Vesper Peak Ragged Edge & True Grit
Sitting on the western flank of the North Cascades, Vesper Peak offers excellent climbing on solid rock, and world class views of Glacier Peak, Mount Stuart, Mount Rainier, and Sloan Peak from the top. The two best routes up Vesper peak ascend the right side of the north face. Both the Ragged Edge, and True Grit provide sustained, and entertaining multi-pitch climbing to the rocky summit of Vesper Peak.
This climb is done on a custom basis.
You don’t have to be a hard-core rock climber for these fine routes, but with just enough hard moves through short cruxes, you’ll feel accomplished when you do a mantle on to the top of this peak in the Central Cascades. And the beauty is it can be done in a day from Seattle or other nearby cities; you’ll just get up early, grab a cup of coffee and off you go, and almost back home in time for dinner.
Once you pop over the edge at the top you are likely to surprise a few hikers that have made the ascent via the southeast flank of the peak. After taking in the view from the summit, the descent is a non-technical mix of walking on-and-off trail back to camp, or the car. Though it is possible to climb Vesper Peak in one day, there is beautiful camping by the lake between the peaks of Vesper and Sperry, and excellent routes on surrounding peaks such as the new classic Mile High Club, which more than justify a two-day trip. And if you’re looking for some immaculate, Yosemite-like granite add a day and start or finish in Darrington where you can find 1 – 20+ pitch routes.
This is an intermediate level climb. Similar and previous experience is required.
This trip involves the following:
- Exposed alpine rock
- Longer approach with 4,000+ feet of elevation gain
- Snow possible in early season
- Climbers should have the ability to follow 5.8 rock with a medium-weight pack and move steadily for 10 – 12 hours
- Climbers should be in good physical condition and very competent on harder alpine terrain
Alpine Climbing Grades
Grade I: Normally requires several hours; can be of any difficulty
Grade II: Requires half a day; any technical difficulty
Grade III: Requires a day to do the technical portion; any technical difficulty
Grade IV: Requires a full day for the technical portion; the hardest pitch is usually no less than 5.7 (in the YDS rating)
Grade V: Requires a day and a half; the hardest pitch is usually 5.8 or harder
Grade VI: A multi-day excursion with difficult free climbing and/or aid climbing
from $325 – Per Day
- 1:1 - $500 per person
- 2:1 - $325 per person
- All meals while on the mountain
- Cook kits
- Group climbing equipment
- Guide services
Price Does Not Include
- Transportation — Clients will be responsible for their own and the guide’s(s’) transportation for the trip
- All additional fees — Camping, permit, parking, etc.
- Hotel accommodations
- Restaurant meals
- All personal equipment
- Travel insurance with trip cancellation, medical and evacuation policy
- Guide gratuities
- $400 deposit at time of registration, which includes a $200 non-refundable registration fee
- Balance due 90 days prior to departure
- The balance can be paid by check, wire transfer, ACH or credit card with a 3% convenience fee
Climb is Arranged on a Custom Basis — Contact Us
Cancellation / Refund Policy
- MMI strongly recommends trip cancellation/interruption and evacuation insurance for all trips. Our insurance partner, Ripcord, offers comprehensive travel insurance including trip cancellation, as well as rescue/evacuation policies and can assist in answering any questions. In addition, Participant is expected to have sufficient medical insurance as prescribed by their country of origin. Participant understands that MMI does not include anytype of insurance with the cost of the trip.
- If you decide to cancel your trip or change your itinerary, MMI must be notified in writing. Your trip will be cancelled from the date written notice is received. If proper written cancellation notice is not received, amounts paid and reservations made will be forfeited.
- Non-refundable fees may apply for certain trips in order to secure permits and other services. MMI must strictly adhere to cancellation policies outside MMI’s control.
- Due to the personalized service we offer on our trips, MMI reserves the right to waive any fees. We will attempt to accommodate changes and cancellations, waiving certain fees when feasible.
- Full refund, less the non-refundable registration fee, will be provided 91 days or more before the departure date
- No refunds will be provided 90 days or less before the departure date
We strongly recommend the purchase of travel cancellation insurance to protect you from the unexpected. You aren’t likely to think of it now, but people do get ill, break a bone, have a family emergency or get assigned to a last-minute business trip. If you are in remote areas, please note that emergency rescue & evacuation can be very expensive.
We also strongly urge you to consider rescue and evacuation insurance if your own policy does not provide the coverage needed. Services available may include, but are not limited to, helicopter evacuation, medical care, etc.
If you choose not to purchase insurance, you assume full responsibility for any expenses incurred in the event of a medical emergency and/or evacuation, as well as for trip cancellation, interruption, lost luggage, etc. We are not the experts and therefore ask that you please consult our travel insurance partner directly with any specific questions.
