North America, United States, Washington, Mount Logan, Northwest Ridge

Publication Year: 2004.

Mount Logan, Northwest Ridge. So ends my fascination this year with remote Mt. Logan. My first solo foray led to the fastest ascent to date: just over 24 hours car-to-car. That was a long day in July. On October 1 I found my own little version of the Hummingbird Ridge, the previously unclimbed, endless Northwest Ridge (V 5.8X). The topo map doesn’t lie: the ridge is over a mile long and has almost 3,000' of vertical. Just getting there took more than I bargained for. After leaving the trail at Junction Camp, I bushwhacked through to the second lake, and then was lucky to find the “Wrinkle In Time” to reach the fantastic Logan Creek Valley. The Wrinkle, which I followed on a deer path from the second lake, is a bizarre triangle-shaped terrain feature that is separated from the west side of the Logan Creek Valley. It forms two valleys, one of which actually flows up the Logan Creek Valley. It was the only way I could see to get into the otherwise impenetrable valley. You may find it on a close-up topo, but neither the lakes nor The Wrinkle show up on the Green Trails map. Good bivy among bear scat. The climb itself is endless, exposed, and committing, involving much fourth class and five rappels to clear its abundant gendarmes. It gets harder as it goes, too. There are two reasons this route wasn’t done before: it’s almost unreachable, and the climbing is in big-fear territory. Not that it’s all that loose, but the ambiance is intimidating, and if you blow the route-finding, the going is desperate and scary.

Wayne Wallace, AAC