Forbidden Peak’s West Ridge — A Photo Essay
Most North Cascades adventures start here.…brush and slider alder! These photos chronicle a quick trip into the heart of the North Cascades National Park and a climb of the West Ridge of Forbidden Peak, 8815ft, III, 5.6 — one of Steck and Roper’s “50 Classic Climbs of North America.” “Brotherhood of the rope” was shared by Crispin Prahl, Jeff Ranish and Jeremy Allyn (MM North America Program Director).
One of the many waterfalls on the approach
Crispin breaks out into Boston Basin — home of Forbidden, Torment, Boston, Sahale and Sharkfin Tower
Mighty Johannesburg Mountain, 8200 ft, across the Cascade River valley (local relief is an astonishing 6800ft)
Jeff and Crispin under the objective — West Ridge of Forbidden on the left skyline
Jeremy at a high bivy in upper Boston Basin
Morning light above camp
West Ridge Couloir (taken on descent later that day). We soloed this quickly and in perfect conditions. This accesses the ridge crest.
Transition into the couloir
Jeremy on a steeper variation
Crispin scoping conditions on the NW Face route
Crispin with Eldorado Peak and the Inspiration Glacier behind
Lower West Ridge from the notch.
Classic ridge climbing on solid rock, incredible positions, and wild exposure
Mid-route looking down to the Forbidden Glacier
One of the many “gendarmes” on route and looking out to Torment Peak, Eldorado and Moraine Lake
Cascade Pass down low — the start to the world famous Ptarmigan Traverse. Spider, Formidable, Dome and Glacier Peaks
Crispin belays Jeff from the summit.
Forbidden’s ultra-classic North Ridge
Jeremy on top and in the sun!
The mighty Boston Glacier with Buckner, Boston, and Sahale Peaks
North Face of Buckner
Mt Logan and the Fremont Glacier
Boston and Sahale and the Quien Sabe Glacier
Johannesburg (some locals call this peak, Joe-heinous-burg. However, you are widely considered to be a neophyte Cascades climber if you have not climbed it at least once)
Most climbers descend back down the West Ridge. We opted for the fast, efficient, but notoriously stressful East Ledges descent. “5 rappels off the top, pull the rope, take a few deep breaths, watch for loss blocks, and don’t fall” was the mantra
Small beauty along the way…
Jeff in an exposed bit
Psyched to be off the descent!
A spectacular bivy spot on a flying prow above Boston Basin
Glacier Lilies in Boston Basin. We were a bit early for the full alpine floral display. It gets better, and better…enjoy!
- Jeremy Allyn, Mountain Madness