Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Washington Pass

The iconic Liberty Bell in Washington Pass has been on our list for quite a while. After leaving Frank Slide, we drove through northern Idaho and the orchards of central Washington to go check it out. Over the last couple of months we've done a lot of bouldering, but haven't actually tied into a rope at all, so the first glimpse of the towers was a little intimidating.

Washington Pass has dozens of fantastic lines all in a beautiful alpine setting. Most of the well-known climbs are on a collection of five impressive spires.We set out early and decided to try and traverse across three of the five spires. Our first goal was the well-known Becky Route up Liberty Bell. Here I am on the third pitch.

And on the summit.

The approaches for all the Washington Pass climbs are long and steep, but despite this there seems to be no shortage of climbers willing to hike up the mountain even on a weekday. By the time we got back to the notch between Liberty Bell and Concord Tower, there were at least three parties on the route we had just climbed and two others waiting. We were thankful to have avoided the chaos.

We then followed a wandery, lesser traveled route up Concord Tower. We stopped to appreciate the view before rapping into the notch between Concord and Lexington towers.

The final pitch up Lexington Tower included an exciting ridge traverse. Here's Jason gingerly climbing onto the top of the Stegasaur fin.

And me on the summit, with the North and South Early Winter Spires in the background.

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