Baring Mountain is not a famous peak, and few climbers in the United States are aware that its north face is one of the great sheer mountain walls in the country, every bit the equal of those in Yosemite. This 3000-foot cliff lanuguishes in relative obscurity due to poor rock quality, brushy terrain, rainy weather, and lack of National Park-quality infrastructure. But any hiker or mountaineer who sees this impressive spire off of Highway 2 for the first time will wonder why this fantastically-shaped peak is not more of a household name.
The north face of Baring goes years without any ascents, but for the casual scrambler there is an easy class-3 route the gains the long northwest ridge, contours into the valley leading to the notch between the peak's two summits, and from the notch climbs to the summit. U.S. Congressman Jay Inslee has climbed the peak by this route, among others. Perhaps the most difficult part of the climb is the extremely steep climbers trail that gains the crest of the northwest ridge--most of the time, you are hauling yourself up (or lowering yourself) by hanging on to vegetation.