To protect against losses due to illness, accident, or other unforeseen circumstances, Mountain Madness strongly recommends the purchase of travel insurance as soon as possible after making a deposit. Mountain Madness has partnered with Redpoint Resolutions as our preferred travel insurance provider. Redpoint’s Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™ is designed for adventurers.
For a quote, or to purchase travel insurance, please click this link Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™ or call +1 – 415-481‑0600. Pricing varies based on age, trip cost, trip length, and level of coverage.
Critical benefits of Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance include:
- A completely integrated program with a single point of contact for emergency services, travel assistance, and insurance claims
- Evacuation and rescue services from your point of injury or illness to your hospital of choice
- Comprehensive travel insurance for trip cancellation/interruption, primary medical expense coverage, baggage loss or delay, emergency accident and emergency sickness medical expense, emergency dental, accidental death and dismemberment, and more
- Optional security evacuation coverage in case of an unplanned natural disaster or other security events
- Waiver for pre-existing conditions (must be purchased within 14 days of tour deposit)
- Optional “Cancel for Any Reason” coverage (must be purchased within 14 days of tour deposit)
Vesper Peak Ragged Edge & True Grit Day by Day
We meet at your hotel at 6:30 in the morning. After a quick orientation and equipment check at a local gear shop we drive approximately two hours to the trailhead at 2,300 feet / 701 meters. We then hike to a basin between Vesper and Sperry Peaks taking between 3 and 4 hours. From here we either make camp if we are on a 2‑day* itinerary or we continue on to the base of the climb. A climb of Vesper Peak, including descent, typically takes take 8+ hours round trip.
*A climb of Vesper Peak is possible in a day, however a 2 day itinerary may be preferred.
After breakfast we break down camp and descend to the trailhead. Options to climb Mile High Club on Day 2 are available too and make for an excellent two days of alpine rock.
Note on Itinerary: Although we do our very best to follow the schedule listed, the very nature of climbing in an alpine environment requires flexibility. This itinerary is subject to change due to inclement weather, unsafe route conditions, and other reasons beyond our control.
Equipment for Vesper Peak Ragged Edge & True Grit
day pack size (25-35L)
Rock climbing harness
comfortable and padded
Petzl Adjama, Black Diamond Momentum
Black Diamond Half Dome, Petzl Elios
Locking carabiners (2)
Two large, pear-shaped carabiners are best
Black Diamond Rock Lock, Petzl William, Petzl Attache
Non-locking carabiners (2)
2 non-locking carabiners. wired straight-gates are recommended
Black Diamond HotWire
Belay device (plaquette)
Black Diamond ATC Guide, Petzl Reverso
30’ of perlon accessory cord (7mm)
30 feet of 6mm cord
Double length nylon runner (48" or 120cm)
be sure to get nylon not dyneema (18mm width)
Black Diamond Nylon Slings
Mountaineering ice axe (early season - contact for details)
under 5’7” use 60cm, 5’7”-6’2” use 60 or 65cm, over 6’2” use 70cm
Black Diamond Raven, Petzl Glacier
Crampons w/ anti-balling plate (early season - contact for details)
Steel 12-pont. Must be fit to climbing boots prior to trip, new-matic/hybrid type
Black Diamond Sabretooth, Petzl Vasak
Chalk bag (optional)
optional but nice for rock climbs when the temps are warm
Adjustable trekking poles
Three piece poles recommended
Black Diamond Trail Back Pole
Head and Face
Fleece or wool hat
It must cover the ears
Essential eye protection whether in the tropics or by the water. Look for 100% UVA/UVB protection. Consider bringing a spare pair
Shade hat or baseball cap
A visor hat with a good brim is essential for protection from the sun
Mountain Madness trucker hat
Light weight work gloves
lightweight gloves with leather palm for rope work
Black Diamond Transition Glove
Liner socks (optional)
1-pair lightweight and thin
polypropylene or wool
Syntheric or wool socks
check boot fir to make sure they work together
Check fit with boots
Outdoor Research Verglas or Crocodile
Lightweight mountaineering boot (early season - contact for details)
waterproof and crampon compatible (recommended July-October)
La Sportiva Trango Tower GTX, Scarpa Charmoz, Salewa Crow GTX
Light hiking boots or trail shoes
For acclimatization hikes
Salomon X-Ultra 3 Mid, Merrell Moab, La Sportiva Boulder Ex
comfortable enough for all-day use
La Sportiva Mythos, Scarpa Helix
- 1:1 - $500 per person
- 2:1 - $325 per person
6,220 ft / 1896 m
Ragged Edge & True Grit
Ragged Edge — III 5.7
True Grit — III 5.8
Climbers should have basic snow and ice-climbing skills and should be comfortable with glacier travel, which includes moving in a rope team, self arrest, and basic crevasse rescue. Basic knowledge and experience would be required for objectives with some rock climbing.