View southeast from summit of Colonial Peak
West from Snowfield Peak
Near the top of the Colonial Glacier
Snowfield Peak from Colonial Peak
Paul Bunyons Stump, Pinnacle Peak and Pyramid Peak

Colonial Peak and Snowfield Peak

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Access:
Distance: 6 miles
Elevation Gain: 7,400+ for Snowfield Peak
Elevation Gain: 1,671 for Colonial Peak from 6,100 foot camp
Summit Elevations: 8,347 for Snowfield, 7,771 for Colonial Peak
Access rating: Paved
The Route:
Class 3 chute to the summit
Near the summit
View southwest from summit of Colonial Peak
Climbing Colonial Peak
Neve Glacier nearing the summit block of Snowfield Peak
Reaching the top of Colonial Peak
Looking west from Colonial Peak
Looking at Eldorado Peak from Snowfield Peak
Top of Neve Glacier
Boulders at the 5,800 foot traverse
Colonial Peak from 5,500 feet on climbers trail
Looking at the traverse to the Colonial Glacier from 5,500 feet
Hiking the ridgeline above 5,400 feet
The Snowfield Peak climb is the essence of North Cascade alpine climbing. You will start low, ascending endless forest until you breakout in the sub-alpine meadows of a high ridge. Then climb into an alpine world where there is nothing but rock and ice everywhere. Set up a base camp and climb in every direction peaks with names like Colonial, Pinnacle, Pyramid, The Needle and Paul Bunyons Stump. Plan two or more days for this trip, you want to get as many of these as you can to avoid having to climb back up another day. I must admit Iíve been up here twice, one May trip climbing Pyramid/Pinnacle/Paul Bunyon, the second time in August getting Colonial and Snowfield. The May trip was much more difficult with snow climbing from Pyramid Lake up, no climbers trail.
Across the road from the parking area the trail heads up the mountain. It doesnít stop climbing for 2.1 miles until it reaches Pyramid Lake. That 1,500 foot climb was just the warm-up. Now follow a climbers trail around the right side of the lake and up the hillside 2,000 more feet until things start opening up. Follow the narrow trail along the ridge crest as it works its way over and around different knolls. If you loose it, backtrack because it is always there somewhere. The trail should take you to the base of Pyramid Peak where you then must descend a bit, then traverse up toward an obvious flat area at the base of the Colonial Glacier. The traverse is a mix of scree and boulder hopping. Once at 6,100 feet in the flat area, pitch camp. From here, Colonial Peak is a relatively easy climb up the glacier and onto class 3 rock on the north facing slopes. For Snowfield Peak, hike south up the Colonial Glacier to a col at 6,900 feet. From here, you can now see Snowfield Peak. Drop down 200 feet onto the Neve Glacier. Ascend this massive glacier to the summit pyramid of Snowfield Peak, on its northwestern side. Look for a long class 3 gully. Ascend this gully to a notch, cross over to the south side, drop a bit and scramble to the summit.
Take Highway 20 east of Marblemount for 21 miles to the Pyramid Lake Trailhead on the north side of Highway 20. This is shortly after crossing to the south side of the Skagit River on a bridge, and the Diablo turnoff. Camping permits are required here.
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Colonial Peak Colonial Glacier Snowfield Peak access trail Rocks below Colonial Peak Paul Bunyons Stump top of Colonial Peak Snowfield Peak From Colonial Peak west from Colonial Peak
from Colonial Peak Colonial Glacier Neve Glacier gulley_up_snowfield.jpg
Map of Colonial and Snowfield Peaks Eldorado Peak The Horseman
The Needle and The Horseman
West from Snowfield Neve Glacier Climbing Colonial Glacier