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North America, United States, Washington—Cascade Mountains, Forbidden Peak, The Forgotten Spurs, 1989

Forbidden Peak, The Forgotten Spurs, 1989. West of the northwest face of Forbidden Peak, on the divide leading to Mount Torment, are a pair of north-facing spurs long neglected by climbers. On August 26 and 27, 1989, my brother Carl and I climbed both spurs after descending from Forbidden Peak’s west-ridge notch. On the afternoon of the 26th, we rappelled from the notch to the Forbidden Glacier and traversed to the base of the west spur. We gained it on its east side at a little notch about 300 feet above the toe. The first pitch was up brittle rock left of the notch; the second with terribly loose rock near the crest. Above, the angle eased and the spur became a delightful scramble on clean textured gneiss. A snow crest completed the last few hundred feet to the airy Torment-Forbidden divide. A thunderstorm made reaching our bivouac at Forbidden’s west ridge frightening. (III, 5.7.) The next morning we descended to the east spur. From the base, we climbed clean blocks and then lichen-covered cracks along the crest, up steep blocks and corners just left of the edge. I made a few aid moves to get up a fine dihedral that seemed hopeless in my wet mountain boots. The third pitch climbed a brittle pillar, then increasingly mossy rock to the crest. The spur eased to enjoyable, blocky fourth-class scrambling. From the top, it was a fairly short climb along the divide to the west-ridge notch. (III, 5.8, A1.) If continued to the summit via the west ridge, either spur would be a Grade IV route on the peak.

Lowell Skoog