Northeast Ridge, Black Peak II 5.3
Avg time to climb route: 1-2 days
Approach time: 4-8 hours fr. W. Fork Airstrip
Descent time: 4-6 hours
Number of pitches: N/A
Height of route: 1,000'
OverviewCertainly a step up in difficulty from the South Ridge, the Northeast Ridge is moderate but exposed. While it can go fast for experienced parties, the Northeast Ridge is long, and groups pitching the whole thing out can expect more than 15 pitches. The Northeast Ridge holds snow longer than many routes in the area and early in the season is a fun, mixed, alpine, ridge climb. While few parties are forced to wear crampons on the ridge itself, boots are typically worn until beginning or mid-July, adding to the alpine flavor.
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Route HistoryThe Northeast Ridge of Black Peak was first climbed by Robert Jackson and Michael Kennedy in September 1973.
Route StrategyThe Northeast Ridge is not as popular as the South Ridge, but it is not uncommon to have to share the route with another party on a busy weekend. Mid-week, you are likely to have the route to yourself. Passing is easy in many places along the ridge. The ridge is fairly steep, and as long as parties give each other enough distance, the odds of party-inflicted rock fall are slim. Unlike the South Ridge which melts out quickly, the Northeast Ridge holds snow well into July, so plan to bring boots, ice axe and crampons until then. This makes the Northeast ridge feel alpine.
To begin the route, climb up a sandy ramp system (snow until early to mid- season). The route ascends mostly along the ridge crest with a couple sections going onto the eastern face not far from the crest. The climbing on the lower part of the ridge is exposed and the ridge is slender. Donít get suckered into the ledges too far down on the left (east) side of the ridge; always fight to stay within 20-30 feet of the crest. If you find yourself traversing too casually and getting farther and farther away from the crest, find a place to regain it bef... [full history for SuperTopo members only!]
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