American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Washington, Cascade Mountains, Swiss Peak, via Central Pillar on Northwest Face

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1969

Swiss Peak, via Central Pillar on Northeast Face. Swiss Peak (c. 7840 feet) is situated between Mount Fury and Phantom Peak above the headwaters of Luna Creek. We were elated on the summit to find no cairn or evidence of prior ascents. On July 28 Martin Epp, Ernst von Allmen and I started at the base of the central pillar on the northeast face of the peak. We ascended directly for several rope lengths to a grassy ledge at the base of the vertical yellow wall on the north side of the pillar. A short traverse under this wall led to the base of the rotten “Pudding Chimney,” two rope-lengths to its top with no protection. Just above it we placed a piton and traversed left onto the center of the pillar. A chimney between the pillar and a large flake on the north side led to our bivouac ledge. The remainder of the climb went directly up the center of the pillar for 15 rope-lengths of moderate free climbing. The upper part of the pillar fades into an area of many towers, but staying left avoided the difficult and loose sections, and we gained the summit on July 29. This was a long climb of 27 pitches. Our descent involved rappels on loose rock and was made to a camp in the Luna-Challenger cirque via the glacial tongue east of Phantom Peak.

Andrew Carson, unattached

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