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#12663 - 08/04/04 07:27 PM Mt. Maude North Face
Cascade Offline

Registered: 04/24/03
Posts: 40
Loc: Seattle, WA
If you're going to be out in Washington and want to get up a decent alpine route without doing one of the popular glacier slogs here is a good alternative we did last weekend. Mt. Maude is on east side of the Cascade crest so it's drier over there. It's NE of Leavenworth. Becky suggests crossing the glacier from east to west, we went with the west to east option. This is a shorter approach via Leroy Basin (check the Nelson classics Cascade Climbs guide). The approach is shorter, about 7 mi and 3,000 elevation gain to the upper Leroy Basin bench around 7,100 ft. This puts you about 1,000 ft below the Seven Finger Jack - Mt. Maude col.

Next morning we got up to the col and then kicked steps down about 200 ft of 50 deg firm snow. Now you have to traverse east and negoiate two large rock bands. It's mostly 3rd class or less so no need to rope it, it will slow you down. Eventually you get to the base of the route which is a classic north face coulir of 2,000 ft 35-55 deg snow/ice. Conditions can vary but we hit it right. The snow was firm for kicking and we didn't need crampons. You could likely have arrested but we played it safe with a running belay of 3 pickets off the 7mm, 60 m rope. The top 50 ft or so was ice that was protected by one screw. Besides the mountain goat kicking gravel on us from above the route was straight forwared, fun, and without any other climbers. We took a second tool but never used it. The top steepens in the last 250 ft to around 55-60 deg, which is exciting. Those more confident on steep snow could dispense with the rope, though conditions can vary and you could end up on hard snow or ice for much of the route. So heads up.

Nelso suggests an "easy gully" decent back to camp but we couldn't find it. We read a similar report in the ranger station. We went down 1,000 ft, and then back up for Plan B. My advice would be to contiue east off the summit (9,034 ft) towards Ice Lakes, drop of the shoulder south, then traverse on the climbers trail into the lower end of the huge gully. Climbers trail goes to the cliff/waterfall, then traverses west back to camp.

All in all a great moderate route without the crowds. We saw a few hikers but that was it. There are other nearby worthy summits also over 9,000 ft nearby such as SF Jack, Fernow, and Bonnanza.
All other great climbs in an wilderness setting.

#12664 - 11/02/06 05:13 AM Re: Mt. Maude North Face [Re: Cascade]
Layback Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 816
Loc: Monroe, WA
Best way to descend this route is via a scrambling route halfway down the south ridge, descend to two sandy beaches and then down through the gullies to the site of the camp. The route that you were looking for is difficult to find due to the several cliff bands that exist there - it can get pretty tricky.

I still can beleive that you think Adams Glacier is a slog. I found the two routes to be similar though I have begun to dislike all things volcano now that I live here.
- Joe


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