American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Washington, West Face of Liberty Bell, Cascades

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1959

West Face of Liberty Bell, Cascades. Liberty Bell Mountain is destined to become a rock climber’s mecca if the proposed North Cascade Road is constructed. This summer John Rupley and Fred Beckey made its third ascent by a third new route, the most difficult yet done. The route up the west face involved a slow start at the end of the first afternoon, when we were forced to use three bolts because of poor cracks and rotten rock. The next morning, June 15, we climbed the fixed ropes and continued up a long V-crack, mostly on aid. Blade pitons took us up a sheer wall, bypassing an ominous roof; then a rotten gulley with overhanging bushes led to a secure stance. From the top of a chimney Rupley worked across a smooth slab to a hidden chimney, thus negotiating the last section of the climb over which we had grave concern. Beckey took the last difficult lead, a vertical rotten wall involving a few direct-aid pitons and another bolt. From there on the climb was only a route finding problem. The ascent took most of the day and about 30 pitons. Descent was made by the southwest face.

Fred Beckey

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