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North America, United States, Washington - Cascade Mountains, Mount Colchuck, North Side Routes

Mount Colchuck, North Side Routes. Several routes have been done on this increasingly popular peak. In September 1969, Manuel Gonzalez and Don Williamson followed a prominent ledge system diagonaling up the face of the eastern side of the northeast buttress. The climb included 16 leads of class 4 and 5 with occasional pitons required for aid. The granitic rock was very sound on some leads but piles of debris on the ledges made rockfall a hazard in many places. After a bivouac near the summit, they made a long detour around Dragontail Peak back to their camp at Colchuck Lake. NCCS III, F8, A1.

In June 1970 Julie Brugger and Mark Weigelt climbed the northeast buttress. The hardest section was getting started off the glacier. One can go through a pinkish, rotten band or go 100 feet farther up the glacier and climb a shallow F8 chimney. Off a boxcar ledge, go tight one pitch to the base of a dihedral. Go up to a pine tree and up the face to a ledge. Go left on the ledge 160 feet and then up two parallel cracks (F8). The rest of the climb is up gullies to the huge summit plateau. There are several hidden catwalks around corners. The climb is 18 pitches long. NCCS IV, F8.

Several other north side routes have been done, including the complete north ridge (NCCS II, Class 4) which lies mostly on the west side of the ridge crest and at least one other route between the northeast buttress and the north ridge.