Forbidden Peak’s North Ridge is a classic mixed route on a remote side of Forbidden Peak. It combines crossing a large glacier, steep snow climbing and a beautiful alpine granite ridge that takes you directly to the summit. Don’t let the moderate rock rating fool you (5.7). This is a demanding climb that requires well-rounded alpine climbing skills.
The North side of Forbidden Peak has a very remote feel. To reach the north side you will climb up the popular Boston Basin trail then climb up and over Sharkfin Col. From the Col a 100′ rappel drops you onto the expansive Boston Glacier. Depending on the time of year the Boston Glacier can be very broken, requiring a circuitous route to the base of the ridge, or a relatively straightforward traverse of the glacier. Either way, the first night’s camp will be made somewhere near the base of the North Ridge.
Climbing the North Ridge requires carrying camp up and over the mountain. This is the perfect climb to hone your lightweight overnight bivouac skills. Typically the climbers will either carry a super lightweight tent such as the Black Diamond Firstlight or if the weather cooperates an “open bivy” may be preferred.
The next morning starts with a steep snow climb up the NW face of the ridge. This typically involves a crossing of the bergshrund low on the face followed by five to eight pitches of 40- to 55-degree snow or ice. At the top of the face, the climb turns to rock and follows a solid granite ridge all the way to the summit.
The preferred descent follows the classic West Ridge via a combination of down-climbing and rappels. This descent brings you back to the Boston Basin side of the mountain, finishing a very rewarding circumnavigation of the mountain.
The climb can be done as a two- or three-day climb depending on fitness and skill. For fit climbers that have previous experience on similar routes, the two-day option is a reasonable way to go but expect a long summit day (12+ hours).
For those climbers that want to climb this in three days the second night’s camp can be made either on the West Ridge or in Boston Basin.
Please contact the office directly for more information about this route and to find out if this climb is appropriate for your experience and skill level.
- Climbers should be comfortable climbing short sections of 5.7 rock with a lightweight overnight pack.
- Experience with crampons and steep snow climbing is required
- Crevasse Rescue Training (a course similar to our Crevasse Rescue and Glacial Travel Course) is required
- Good fitness with the ability to keep moving for long periods of time with only short breaks (12+ hours).