|Note that the actual location of the final peak varies slightly depending on whether you look at Canada Topo or the TRIM data. We use the trim data.|
On December 9, 1956 a four-engine DC-4 crashed onto the east side of the summit pinnacle killing all 62 people on board. Because of the severe and then-remote terrain and the thick snows on the Cascades that winter, the wreckage was not found until May 1957 when a group of climbers stumbled upon a navigation map; soon after other relics and remains were found, many months after the flight ceased radio communications and was lost. The area proved too rugged to recover any bodies or wreckage and some is still scattered across the cirques below the peak's east face. The site is now protected by commemorative legislation as a result of the activities of the Families of Slesse organization, who were concerned about inroads by logging operations and souvenir-hunters.
Name Notes: The name "Slesse" is the native name for the peak, and comes from the Halqemeylem word SelÃ³ysi, meaning "fang" - obviously very descriptive from nearly any angle.
1. Approach from Nesakwatch Creek FSR Class 5. This is the usual way to get to the northeast buttress route.
2. Approach from Slesse Creek Road As of 2015 you can drive to km 7.1 and the trail has been well cleared the rest of the way.
3. Southwest face (standard route) (August 10, 1927) Stan Henderson, Fred Parkes, Mills Winram. 5.6. Hike Slesse Mountain trail to NW of the peak. Traverse a ledge system across the W face to the upper SW shoulder near a large gendarme and climb up a gully system (5.6) to the summit above. This is the standard descent for all routes: one or two rappels and much class 4 downclimbing and traversing.
Equipment: 50m rope, light rock rack (a few chocks)
4. NW face (1959) Fred Beckey, Ed Cooper, Don (Claunch) Gordon. 5.8. From near where the standard route begins to traverse across the W face on ledges, climb straight up to the summit, about a ropelength right of the upper N arete. 4 pitches or so.
Equipment: Rock rack; double ropes helpful
5. Northeast buttress (1963) Fred Beckey, Eric Bjornstad, Steve Marts. TD, V 5.9. Begin at the toe or bypass several pitches with the Bypass start on the south flank, depending on the state of the Bypass Glacier. Climb several pitches to 5.8 to the half-height buttress crest where the rock rears up to vertical. Bypass this on N side by 5.8 ledges, or climb straight up (5.10a direct). Above this, after a 5.8 pitch, reach a nice bivi ledge and several low angle pitches of class 4. The headwall above has several pitches of up to 5.8/5.9. Around 25 to 30 pitches in total with about 15-16 of 5th class. Fast parties climb it in a day. Many "not fast enough" parties become benighted somewhere on the descent trail. See the route report for recent bulletins.
Equipment: full rack and possibly bivi gear