Mt Triumph/NE Ridge
08/22/13 (Thu) - 08/23/13 (Fri)
7,270’, North Cascades Grade III , 5.5 Rock Reference & Data • • • • Jurisdiction: North Cascades National Park • Ranger Station: Marblemount Ranger Station / 360-873-4500 • Equipment: Small to medium cams and stoppers, lots of rappel slings. Crampons and ice axe. • USGS Maps: Mt. Triumph • Beckey: Cascade Alpine Guide III, 2nd Edition pp 88-90. • Other ref: 100 Hikes in the North Cascades, Hike #16. Time Elevation gain/loss Mileage • Seattle to TH 3 hrs 2,700’ 133 • TH to Camp 5-6 hrs +3,450’ -300’ • Camp to Summit 8-10 hrs +1,420’ • Summit to Camp 4-6 hrs -1,420’ • Camp to TH Approach • • • • • • • • • • • Drive I-5 N to exit 232 (Cook Road) at Burlington. Turn east to Sedro Wooley and junction of State Route 20. Turn left and continue 47 miles to Marblemount for climb registration and trip permits at Park R.S. Continue east 12 miles on Highway 20 and take side road 5.3 miles to Thornton Lakes Trailhead, 2,700’. Follow trail to lower Thornton Lake. Hike around west side of lake and follow right bank of stream to middle Thornton Lake, 4,400’. Make a high rising traverse around east side of lake and ascend long gully NW (climber’s path in gully) to 5,750’ col above lake. Good campsites at col, last with reliable water. Alternate bivy is located 2 pitches up NE Ridge, space for 5, excellent for saving time on the climbing day, but dry. Climbing Route • • • • • From col campsite, descend snow and traverse toward prominent low notch in NE ridge. To reach the notch from the glacier, climb easy ramp on right heading to notch. Before reaching the notch step left around a corner above gully, tricky with full pack. Easy slabs lead toward the notch for 1 rope length. Steeper blocks and a ramp gain an old rappel tree just below the notch and alternate bivy space. Ascend steep face onto another broad flat spot on the ridge (low to mid 5th class, 100’). Now scramble along ridge crest to another steep step. Climb this for 1 pitch, easier to left, to another flat ledge. Several pitches follow of easy but exposed climbing along the ridge crest, up and over towers. Ridge narrows then rises. Continue on the ridge crest or on easier ledges to the right to the base of a steeper face with an off-width crack in a right facing corner. This crack is climbed at a reportedly fun 5.7, but easier alternatives are also reported. Belay at the next “great notch” below summit (possible bivy). Reports are mixed about the next option. Beckey suggests traversing a short distance to the left, then scramble upwards the remaining distance to the top. Other parties report a steep face here. Recommend a pitch which descends the north side of the great notch about 30’ until the rock on the far side is easily gained. Turn the corner and climb shallow gully to the ridge crest. Additional 200’ lead to the summit. Descent • • • • • • • • • • • Downclimb and rappel back to great notch. Below here, a double rope rappel reaches the base of the crack pitch. Continue down ridge crest via 6 to 8 more rappels and downclimbing. Comments • • • • • • • • • This long, exposed, tiring climb is best done in three days. Due to length of climb, carry two liters of water and bivy gear.
Contact Matt for more information.