Alpine Scramble - Del Campo & Gothic Peaks


Alpine Scramble - Del Campo & Gothic Peaks

A pair of exciting, fun scrambles and 2-night backpack in one of the most beautiful places in Washington – maybe in the Western United States!

  • Strenuous 5, Technical 5
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 14.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 5,500 ft
  • Pace: 1,000ft/hr

TBD for carpools. 8:30am TH.

I have led Gothic privately as a day trip, but Del Campo will be an exploratory scramble for all of us. Space is being held for Oly scramble students and scramble students who have hiked or scrambled with me and need graduation trips, until July 9. Registration will close July 15 so we have enough time to organize group gear and carpools.

Day 1- Friday, July 27

We’ll leave early-early to be on the trail by 9am. The backpack up to Gothic Basin starts flat and ratchets up through a forest to the side of a ridge with increasingly spectacular views of the North Cascades on one side and gossamer waterfalls on the other. After 2900ft of gain (in 4.5mi, but actually in about 2.5mi), the trail dips into Gothic Basin - granite, lakes, grasses, wildflowers and a bit of snow. We’ll stop for lunch in Gothic Basin and scramble up a few hundred feet to immense Foggy Lake, flanked by Del Campo (at right entering the bowl) and Gothic (at left). We’ll camp here and may do Gothic Peak after settling in, to be down by sunset. We may opt to do Gothic Day 2, based on weather and group energy.

Day 2 – Sat. July 28

After a good night’s sleep, we’ll get going at first light, up a ridge line toward Del Campo. From the ridge, we’ll hopefully get to snow (if not, then scree), put on crampons/helmet/ice ax for the short climb up a steep snowfield to the notch. From the notch, we’ll scramble up the standard route to the summit. It should not be more than 3rd class. Bring light alpine harness (not a huge fan of the diaper sling), 2-3 biners, medium length prussik in case we decide the route would be best roped up. Hoping to summit around 10:30am and descend around 11, glissading down the snowfield and getting to camp by 1pm.

After lunch, we’ll go for Gothic Peak around 2:30 (if we didn’t go Day 1). Depending on snow and moats, there may be route finding. The summit block is a mini Del Campo. Steep, exposed, but excellent hand and footholds. The descent from the base through loose scree is often the easiest way. We should summit by 5:30 and be down by sunset. If we're really fast, we may explore Foggy Pass on the way down.

Day 3 – Sun. July 29

We may take an optional sunrise hike to Foggy Pass, or sleep in. After a leisurely breakfast, we’ll break camp, leave around 9:30am and explore Gothic Basin (AKA Heaven on Earth) on the way down. We should be back at the TH around 1pm and get lunch on the way home.

The trip is about 13.5mi and 5600ft of gain and loss, 3200ft with an overnight pack. Our packs may not be light. Anticipate crampons and ice ax (it may be possible to get away without them if the snow has melted by then; if there's still snow, it will be hard snow and crampon-worthy. As the team forms and date gets closer, we’ll organize carpools, tent mates and group gear.



Del Campo & Gothic Peaks

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

  • The Ten Essentials
  • Helmet
  • Mountaineering Boots
  • Ice Axe
  • Crampons
  • Harness
  • 2 locking biners
  • 2 non-locking biners
  • prussik
  • tent
  • sleeping bag/pad/pillow...
  • Group gear to include stoves, purifiers
  • Extra slings for anchors
  • Money for your driver and lunch out afterward
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