Vesper Peak Scramble

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Unlike the broad stratovolcanoes of the southern and central Cascades like Mount Shasta, the wilderness areas and national parks that make up the North cascades are made of steep granite spires and rugged glaciers boasting excellent alpine style climbing with both fun glacier travel and rock and ice climbing (as well as large stratovolcanoes). There is also plenty of great hiking and scrambling to be had!

Vesper peak is accessed via the Sunrise Mine trail which is at the end of the nominally closed due to washouts (but actually easily accessible by a 2 wheel drive low clearance vehicle) 1hr 45 min drive from Seattle at the edge of the Morning Star National Resources Conservation Area. A newish trail replaced the old mine trail and now is the only trail there. The maintained trail crosses a few rivers and then switchbacks steeply up to Headlee pass. The trail continues from the pass under Speary peak to the base of the short but very high quality class 2/3 scramble, but it stops being maintained at the pass. Once at pass traverse toward the peak trying to maintain elevation until you rack the outlet stream to Vesper Lake. Easily cross the stream and follow the "trail" up the rib on the other side of the steam. The rib will dump you out on the face where rare 2/3 class granite slab scrambling can be found! Awesome. From the summit on a clear day you can clearly see Glacier Peak, Mount Baker, Mount Rainier, Mount Stuart, and even the tip of Mount Adams. If you are in Seattle for a conference like I am, I would highly recommend this hike!!! It is about 8 miles round trip and about 4000 vertical feet from the car to the summit.

This also looks like an excellend ski once the mountain loop highway opens in early May

If you have more time, you can climb the north glacier on vesper and then around 4 pitches of ~5.7 will get you to the summit!!

Summit View from Vesper, Mount Baker Clearly Visible
View of Vesper from Headlee Pass
Map of 2/3 class route up Vesper