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North America, United States, Washington, Cascade Mountains, Mount Torment, East Ridge

Mount Torment, East Ridge. This peak, often neglected, offers some of the best climbing in the Cascade Pass area. Eight routes had been completed, though it had been climbed only eleven times. On June 17, Mike Borghoff and I hiked up the snowfields from Boston Basin, and our climbing began at the bergschrund beneath the southeast face. We crossed easily on the right and kicked steps 300 feet up late-remaining snow slabs. After two stiff class 4 pitches of rock and ice we were at the east col which separates the ridge to Forbidden from Torment. “Torment Tower,”the large gendarme immediately above the col, was the most difficult problem of the climb. Beginning from the northeast side we climbed class 5 cracks to an overhang which required several aid pitons. A piton traverse to the right took us to a notch in the ridge from where the tower was easily finished. The ridge rises up steeply again above the tower, but good holds were found on the north side and we moved steadily on to the east summit over beautiful class 4 rock. The narrow and exposed ridge is solid granite except on the traverse to the higher west peak. The climb was made in a relaxed seven hours from timberline. Descent via the southeast face took two hours, and two rappels were required at the bottom.

David Hiser