Route: Northwest Ridge from McCauley Peak
Posted On: 2021-07-21, By: supranihilest
Info: An excellent scramble from McCauley, Echo Mountain is a forlorn and forgotten but worthwhile sidetrip. Peak rank be damned, people! The initial scramble off McCauley is an airy Class 3 to Class 4. On our way to Echo one member of our party stuck to the ridge, the other two dropped down a Class 3 gully to easier terrain on the southwest side of the ridge. Eventually you're forced back up and have to scramble several hundred feet of discontinuous knife edge ridge. The granite is superb, beautiful, and highly exposed, but the scrambling in this section is only Class 3. It's basically a cooler, longer, better version of Kelso Ridge's knife edge. This eventually dumps into a saddle where one can continue scrambling along the ridge through several notches with an exposed Class 4 down climb at the end, or one can drop down Class 2 talus below the notches and hike across to a large grass blob below Echo's incredible summit block. From a distance the summit block looks difficult but it gives up its secrets once below it. Scramble climber's right ridge at Class 3 to Class 4 or scramble up numerous ledges at Class 2+ to Class 3 in the center of the face. The rock here is solid, exposure moderate, and the views on the summit some of the best I've ever had in the Weminuche. Thunder Mountain A and the Organ/Amherst group might not have a better vantage point than Echo. Overall an incredible scramble on a peak that gets maybe one ascent a year. Reverse your route to McCauley and descend back to Hazel Lake or continue on to Grizzly Peak C.