The North Raker survived the 2020 earthquakes and is still the hardest and most remote Sawtooth summit to climb. Since the first ascent by Fred Beckey and Pete Schoening in 1949, only a handful of climbers have reached its summit. Brian Fedigan and Mike McClure conquered the peak this Summer. Brian’s trip report and photos are set out below.
“Mike McClure and I ascended the North Raker. We both onsighted the route. Don’t know if it was a first free ascent or not. We scrambled to the notch mostly 4th class with some 5th-class moves in there. We took off our approach shoes and racked up. We traversed about 100 feet to into a notch. This pitch was loose 5.8. We set up a belay and then Mike led off. He stepped on a large loose flake and traversed downward to gain the large crack. There was several large loose chockstones in the crack. The crack varied from hands to offwidth. We used most #3s and #2s to protect the pitch. There were two old pitons and one old button head bolt.
There was a new bolt located at the widest section of the crack. We were able to fist jam, hand stack and chicken wing through this section. There were several small footholds that allowed us to surmount this section. The crack was steep in the wide section, but the angle decreased before coming to a large ledge. From here, there was about 20 feet to the summit. We rapped off the summit to the notch. We then led out of the notch back toward the false summit. We then unroped and downclimbed to the saddle. The crux pitch was mid-to-hard 5.10.“