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Trip Report    

Basic Rock Climb - Lundin Peak/West Ridge

A fantastic alpine climb and good teaching vehicle that will require the full quiver of alpine rock skills.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • No water and, unfortunately, no huckleberries. However, fall colors were in abundance. This route is not heavily trafficked, so there's still some adventure to be had in route finding. The corollary is, there are not obvious boot paths to follow, and there are fields of wild heather, huckleberry and partridge foot that are fragile to tread upon. PLEASE, practice leave no trace ethics and try to travel on durable surfaces where possible. It just takes one step onto a woody shrub to kill that branch and turn the terrain into a zig zagging mess of braided trails and hillside erosion. 

Fall colors are in full effect right now. We did a loop over Cave ridge and dropped into the valley to follow the spur up to Snow Dome. On the way out, we stayed in that valley and descended to intersect the standard trail to Mt Snoqualmie.  On the Snow Dome spur, we diverted off at 5600' to traverse over to the Snoqualmie-Lundin ridge. Remnants of a small plane crash were strewn all over. That eventually led to large slabs that made for easier travel. We dropped packs before the dance over the Class 3 gendarme ridgeline. Lots of exposure here. Lightweight ascent packs were a good call to bring. Pitch 2 has a variation where one could seek out a real rock pitch that goes at 5.6'ish, proceeding direct up the ridgeline.  Since we were just climbing in approach shoes, we opted for the more traditional scramble along the north side to what Paul Klenke's Summitpost page describes as the Slab Pitch. From there it's Class 3 with high sphincter exposure to the summit. Unfortunately, there are several memorial plaques glued onto the rock, but they serve as a reminder of how consequential the edges and terrain are. Descending, we set a fixed line to self belay down Pitch 1, so that only one had to actually down climb. The exposure is real!

IMO, this is a fantastic alpine climb, especially in the fall when colors come in (and usually huckleberries.) I hadn't climbed it in 15 years, so it was a rediscovery for me, but I will put this back into rotation for sure. I think this is a great route to teach on, and it requires a full quiver of alpine skills, including route planning, route finding, low impact travel, group management, hazard management, Class 3/4 scrambling, travel over talus, anchor building, high consequence rappel.  For being as close to civilization as it is, it has a very remote feel to it.

I gave it four stars because this is not a climb for everyone. It is defiantly not for someone uncomfortable with exposure.  

Fall colors descending Lundin