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North America, United States, Washington-Cascade Mountains, Spider Mountain, North Face

Spider Mountain, North Face. The large, steep firnfields on the north face of Spider Mountain had always interested me. One route on the north face had been climbed, but Spider is a broad mountain, with room well to the left for another nice alpine route. Clark Gerhardt, Greg Markov, John Yaeger, and I made a light bivouac camp at timberline on the West Fork of Flat Creek, then on the morning of September 21 traversed onto the gravel and bedrock below the Spider Glacier. The route led through easy, crevassed portions of the glacier, then a rock pitch that took a bit of care. The upper slopes are relentless but only moderately steep. After about 1200 feet of climbing (front-pointing), we emerged on the corniced summit ridge. We were amazed to see caterpillars and birds on the face, three varieties of flowers amid the summit rocks, and two deer crossing the Spider-Formidable col. NCCS II or III, F5.

Fred Beckey