American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Washington-Cascades, Northwest Face of Forbidden Peak

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

Northwest Face of Forbidden Peak. The northwest face of Forbidden Peak, one of the most attractive in the Cascade Pass area and the longest on this popular alpine peak, has interested many climbers in the past few years. Other parties had attempted it by various approaches, but had not progressed more than a few hundred feet up its exposed slabs. It is difficult of access. Leaving the end of the road early in the afternoon in mid-July, Ed Cooper and I climbed over the Sharkfin col, traversed the long Boston Glacier and the far end of the north ridge, and slabbed down the northwest glacier to the rock spur that cleaves the center of the face. We climbed and chopped through a little icefall and worked onto the rock just at nightfall. In an hour we had climbed 300 feet. We chose the mossiest of four reasonably suited bivouac spots. In the morning we began the serious climbing, which varied between fourth and fifth class. Our line led directly to the summit. We alternated the lead, usually placing a piton at a belay spot and one during the first portion of the lead. The granite was quite firm, but slabby. Some sections were delicate. Much of the climbing was a combination of Bramani-friction and laybacks against exfoliation flakes. A final lead up a snow wall led us to the summit of 8 a.m. We descended the normal route.

Fred Beckey

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