American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Washington-Cascades, Liberty Bell Mountain, North Face Variant

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1960

Liberty Bell Mountain, North Face Variant. On July 4, Fred Beckey and I climbed a new route on the east side of the north face of Liberty Bell Mountain. This impressive face, together with an even more impressive and very formidable east face, will undoubtedly become the playground for some of the Cascades’ most difficult technical climbs. There are now four routes on the mountain, and since ours was only the fourth ascent, no route has been repeated. The previous ascent of the north face had been made in 1956 by Hans Kraus and John Rupley, who came up the couloir, entering the west side of the north face, and then proceeded directly up as the couloir went left. We went up from the same point, then diagonalled to the left instead of directly up. This took us up some 300 feet, and to the east side of the face. Here some 500 feet of climbing brought us to the summit. The climbing was mostly class 4, with a pitch of medium 5 and another of hard 5, the latter involving two aid pitons. In all, about 12 pitons were used. Upon reaching the summit, we watched with fascination the oncoming storm that was about to engulf us. On the descent I discovered that the “regular” route (regular only because it was the first one climbed) has one very respectable pitch that will no doubt turn many back. All told, we had packed in, climbed Liberty Bell, and packed out in the same day.

Edward Cooper, Seattle Mountaineers

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