Reynolds Peak - Northwest Ridge of North and South Summits, July 2005
Trying to escape the lousy weather on the "West-Side" last Fall, Eric and I decided to head east and attempt the elusive NW Ridge of Reynolds Peak's North Summit. Beckey's vague, yet intriguing description, "...five pitches of excellent 5th-class rock" piqued our curiosity enough to check it out. Reportedly comprised of granitic rock, the route appears to follow an obvious and aesthetic line starting from a gentle saddle literally at the end of the Reynolds Creek trail. Starting with 3rd-class scrambling along the ridge crest, and finished with a few pitches of technical climbing, the route seems to have the makings of a classic with what we hoped was only a moderate amount of difficulty. But, alas, we were turned back by wildfires and would have to wait till next season to explore this enigma.
With marginal weather once again forecast for the west slopes of the Cascades in early July of 2005, Tom and I again ventured east in search of drier weather. It seemed like the perfect opportunity for another go at Reynolds Peak. Armed with recent route beta from Eric and Andy's ascent only a week earlier, Tom and I planned to climb the NW Ridge of Reynolds Peak's North and South summits in a day, car-to-car (with trailhead bivy). We began hiking up Reynolds Ck trail at 5:30 on Monday morning and got to the pass (6875') at ~ 8:00 (6.6 miles). We then hiked up the ridge immediately E of the pass to gain the NW Ridge. We roped up at the first gendarme (there are four prominent gendarmes on the route) and proceeded to take advantage of running belays on the entire route, enjoying pleasant climbing on relatively sound rock throughout the duration of the climb. (more...)
Click here to view.