Route: Snowfield Peak (WA)

Location
Washington, US
Description

Snowfield Peak is an outstanding summit in the North Cascades about 5 miles ESE of Newhalem as the crow flies. Snowfield Peak's most distinctive feature is its broad Neve Glacier on the north and northwest flanks. This is one of the larger non-volcano-related glaciers in the Washington Cascades and measures roughly 750 acres in size. 

The standard approach (the one used by probably greater than 95 percent of climbers) is via the Pyramid Lake/Peak Trail. The 1,150-ft trailhead for this is 6.5 miles east of Newhalem on the North Cascades Highway. A well-worn trail climbs to the lake in just over 2 miles. From there, the trail is more indistinct as it climbs up to the East Ridge of Pyramid Peak and beyond.

From the East Ridge of Pyramid Peak, one then climbs southward onto the Colonial Glacier on the east flank of Paul Bunyan's Stump, then to the Colonial-Neve Col, then onto the Neve Glacier. One ascends the Neve (a good way past crevasse fields can be found through its center) to the base of the peak either on it's West Ridge or below its Northwest Face--the latter can apparently be used if snow covers the route to the top.

The last 100 vertical feet of scrambling to the top involves class 3 or class 4 climbing. Depending on the route taken, it can be made as difficult as class 5.