Inspiration Peak/South Face

Located in the Southern Picket Range which is within the North Cascades National Park. The route follows a ramp system and then finishes by a "Great Gash" in the upper part of the face.

getting there

Take Highway 20 to Newhalem. On the west edge of town turn north following signs of WA DOT maintenance yard. Almost immediately turn left and in a couple hundred feet stay right at a fork following signs for a group campground (at end of road). Before you get to the campground (fraction of a mile from fork), look for a 30 yard long pull-out fork on the right to park your car.


Take Goodell Creek Trail for 4.5 mi then look for climbers boot path on your right. Boot path is hard to follow so route finding skills necessary. The path travels north and slightly east until you hit a high saddle around 6,000 ft. Drop down this broad but steep gully and find a camp spot below. From camp you'll traverse north/northwest gently losing elevation in order to drop low enough to cross a drainage from a small tarn just southest of McMillian SDpires. Beyond the drainage pick your way up via slabs and snow slopes heading northwest for the edge of Terror Glacier.


The south face can be accessed from a couple points on the glacier, just be careful around the moat. You can expect a bit of low 5th class climbing then some third and fourth class climbing before reaching the ramp system where the 400-foot left-facing corner, know as the "Great Gash." Climb the gash (5.8) to a chimney and continue up the right side of the chimney (5.7-5.8) until you reach the upper section of the West Ridge.  The climb the remainder of the West Ridge to the summit.


The most straight-forward descent is down the West Ridge.

  • Difficulty: Basic Rock Climb
  • Length: 16.0
  • Elevation Gain: 7,500 ft
  • 7,880 ft
  • USGS Mt Challenger
  • Trails Illustrated North Cascades National Park

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