North Early Winter Spire (NEWS) stands out among the Liberty bell group as it rises above Blue lake basin with its sheer west face being among the cleanest and steepest sweeps of granite in the whole basin. The clean stripe of the West face route stands out against the dark wall, so much so that you would hardly believe that what you are looking at from all this ways away, is a finger crack.
Standing alone on the opposite side of the valley from Liberty Bell, Cutthroat peak rises dramatically above the beautiful alpine meadows near Washington Pass. While there are a number of popular routes on this peak, the classic is surely the South Buttress. The South Buttress of Cutthroat is a long, moderate route that weaves a clever path through slabs, overhangs and chimneys up the sunny, broad buttress of this major peak. While none of the climbing is too difficult, this is a long route that requires good fitness and the ability to move quickly over low to mid fifth class rock.
This course is designed for the experienced backcountry skier or splitboarder looking to get into more technical objectives in glaciated terrain. Skis are the perfect tools for climbing (and descending) peaks as they allow us to move quickly and cover a lot of terrain. These camps typically take place utilizing both Washington Pass and Mount Baker, and if the weather cooperates, we finish up with a descent of Mount Baker, truly one of the most classic snow descents in the lower 48.
Mazama is one of the best places in Washington to learn to rock climb or improve your climbing ability by focusing on technical skills. We create a safe, positive, and effective learning environment for climbers of all abilities. There are a number of routes in the beginner to moderate grades to chose from, which we have used to help hundreds of climbers find their way in this vertical environment.
NCMG guide and author of the Supertopo guide to Washington pass, Ian Nicholson, calls this area “the best alpine rock destination in North America.” With scores of classic climbs covering the full spectrum of difficulties, there is truly something here for everyone. Offering an all snow approach in the early season, these climbs can have a distinctly alpine feel in the Spring and early Summer. Later in the Summer, the approaches become snow free and most of these climbs can be reached in a pair of approach shoes in only an hour or two. This allows us the unique opportunity to spend the