Vesper Peak/North Face

The North Face of Vesper Peak has a difficulty of Grade II-III, and has multiple ascent routes ranging from 5.7 to 5.8.

getting there

Drive I-5 to exit 194, US 2. Exit to US 2 eastbound and follow to exit for SR 204 North to SR 9 North . Turn right on SR 92 to Granite Falls. Drive Mountain Loop Highway east from Granite Falls 28 mi (2 mi before Barlow Pass). Turn right (south) on Sunrise Mine Road (Forest Road 4065) and drive 2.3 mi to the Sunrise Mine Trailhead.


 Hike trail 3 mi to Headlee Pass, 4,720 ft. From the pass, follow trail skirting around the south flanks of Sperry Peakto the upper Vesper Creek basin between Sperry and Vesper Peaks. Campsites are available on grassy bench near trail above stream, or farther upstream near a small lake in the basin.


From basin campsite, hike up the Vesper scramble trail toward the head of the basin. But angle off trail, bearing to the high first notch in the ridge dividing Vesper’s north and east aspects, not to the lower, more prominent pass at the basin head. The “high” notch leads to a long ledge system that crosses north face (photo in CAG II, p. 50). Scramble the ledge to near its end.

Starting here, the route consists of two class 4 pitches followed by three class 5 pitches, but is not obvious. Climb or scramble the first two pitches to a small ledge. From ledge, pitch 3 traverses leftward and ascends a small shallow chimney (5.5-5.6) to belay. Pitch 4 again bears leftward on slabs (5.5). The final long, runout pitch works rightward to slightly west of summit (5.8).

Ragged Edges Ascent

This is the 5.7 variation that is on the eastern half of the North Face and the direct start begins at a large flake. Ragged Edges was retro-bolted in some places in August of 2013 and there are still some old pitons along the route. Generally done in 6 pitches.  


Scramble down east slope to camp in Vesper Creek basin.


Seattle to Trailhead 1.5
Trailhead to Camp 3-4 2,500
Camp to Summit 4-5 1,615
Summit to Trailhead 3


Small to medium stoppers and cams. Crampons/ice ax in early season.


Described with two (easy) days in mind, this climb can be done in one long day. The North Face has many variations with different degrees of difficulty. Route is very hard to protect and belay anchors are difficult to locate.

  • Suitable Activities: Climbing
  • Climbing Category: Intermediate Alpine
  • Seasons: June, July, August, September
  • Weather: View weather forecast.
  • Difficulty: Intermediate Rock Climb
  • Elevation Gain: 4,115 ft
  • 6,214 ft
  • USGS Silverton
  • USGS Bedal
  • Green Trails Mountain Loop Highway No. 111SX
  • Red Marker
    48.024752, -121.477818
    48.0247521416 -121.477817595
  • Red Marker
    48.012941, -121.517917
    48.0129413176 -121.517916607

Upcoming Activities

Intermediate Alpine Climb - Vesper Peak/North Face

Climbing Trip
Fun climb of Vesper
Difficulty: Intermediate Rock Climb
Fri, Jun 8, 2018 - Sat, Jun 9, 2018
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
0 participants 0 leaders
Registration opens Apr 27
Tacoma Branch
Trip Reports

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