Black Peak in NCNP via Maple Loop Pass Trail + Rainy Pass / 黑峯

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Black Peak in NCNP sits on the edge of the park boundary, accessible via Maple Pass Loop Trail. It’s also one of the tallest peaks by Rainy Pass after Mount Logan and Goode Mountain. A classic climb, the peak attracts mountain lovers from near and far.

Black Peak in the bad weather
Black Peak in the bad weather

See more trip photos here.

Black Peak at a Glance

Access: Rainy Pass Trailhead
Round Trip: 12 miles
Elevation Range: 4880′-6905′
Gear: helmet, ice ax, crampons
GPS Track: not available
Dog-Friendly: no pets

The Preface

Last month I met a hiker on the way to Bandera Mountain. Then he and his friend invited me to climb Black Peak in NCNP. We didn’t make it because of the bad weather. But we would later go back in the fall and summit the peak.

We arrived at the trailhead super early to get a head start. But seeing other cars in the lot in this gloomy weather was surprising. I knew I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the two fearless climbers!

On Rainy Pass
On Rainy Pass

See more trip photos here.

First Time in the North Cascades

It was my first time venturing into the North Cascades, so I didn’t know what to expect. But I went for the long drive up to Rainy Pass anyway. The bad weather ended up making everything around us look terrifying.

Clouds and rain had weaken the visibility significantly. So much for my first time in the area. At first, we were able to hike the summer trail. But later, the path faded into the snow, and so we scrambled the rest of the way.

Starting up
Starting up

See more trip photos here.

A Glimpse of Black Peak in NCNP

Later we saw Black Peak in NCNP when the clouds shifted. Plus, we saw some nearby high points. Though, soon, they all went back into the mist. We never saw Wing Lake, but we did see Lake Ann and Lewis Lake from the trail.

We know it would be foolish to continue in the bad weather. So we turned around after taking some photos and playing around in the snow. We had hoped for the mountains to show up again, but that never happened.

Wing Lake somewhere down there
Wing Lake somewhere down there

See more trip photos here.

Outro

On the way back, we tried practicing self-arrest. But we didn’t know the proper techniques. I had bought all the snow gear for this trip. So I should at least figure out how to use it. Though, I still wasn’t sure about this “ice ax” thing.

It was an enjoyable outing with two new friends despite the weather. And I knew we’d come back at some point.

Time to say goodbye
Time to say goodbye

See more trip photos here.

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