American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Washington—Cascades, Forbidden Peak, Northeast Face

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1961

Forbidden Peak, Northeast Face. Taking advantage of a spell of fine weather late in the season, Stuart Ferguson and I left at six a.m. on September 15, following the Boston Mine trail to attempt the northeast face direct from the Boston Glacier. We crossed the abrupt Sharkfin col, and rappelled into the bergschrund and up a 15-foot vertical ice wall to gain the main glacier. Traversing westward on the Boston Glacier, we chose as our line of ascent the rock just below and to the left of a large ice patch on the lower face. After 300 feet of grade III climbing (a few pitons) we reached the 300-foot, 50° ice patch, which we ascended. The remaining 600 feet of the face was quite steep, but due to the unusual nature of the rock (upslab) it was easier. The normal route was followed on the descent. (The normal route of ascent on Forbidden is often referred to as the “northeast face route,” and is actually a traverse of the upper portion of the face just below the east ridge to avoid the gendarmes on the ridge. This high traverse is reached by crossing the east ridge at a high point.—Editor.) On the preceding day, we climbed a prominent pinnacle between Sharkfin Col and Sharkfin Tower, reaching the top from the east after one lead of —V. For this previously unclimbed tower we suggest the name of the “Shark’s Tooth.”

Edward Cooper

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