North Face, Lexington Tower II 5.7
Avg time to climb route: 1-3 hours
Approach time: 1.5-3 hours
Descent time: 1.5-3 hours
Number of pitches: 3
Height of route: 300'
OverviewThe North Face of Lexington Tower, is the one of the easiest ways to climb the to the summit to the mountain and is a fun and moderate route on solid rock. Climbers coming up routes on the east face use it to get to the summit because the rock on the south face is terrible. This route will often provide some solitude in an otherwise crowded area of the Cascades. The view of the small but surprisingly impressive and rarely seen south face of Concord Tower is an added bonus.
While this route is worth doing on its own, the North Face is most often done when linked up with other towers. Some climbers ascend a route on the North side of Concord Tower and climb up and over with all their gear and rappel down the south face and then climb up the North Face of Lexington to save themselves from the walk in the unpleasant Concord- Lexington gully. The other advantages of this is you get two peaks and two climbs for one approach. Nearly as popular climbers choose to walk up the Lexington-Concord gully and link up the South Face of Concord with The North Face of Lexington.
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Route HistoryThe North Face of Lexington was first climbed in 1954 by Tim Kelley and Dick McGowan.
StrategyThis is a rarely done route that goes to the true summit of Lexington Tower. The East Face routes donít go to the true summit but to a shoulder 100 feet below the summit on the south side. The North Face route has a very short crux that protects super well and is a great option for those wanting to break into the 5.7 grade. The crux is a leaning hand crack right off the ground that is more awkward than it is hard. The pitch quickly eases and brings you to a belay at a nice stance a little more than 100 feet up. Pitch 2 starts off with some straight- forward stemming. The route finding can be slightly challenging above here as the route weaves back and forth, eventually trending farther right on the path of least resistance. The last pitch is quite moderate, clean and super fun. It is mostly 4th and low 5th class ridge scrambling that takes you to the summit with fantastic views of the Liberty Bell group and the Cascades. It is difficult to rappel the last pitch because it traverses so much. Most parties have their seconds leave the gear in place and re-clip it as they do a belayed down- climb on this moderate 80-foot section. Once atop Pitch 2, two 30m raps quickly get you back to the base of the route. Most people leave there shoes and extra gear at the base and return there after rappelling.
Retreat StormYou can rappel the route at any time using one 60m rope. The route is slow to dry after a storm and holds onto ice and snow longer than many other routes in the area. The route is likely to be wet until mid to late June and after the first snow of the fall.
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