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Trip Report    

Black Peak/Northeast Ridge

September 27-28, 2014

Four of us camped at Wing Lake Saturday night for a Sunday summit. Wing Lake has some beautiful campsites next to the water with spectacular views, surrounded by golden larches. We shared the area with more people than we expected – probably 6 tents around the lake. I wished I brought my fly rod to sample some of the trout it the lake.
We left camp in the dark at 5am with the plan of getting to the ridge at base of the climb at sunrise. This worked well as we made it to the ridge at 7am (days are getting short). We scrambled up the ridge as far as we felt comfortable then roped up and simul-climbed the rest of the way; building three anchors to swap gear and leads. We reached the summit at 11am having experiencing four glorious hours of exposed ridge climbing in the North Cascades! Left the summit at noon, and scrambled down the SE ridge; made back to camp at 1pm. Broke down camp and left for the cars at 2pm; made it back to the TH at 5pm.
For the approach from camp, we aimed for the “V” shaped slot in a moraine visible from camp. From there we accessed the permanent snowfield. Glad we had crampons and ice axes to cross a firm snowfield – a party behind us choose poorly. We traveled climber’s right along the snowfield at the base of a rock wall to a point where we could scramble up rock to the ridge. As the route description says, the rock early on the ridge is loose – even a few of the big rocks moved when tested. Half way up the rock conditions improved.