Mt. Washington (Oregon Cascades; 7,794')



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.

Topo Map

Routes: North Ridge (I, 5.1)
West Face (II, 5.6)

Mt. Washington from Big Lake in mid-July
References: Jeff Thomas, Oregon High 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 .