- Duration: 3 days
- Level: Intermediate
- Client Ratio: 2:1
- 3 Days – $1050
- Included: Guide, group climbing gear, helmet, harness, carabiners, tent, breakfast & dinner
- Not Included: Transportation, crampons*, ice axe*, boots*, lunch/trail snacks, gratuities for guides and personal camping equipment
The name perfectly fits the feeling of summiting this dramatic peak! Surrounded by a steep and extremely rugged part of the North Cascades National Park, Mount Triumph is one of the best moderate alpine rock peaks in Washington State. The Northeast Ridge was first climbed in 1965 by local pioneers Joan and Joe Firey rivals Forbidden or Shuksan but is smaller in stature, less traveled, and more remote.
Day 1: The drive from Seattle to the Thorton Lakes trailhead (2,700 feet) takes about 3.5 hours. The first 2 miles of the hike gain little elevation and offer a chance to warm up for the climb to the ridge crest and pass (4,900 feet) above Thorton Lakes – this is good trail hiking with great blueberries in late summer. From here we descend to the lakes, pick our way through moderate alpine terrain, and climb the final steep 900 foot slope to a col that will be our bivouac for the night. This col, the easiest entry point onto the unnamed pocket glacier on Triumph’s eastern flank, has unparalleled views, as well as good water source.
Day 2: With a pre-dawn start, we traverse the glacier for 1.5 hours or so before making our way onto the NE Ridge proper. Depending on the season and the year, this traverse can either be easy snow, or rock slabs and a bit of ice. The first few pitches offer very nice, easy face and crack climbing before the features sharpen and the ridge narrows. About two-thirds of the way up, the ridge leads to a small crux tower which offers fun and exhilarating climbing. Once through this step, there is a more classic ridge climbing – the final 200 feet follows third and fourth class to the summit. A series of rappels, lowers, and simultaneous down-climbing lead us back to the base of the ridge. We’ll then reverse the glacier approach back to our bivy at the col.
Day 3: Most parties find it unreasonable to reverse the approach after the previous day’s climb – hiking out on day 3 makes for a much more doable and enjoyable trip. If energy allows, it is highly recommended to do the short hike from the pass above Thorton Lakes to Trapper Peak. Expect to be back in Seattle by mid-afternoon.