Big Kangaroo by Wallaby Peak on Kangaroo Ridge / 大袋鼠峯

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Big Kangaroo by Wallaby Peak is the highest point on Kangaroo Ridge overlooking Washington Pass. To the north stands the famous Silver Star Mountain. Plus, a Cascades classic, the Liberty Bell group rises to the west.

Big Kangaroo summit monolith
Big Kangaroo summit monolith

See more trip photos here.

Big Kangaroo at a Glance

Access: Highway 20 at Washington Pass hairpin turn
Round Trip: 3.8 miles

Elevation Range: 5160′-8280′
Gear: helmet, rope, rock
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: no

The Preface on Big Kangaroo

Big Kangaroo has been on my radar for a while. But for whatever reason, I failed to generate any interest, and it remained on the back burner. But sometimes, you cross paths with people in unexpected places.

Chandler and I first met on Instagram and have stalked each other for years. He didn’t care where we ended up but was keen to climb around Washington Pass. So with this trip, we took our relationship to the next level.

Starting out
Starting out

See more trip photos here.

Starting by Washington Pass

Yesterday, the pup and I had a leisurely trip to Wildcat Mountain. Afterward, we stayed near Cutthroat Lake Trailhead for the night. Then early the following day, we met Chandler by the Washington Pass hairpin turn.

Since my trip to the Northern Pickets, I haven’t climbed with others in the summertime. So I was excited to meet a new partner on this long-overdue climb. After sorting out the gear, we set off east to Kangaroo Ridge.

Big Kangaroo southwest gully
Big Kangaroo southwest gully

See more trip photos here.

Kangaroo Ridge West Slopes

It was a smooth crossing over Early Winters Creek before returning to the trees. There wasn’t a direct line of sight to the west slopes to see the route. But we worked through dense shrubs until we went into a gully.

As luck would have it, we were in the correct gully. We were also happy to be in the shade for the entire approach because it would be a warm day. Once we were on track, the rest of the route was relatively straightforward.

Big Kangaroo southwest gully
Big Kangaroo southwest gully

See more trip photos here.

Southwest Gully

We went through lots of choss but avoided most of it by hugging the edges. Or we’d sometimes use thin vegetation for better footing. The gully narrowed halfway up the route, where we climbed up downsloping slabs.

We later made a right at the fork above the bottleneck and were south of the summit instead. Then we left after a brief pause to see the other side. We went around the buttress that separated the gullies and knew we were on track when we saw the chockstone.

Above the chockstone
Above the chockstone

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The Summit Monolith

Mr. Cody waited below the chockstone while Chandler and I went above the stone through class 3 slabs to the crest. There was a bit of confusion about the start of the 5th class climb. But it quickly became apparent once on the ridge.

Soon, we were on the broad platform below the monolith and geared up for the first pitch. I didn’t know it was such a short pitch, with only a few high-exposure places. Then we reached the ledge on the other side with solid holds, where I belayed Chandler.

Belaying from the summit
Belaying from the summit

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Big Kangaroo Summit Views

The second and final pitch was short but without decent spots for protection. Chandler could only put a piece by the narrow ledge right below the top. The summit arête only had room for one person, so I stood on a decent foothold.

Wow, the views! Chandler loved this area so much that he’s since climbed both Early Winters Spires of the Liberty Bell Mountain group. Meanwhile, I was fixating on our anchor around this century-old, rusted bolt.

East-to-north panoramic view
East-to-north panoramic view

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Outro

It was so gorgeous that we saw everything in the North Cascades. Many familiar places included Silver Star Mountain, Corteo Peak, McGregor Mountain, and Shelokum Slam. On the horizon were Spire Point plus the Picket Range.

Chandler let me stay on the summit for a while as he waited by the platform. Shortly, we reunited with the pup by the chockstone. Then we went down the adjacent north gully to bypass the downsloping slabs to end the climb.

It was another beautiful day in the North Cascades!

Thanks for a lovely day
Thanks for a lovely day

See more trip photos here.

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