Trip Report    

Intermediate Alpine Climb - Forbidden Peak/West Ridge

Successful one-day climb of the West Ridge of Forbidden Peak.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The west ridge couloir was still filled with snow and was fairly straightforward to ascent.  We encountered two ‘schrunds: one at the bottom of the couloir and a second about half-way up.  This second ‘schrund is almost gone.  On the descent we protected this crossing with a fixed line.IMG_1215.JPG

     We essentially simul-climbed the ridge or slightly left of the ridge.  We had three climbers on one rope and this worked fairly efficiently.  There was one section that I would have pitched out had I been leading but our rope lead climbed that section with just a running belay.IMG_1216.JPG

     On the descent we rappelled the ridgeline, or south side of ridge line.  We got off-route a little and ran out of established rappel stations.  We traversed skier’s left to the edge of a steep snow slope that eventually led to the base of the ridge route and the top of the west ridge couloir.

     We were back at the west ridge couloir just as the sun went down.  The rappel and downclimb of the couloir and the glacier crossing were all done in the dark.  The sun came up just as we were departing Boston Basin on the climber’s trail.

     Time:  car to car – 26 hours (Eldorado parking lot).

General Activity Notes:
We had planned this trip as the Torment-Forbidden traverse but we were unable to obtain a camping permit for Boston Basin.  Instead, we just climbed the west ridge of Forbidden as a one day climb, car to car.

We spent the night Thursday at the Mineral Park CG, along Cascade River Road.

 Approach conditions:
Cascade River Road was closed at the Eldorado parking lot, adding about an hour of road walking to the approach.

The climber’s trail into Boston Basin was completely snow free.

Permits required?
North Cascade National Park camping permit (in order to camp in Boston Basin). 

Driving / parking notes:
Plenty of parking available at Eldorado parking lot on Friday morning.  The parking lot was pretty full upon our return on Saturday morning. 

Equipment notes: 
Carried and used helmets and one-60m rope.  Small alpine rack. 

Required Skills:
Snow climbing skills, rock climbing skills.

Weather Notes: 
Mostly overcast with some fog in the morning.  Almost no wind on the summit.