West Ridge of Forbidden Peak

Jeff Ward
Submitted by Jeff Ward on

West Ridge of Forbidden Peak

Route: West Ridge of Forbidden


Last Climbed: Usually I guide it a few times per year


Route Description: Clean rock, wicked exposure and one of the best views in the Cascades make this moderate alpine route deservedly famous. Depending on the season, there's everything from steep snow to alpine granite, with a crux at the 5.6 grade and mostly 4th - low-5th class rock, this is an aesthetic route made for efficient movement along a ridge crest nearly all the way along the route. It can be combined with other routes in Boston Basin such as Sharkfin Tower or the Quien Sabe glacier.


Gear Needed: Overnight camping gear (it can be done in a day by very strong parties, but we typically guide it in 3 days given the long nature of the route and the steep approach), a light alpine rack, ice axe, crampons. I highly recommend bringing comfortable climbing shoes for the route -- it makes the climb faster and more fun as opposed to climbing in clunky mountain boots.


Experience Level Required: some experience alpine rock climbing and down climbing -- one of our intro to alpine rock courses or a couple of days at Washington Pass is a perfect way to hone your skills for this route.


Best time of year:  Ideally June through September. I highly recommend climbing midweek as this route can be very busy, particularly on the weekends. It's one of the 50 classics and is on every alpine climber's tick list (and deservedly so!)