American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Washington, Cascade Range, Spectre Peak, Haunted Wall

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2007

Spectre Peak, Haunted Wall. Wayne Wallace and I braved the round trip 50 miles of hiking and 20,000' of elevation gain to climb the south face of Spectre Peak in the Northern Pickets in August. This is in one of the most remote places in the Lower 48, and a hauntingly beautiful area. We accessed the mountain via Easy Ridge, over a col right of Challenger’s summit, and a few miles down to a camp below Phantom Peak’s south face.

The 2,100' of climbing was solid, but devoid of cracks for protection. Our route, the Haunted Wall (IV 5.9+), starts in the center of Spectre’s south face. Runout climbing for ~800' turns into a deep, spooky chimney inside the mountain (completely enclosed at times!), then continues to the great gendarme on the prominent, towered south ridge. One rappel gets you into the notch—and fully committed—then exposed face climbing up and right of a giant offwidth leads to a long ridge traverse to the summit. Downclimbing snow on the other side of the mountain took us to an amazing series of ledges to skier’s right, around Spectre back to the south face.

Mike Layton

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