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North America, United States, Washington—Cascade Mountains, Liberty Bell, West Face via Serpentine Crack

Liberty Bell, West Face via Serpentine Crack. About 300 feet south of the original west-face route on Liberty Bell there exists a twisting crack system that was a tempting climbing sight. With the increased popularity of rock-climbing due to the new road through Washington Pass, this seemed one of the few remaining unclimbed routes. Dave Wagner, Doug Leen, and I made the climb on July 6, finding it to be a classic though somewhat difficult route on very sound rock. On the second roped pitch a wide crack on an overhanging wall requires bongs up to four inches. The long, awkward crack following a subsequent hanging belay takes a constant use of small and medium sized angles, as it arches left across a blank face. An unexpected "squeeze keyhole” on the fourth pitch quickly solved an inhospitable barrier. Above, a pitch of highly enjoyable though tricky friction climbing leads to the crest of easier western summit rocks. Approximately 35 pitons were used on the ascent.

Fred Beckey