Trip Report    

Black Peak/South Ridge

Fun alpine climb with snow travel, class 3/4 rock, and epic views.

  • Sat, Jul 18, 2020 — Sun, Jul 19, 2020
  • Black Peak/South Ridge
  • Scrambling, Climbing & Backpacking
  • Successful
  • Road suitable for all vehicles

A few friends and I did Black Peak over two days and it was lovely! We left the Rainy Pass trailhead around 1PM and went up the Maple Pass loop towards Heather Pass. The Maple Pass Loop trail was in good condition with no snow. Crossing over to Heather Pass was where we started to see snow on the trail. We descended down to Lewis Lake and followed the obvious trail around. This is where we started to experience serious snowfields which were pretty stable for the most part. We then hiked up another 1000 feet to get to Wing Lake where we established our camp for the night. We were able to get to Wing Lake from the trailhead in three hours with some minor breaks in between. Wing Lake was still partially frozen and covered with snow but we were able to use it as a water source with no issues. There were also some good dry patches near Wing Lake to set up your tent. My only complaint were the nasty mosquitos that never took a break.



We woke up the next morning around 5AM and started our ascent up Black Peak at 6AM. The first portion  of our ascent involved going up a steep snowfield. I had lightweight crampons which I really enjoyed using but you can get away with micro-spikes if you prefer. Right before reaching the saddle, there was a super steep portion of snow. I highly recommend an ice axe for this portion as the exposure is no joke and it will definitely make your life easier getting to the top of the saddle. Beyond the saddle, the rock was solid with some minor snow patches we were able to avoid. Most of the climbing is class 3 with the exception of the exposed class 4 moves to reach the summit. We had perfect weather at the summit and enjoyed the views. Overall it took us ~2.5 hours to reach the summit from our campsite. 


We got back down safely and proceeded to clean up our camp and head back to our cars. The trip was successful and we had no issues. I highly recommend having an ice axe, crampons or micro-spikes, and a helmet if you consider doing this climb. Also consider your comfort with high exposure because Black Peak has a lot of it!