Brad wanted to climb the North Peak of Index,
but I told him I would only do that if we continued on to do the entire
Partners for a North Peak climb are difficult to come by,
so he agreed.
For research I prevailed upon a pilot friend to fly me around the
mountain to take pictures.
I also found vantage points from which I could take pictures of the
mountain in Winter.
And I read
(1st Traverse, 1950)
Challenge of the North Cascades.
I consulted Dave Christensen,
who had done the route a short time before and I talked to
(2nd North-South Traverse, 1967).
Sumner told me once one attained the summit of the North Peak,
90% of the people in Mountain Rescue could not reach you.
Once one rappels toward the Middle Peak,
100% of the people in Mountain Rescue could not reach you.
Combining the difficulty,
lack of easy escape routes and length of the climb results in the rating
of Grade V
(on a scale of I to VI).
In this Winter picture of the North Peak,
the large snow patch immediately above and right of center is commonly
referred to as
In the Summer,
it is a patch of greenery and one imagines strolling through it as a
break in the difficult sections one encounters below and above.
The Middle Peak is to the left and behind the North Peak.
[The Middle Peak]
is certainly one of the most inaccessible spots in the Cascade Range,
offering no practical route aside from the difficult traverse from the
(route of first ascent)....
Only a very competent team should consider the climb by any route;
the consequences of either accident or bad weather could be serious.