American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Washington, Olympic Mountains, Ridge of Gargoyles, The Turret and Upper Gargoyle

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

Ridge of Gargoyles, The Turret and Upper Gargoyle. First ascents of The Turret (6350 feet) and Upper Gargoyle (6400 feet) were made by Roy Etten, Kent Heathershaw and me on November 5, 1967 and June 9, 1968 respectively. These rock peaks are the highest summits along the Ridge of Gargoyles, which forms the south wall of the upper Quilcene River. The approach was made via the Quilcene River trail to Shelter Rock camp. An extended brush fight up the bank of the river brought us to a prominent water cascade. From this spot The Turret was reached by climbing south to the col between The Turret and its westerly neighbor (Minaret) and then east along the ridge to the summit. The only real difficulty was an airy traverse along the north side past the false summit. From the cascade, Upper Gargoyle was reached by climbing southeast along the south fork of the river to the broad saddle between Upper Gargoyle and Boulder Ridge to the northwest. From there we climbed a steep couloir and then out onto the upper north face to where three exposed leads led to the summit. These summits offer some of the most startling alpine scenery to be found in the Olympics.

Keith Spencer

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