Climb Prusik Peak's West Ridge

Rate this Adventure 18 miles 5000 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Connor Charles

A sustained hike over nine miles leads you to an amazing opportunity to climb lonely alpine granite deep in the woods of the Washington Enchantments.

The Enchantments are an amazing experience in themselves.  Yet one of the most striking features of any hike into the core zone of the Enchantments is that of Prusik Peak.  This pyramid like spire rises dramatically from the many puddle lakes and boulder fields you pass along your way.  With it's striking white granite raising to approximately 8,000ft it's no wonder that this peak has inspired the likes of many Seattle and Portland Mountaineers for years including folks as renowned as Fred Beckey.

Begin at the Snow Lakes trailhead, just outside the little German town of Leavenworth and just up Icicle Creek Rd.  From there you gain almost 5000ft over the next 9 miles.  Once you reach the core zone of the enchantments you will be sitting at the crystal clear shores of Lake Viviane.  To your right you will see the glaring south face of Prusik Peak.  Begin a small ascent up and over boulders to the west ridge of the peak, here you will see a small trail dropping back over the other side of the ridge, you are at Prusik Pass.  From here head up the ridge and begin the route.

From here the route begins in 4 main pitches:

Pitch 1 - Facing the ridge you will notice a 5.6/7. Begin up that crack as it takes you through block climbing. Once you hit a flat rail, begin to belay your partner up the route.

Pitch 2 - From here ascend the flatish trail towards the north side of the ridge. Climbing aproximately 15-20ft begin to make your way towards the exposed southside of the ridge. The vast drop is breathtaking here and is worth holding your breath and taking a good look around. Once to a good block build and anchor and begin the belay before the slab.

Pitch 3 - From here use the old pin and ascend back to the southside of the ridge, EXPOSURE, then cross back to the northside of the ridge.  From there head slightly down and traverse the trail to in order to start the last pitch.

Pitch 4 - The last pitch has two variations. The first variation is somewhat off-width climbing to your left and includes hand jams and bulges (5.7ish).  This section will protect with nuts and a .75 cam or two. The second variation is to your right, and is a liadback finger crack. Once to the top you can belay via slings and cracks.

Worth the effort this route is a classic with views unlike anything else in the continental 48 it's an amazing climb to be checked off every alpinists list.

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