Colchuck Peak Climb
Guided Routes on Colchuck Peak
The North side of Colchuck Peak has a remote feel and towers above Colchuck Lake. Situated next to its slightly higher neighbor, Dragontail Peak (8,840'), Colchuck Peak offers an overall easier climb on generally sound rock or a moderate glacier. We offer a variety of climbs on Colchuck Peak, the generally straight forward Colchuck Glacier, and the spicier North Buttress, and the NE Couloir, a snow gully that can be ascended in the spring.
Colchuck Glacier Climb
We often use this as a training site for moderate snow climbing. The route does have a steep spot or two and works best when climbed from around May to late July. We climb roped to the col between Colchuck and Dragontail Peaks and then descend the glacier back to the Talus slopes above Colchuck Lakes. In addition to some nice moderate snow climbing, this route provides stunning views of Dragontail Peak.
North Buttress of Colchuck Peak Climb
This is a very nice moderate rock climb in a beautiful mountain cirque. There are several variations that can be done, with the easiest being in the 4th class range,and the most direct involving climbing up to 5.6. The NE Buttress provides nice views of the NE Couloir and Colchuck Glacier routes and is an often overlooked rock climbing option with a relatively short approach. This is best done in July and August, when the rock is dry, and the Colchuck Glacier remains less icy for the descent.
NE Couloir of Colchuck Peak Climb
The NE couloir has become very popular in recent years, and is often an alternate destination for those headed to climb the Triple Couloirs Route on Dragontail Peak as it is less steep and committing without the sections that melt out. Basically a steep snow climb, this can only be done when snow conditions are ideal and avalanche hazard is low.
Colchuck Peak Itinerary
This is typically done as a long one-day climb, but can also be done as a two-day climb with a camp placed at Colchuck Lake. It is also possible to climb a bit in the morning of day 1 in Icicle Creek Canyon, and then approach Colchuck Lake to camp the evening before your climb of Colchuck Peak.
: Park at Mountaineer Creek trailhead, and hike 4.5 miles to Colchuck Lake (5,570'). The Colchuck Glacier or North Buttress lie immediately above the lake and can be climbed in 3-6 hours depending on conditions. Descend via the Colchuck Glacier back to Colchuck Lake and hike out.
: If doing this as a two-day climb, you will camp just above Colchuck Lake and complete your climb on day 2.
For those seeking to climb Colchuck Peak, you will need previous experience using an ice axe and crampons. If you do not have previous experience you can always do this as a two-day outing and we can train you on the day before the climb. North Buttress climbers need to be able to move efficiently on 5.6 terrain and be in good condition. Those seeking to climb the NE Couloir should have previous experience climbing steeper snow. It is best to call the office at 509-548-5823 to discuss these climbs.
Portions of this program take place on US Forest Service lands under a commercial-outfitter and guide permits. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities and is an equal opportunity provider and employer.