Mt. Washington, like its sibling to the north, Three-Fingered Jack, was a breakthrough
in local mountaineering standards when first climbed in 1923. The first ascent route
does not exist anymore, though, which is indicative of the rock quality. Nevertheless,
it's still a popular climb. The standard route is the North Ridge. The rock on this
route is actually okay on those sections where it matters. The West Face routes regularly
see spectacular accidents when crag climbers are lured by the moderate ratings. Keep in
mind that the ratings are old, and hence stiff, and that protection on the friable
volcanic rock is often largely symbolic. On Mt. Washington the old saying from the time
of hemp ropes and hip belays is still true: The leader must not fall.
North Ridge (I, 5.1)
| References: Jeff Thomas,
Keep Climbing Press (Portland, OR 1991)
J. Smoot, Summit Guide to the Cascade Volcanoes Chockstone Press (Evergreen, CO 1992)
N.A. Dodge, A Climbing Guide to Oregon , Touchstone Press (Beaverton, OR 1975)
Date: July 3, 2009
Party: DB, Rudy Kohnle, and Dave Ruuhela
Route: N Ridge
Equipment: 50m half rope, some stoppers and cams
Time: Big Lake - Notch 4 hrs
Big Lake - Summit 5 hrs 30 mins
Summit - Big Lake 4 hrs 30 mins
Roundtrip from Big Lake 11 hrs
Comments: Lots of snow and lots of mosquitos.
Date: July 15, 2007
Party: DB solo
Route: N Ridge
Equipment: 50m half rope
Time: Big Lake - Notch 2 hrs 20 mins
Big Lake - Summit 2 hrs 45 mins
Summit - Big Lake 2 hrs 45 mins
Roundtrip from Big Lake 5 hrs 45 mins
Comments: This was a training climb for Bear Creek Spire.
For earlier ascents, click here .