Liberty Bell/Southwest Face

Also called the Beckey Route, this four pitch, 5.6 Grade II route has face climbing, a chimney, moderate cracks, and a short friction slab. On the east edge of the North Cascades and a remote alpine feel though very near the highway makes this climb very popular. During the peak season, go midweek to avoid the crowds. Times: 2 hr hike to the route, 2-6 hr climb to summit.

getting there

Drive SR 20 to the Blue Lake Trailhead (5,200 ft), 1.5 mi west of the Washington Pass.

APPROACH

Follow the Blue Lake Trail about 1.5 miles to a small meadow. Locate the climbers path left, just after a small stream. Follow path up through slabs, talus and meadow to below the gully descending from between Liberty Bell and Concord Tower.

The path splits. Keep left, heading up to the Liberty Bell Concord Tower notch, 7,300 ft. The gully is usually snow filled and can be icy until late June. Rockfall is high after snow melt.

ASCENT ROUTE

From the tree about 30 feet below the notch between Liberty Bell and Concord Tower the first pitch begins. Traverse left and up a low fifth class gully, chimney past ledges and small trees to a belay at the base of a steeper chimney.

The second pitch climbs a 5.5 chimney to large ledge. A excellent variation for the second pitch avoids the chimney and takes face climbing (5.6) left and then up to rejoin the standard route at the start of Pitch 3.

The third pitch climbs low angle rock to a small roof where a finger tip traverse to the left (5.6) leads around the roof. Continue up and right on friction and a lay back crack around the corner to a ledge and good belay station.

The final pitch begins with a 20-foot friction slab, 5.5. A short scramble leads to the summit.

DESCENT ROUTE

From the summit, down climb and/or rappel the route until about 200 feet below the summit. Turn left (east) and downclimb through trees and loose rocks about 100 feet. Bear right, looking right across an exposed sloping ledge, two rappel bolts can be located on the steep wall. One double rope rappel or two single rope rappels reach the Liberty Bell-Concord notch.

TRIP PROFILE

SEGMENT TIME (HOURS) ELEVATION GAIN (FEET)
Trailhead to Notch 2 2,100
Notch to Summit 2-4 420
Summit to Trailhead 3

EQUIPMENT

Rock rack to 3 inches. Ice ax and crampons in early season. 50 or 60 meter rope.

NOTES

  • Known as the Beckey Route, this is the most popular route in the Washington Pass area, with frequent traffic jams of climbers on weekends during the height of the climbing season.
  • Rope has been known to get stuck after rappel.
  • If this climb is done late enough in the season to avoid snow in the approach gully, one may wish to gear up and leave packs/boots at a secure place before gaining the west side bench.
  • There is an excellent route topo in Becky's Cascade Alpine Guide Vol. 3.
  • During the peak season, it’s best to do this climb midweek to beat the crowds; even then you’ll need an early alpine start.
  • Can be combined with a climb of Concord Tower/North Face.
  • Suitable Activities: Climbing
  • Climbing Category: Intermediate Alpine
  • Seasons: May, June, July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast.
  • Difficulty: Intermediate Rock Climb
  • Length: 4.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,500 ft
  • 7,720 ft
Map
  • USGS Washington Pass
  • Green Trails Washington Pass No. 50
  • Trails Illustrated North Cascades National Park
Activities

Upcoming Activities



Basic Alpine Climb - Liberty Bell/Southwest Face

Climbing Trip
Last minute dash to get some Bham students graduated.
Difficulty: Basic Rock Climb
Sat, Sep 29, 2018
Prerequisites
0 participants
Registration opens Sep 25
Bellingham Branch

Basic Alpine Climb - Liberty Bell/Southwest Face

Climbing Trip
Sun, Sep 30, 2018
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
0 participants 0 leaders
Registration closes Sep 28
Bellingham Branch
Trip Reports
Titles

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Liberty Bell/Beckey Route
  • Liberty Bell & Concord Tower
  • Liberty Bell/Southwest Face & Concord Tower/North Face
  • Liberty Bell/Beckey Route & Concord Tower/North Face
Resources

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