'
Original:  YDS: 5.1 French: 2 Ewbanks: 6 UIAA: II ZA: 7 British: MD 2a PG13 [details]
FA: Ervin McNeal, Phil Philbrook, Armin Furrer, Wilbur Watkins, Leo Harryman, and Ronald Sellers known as the "Boys from Bend"
Season: Summer
Page Views: 2,616
Submitted By: Paul Wellner on Mar 19, 2013

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (16)
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Awesome view! LOL


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.


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.


Webbing, rappel rings, and one 60m rope. There are two rappel locations/anchors for the descent.

Photos of North Ridge - Summer Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Summit register
Summit register
Rock Climbing Photo: Hmmm time to rap off
Hmmm time to rap off
Rock Climbing Photo: The ledge
The ledge
Rock Climbing Photo: The notch
The notch
Rock Climbing Photo: Part way up P1
Part way up P1
Rock Climbing Photo: PCT trail head off of NF-811/NF500
PCT trail head off of NF-811/NF500
Rock Climbing Photo: Clouds moving in
Clouds moving in
Rock Climbing Photo: At least I have the clouds for company and to add ...
At least I have the clouds for company and to add ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Maybe I should have brought a belayer?
Maybe I should have brought a belayer?
Rock Climbing Photo: Summit Pinnacle
Summit Pinnacle
Rock Climbing Photo: Mt. Washington Summit Pinnacle
Mt. Washington Summit Pinnacle
Rock Climbing Photo: Its a great day to be alive!
Its a great day to be alive!
Rock Climbing Photo: North Ridge
North Ridge
Rock Climbing Photo: Awe here's a better view
Awe here's a better view
Rock Climbing Photo: The loose gully
The loose gully
Rock Climbing Photo: Vanessa about to top out on the first section of s...
Vanessa about to top out on the first section of s...
Rock Climbing Photo: Loose gully looking back down
Loose gully looking back down
Rock Climbing Photo: Photo topo of Washington's North Ridge (OR).
BETA PHOTO: Photo topo of Washington's North Ridge (OR).
Rock Climbing Photo: Trail head sign PCT
Trail head sign PCT

Comments on North Ridge - Summer Add Comment
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By Mike Zasadzien
Aug 25, 2014

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.
By brucelacroix
From: Carson City, NV.
Sep 3, 2014

Crumbly volcanic rock, an Oregon classic.
By Ben Stabley
From: Portland, OR
Aug 4, 2016
rating: 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a 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.
By Greg Turnbaugh
From: Portland, OR
Sep 2, 2017
rating: 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a 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.

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