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Washington Pass

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Concord Tower 
Cutthroat Peak 
Hairpin Crags 
Kangaroo Temple 
Le Petit Cheval 
Lexington Tower 
Liberty Bell 
M&M wall (AKA "Supercave Wall") 
North Early Winter Spire 
Pernod Spire 
Poster Peak 
Silver Star and connected spires 
South Early Winters Spire 
Summertime Crag 

Washington Pass Rock Climbing 


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Location: 48.5123, -120.654 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Scott Coldiron, Nate Ball, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Lizzy Trower on Jan 30, 2006  with updates from Sam Bedell
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The Liberty Bell group as seen from below the Wine...

Description 

The Washington Pass area includes some spectacular and easily accessible alpine granite climbs, ranging in difficulty from the 5.4-rated South Arete of South Early Winter and to hard 5.12 climbs such as the Thin Red Line on Liberty Bell and the Tiger on M&M Wall. The area also has classic aid routes such as Liberty Crack on Liberty Bell.

The area is centered around Washington Pass on the North Cascades Highway, extending east to the Wine Spires and West to Liberty Bell and the Early Winter Spires. The quality of the rock is in general great and the summit views excellent. The best season for climbing here is late June through September. Snow and ice might still be present early in the season.

Getting There 

From Twisp, drive north on Highway 20 through Mazama and up to Washington Pass. The highway takes a very obvious hairpin turn just below the peaks. The east faces are best approached by parking at the Washington Pass Overlook and ascending a trail starting across the road from the pullout. The west faces are more easily approached by driving a little further up Highway 20 and parking in the lot for the Blue Lake Trail. The climbers' trail breaks off left from the main Blue Lake trail as it bends right towards the lake.

Climbing Season



Weather station 12.6 miles from here

70 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',10],['3 Stars',35],['2 Stars',20],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',8],['5.7',5],['5.8',11],['5.9',5],['5.10',13],['5.11',16],['5.12',8],['5.13',1],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Washington Pass

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Washington Pass:
South Arete   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, Alpine, 3 pitches   South Early Winters Spire
Beckey Route (SW Face)   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, Alpine, 3 pitches   Liberty Bell
North Face   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, Alpine, 3 pitches, 300'   Concord Tower
Rapple Grapple   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches   Liberty Bell
Southwest Rib   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 600'   South Early Winters Spire
West Ridge   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches, 600'   Silver Star and connected s... : Paisano Pinnacle
North Face   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 600'   Silver Star and connected s... : Burgundy Spire
South Buttress   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 850'   Cutthroat Peak
Northwest Corner (a.k.a. Boving-Pollack Route)   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches   North Early Winter Spire
NW Face   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 500'   Liberty Bell
East Face   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, Alpine, 10 pitches, 800'   Lexington Tower
East Face / Rebel Yell   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 800'   Silver Star and connected s... : Chianti Spire
Clean Break   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 15 pitches, 1500'   Silver Star and connected s... : Juno Tower
Direct East Buttress   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches   South Early Winters Spire
The West Face   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches   North Early Winter Spire
The Hitchhiker   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches, 900'   South Early Winters Spire
Liberty Crack   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c C2     Trad, Aid, Alpine, 12 pitches, 1200'   Liberty Bell
The Passenger   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 900'   South Early Winters Spire
Liberty and Injustice for All   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a PG13     Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 650'   Liberty Bell
Thin Red Line (Free Version)   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Trad, Alpine, 11 pitches, 1100'   Liberty Bell
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Washington Pass

Featured Route For Washington Pass
Rock Climbing Photo: Topo for A Slave to Liberty

A Slave To Liberty 5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c  Washington : Northwest Region : ... : Liberty Bell
A Slave To Liberty climbs the first 3 pitches of Freedom or Death (5.10, 5.11, 5.11) but steps right to join Thin Red Line just before the 3rd pitch anchor. It would also be possible to just climb the first 4 pitches of TRL but the nature of the climbing on FOD is more in line with the rest of the climbing on ASTL. Pitch 4 (5.12-) starts up easy terrain until reaching the right leaning overlap that was originally aided on TRL. Tricky locks and smeary feet at first, but it eases off after not t...[more]   Browse More Classics in Washington

Photos of Washington Pass Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Kangaroo Ridge
Kangaroo Ridge
Rock Climbing Photo: The Washington Pass summits cast a shadow below
The Washington Pass summits cast a shadow below
Rock Climbing Photo: The popular backside (westside) of WA Pass.  From ...
The popular backside (westside) of WA Pass. From ...
Rock Climbing Photo: the wine spires as viewed from SEWS
the wine spires as viewed from SEWS
Rock Climbing Photo: Washington Pass shrouded in clouds, a little unusu...
Washington Pass shrouded in clouds, a little unusu...
Rock Climbing Photo: The hairpin turn from the top of Lexington Tower.
The hairpin turn from the top of Lexington Tower.
Rock Climbing Photo: Hwy. 20 and the Blue Lake parking area from the to...
Hwy. 20 and the Blue Lake parking area from the to...
Rock Climbing Photo: Highline rigged between South and North Early Wint...
Highline rigged between South and North Early Wint...
Rock Climbing Photo: Washington Pass overview
Washington Pass overview
Rock Climbing Photo: Liberty Bell Group
Liberty Bell Group
Rock Climbing Photo: Approach to liberty bell group
Approach to liberty bell group
Rock Climbing Photo: Liberty Bell Group Approach
Liberty Bell Group Approach

Comments on Washington Pass Add Comment
Show which comments
By sqwirll
From: Las Vegas
Oct 21, 2008
We did a fun linkup of all 5 spires this summer. We climbed the Beckey route on Liberty, North face of Concord, North Face of Lexington, NW Corner of NEWS, and SW Rib of SEWS. We ended up simulclimbing Liberty Bell, Concord, Lexington, and most of SEWS. It took us approximately 15 hours car to car at a casual pace. Two ropes are beneficial for the rappels off of Concord and Lexington, otherwise you'd have to leave gear. A fun way to get 20+ pitches of moderate climbing in a day.

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