Vesper Peak just may be the most spectacular and fulfilling non-technical (A-level) climb in the Cascade Range.
A classic pyramidal silhouette, with a broad, sheer north face, Vesper would look right at home another few thousand feet higher in elevation. The mountain is connected via a lattice of craggy ridges to a group of highly regarded technical summits like Sperry, Morning Star, Big Four, Gothic and Del Campo peaks.
The 360° panorama from its summit is considered one of the best in the Cascades, with all of the giants, from Baker, to Rainier, to Glacier to the Olympics, and even Adams in view.
Vesper also stands out in the PNW for its non-volcanic origin. Most of the mountain is scoured granite (like Mt. Stuart). Northwest of the summit, the Vesper Glacier descends a deep chute to Copper Lake, tucked from view behind the rarely seen, red backside of Big Four Mountain. Another feature unique to Vesper is the difficult-to-access location on the Northwest ridge that has been one of the best sources anywhere in the world for Garnet gemstones.
Climbing Vesper Peak is not a stroll — it presents a solid challenge for a one day, out-and-back climb, including 4200’ of elevation gain, class 2-3 scrambling on slabs and around big walls, as well as some moderate angle snow traverses.