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North America, United States, Washington, Cascade Mountains, Liberty Mountain, North Wall

Liberty Mountain, North Ridge. For years we had looked at this steep ridge from a distance, always fearing the horrible brush fight that separated it from the distant access roads. On June 1 Ron Miller and I made the first ascent of the ridge by working our way up from the logging roads on the north side of Green Mountain; spur roads now reach the headwaters of Canyon Creek. We left them where the Windy Pass drainage enters Canyon Creek. The expected brush was there, almost all the way to Windy Pass. From our high camp at the pass we headed south on the divide and soon reached the mountain. The north ridge starts immediately up from the divide crest. The first 200 feet is Class-IV heather, brush, mixed rock, and trees, and then a level 20-foot rock bench on the ridge crest affords an excellent place to observe and plan the remainder. The next lead is 100 feet of class V rotten rock, 20 feet of which is absolutely vertical. The lead from here is 100 feet of Class IV from a worthless belay and with 500 feet of exposure below. The North Peak is soon easily reached, and we found no cairn present anywhere. We continued the ridge to the main summit on Class-IV rock, again quite rotten, and about 300 feet away. Descent was back to the North Peak and then down by the northwest ridge and a traverse back to Windy Pass.

Kenn Carpenter