Cutthroat Peak/North Ridge

Cutthroat Peak via the North Ridge is a Grade II, 5.6 rock climb.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

Drive I-5 to Exit 232 (Cook Road) at Burlington. Turn east to Sedro Wooley and junction of SR 20. Turn left and drive through Marblemount (47 mi) and on to Rainy Pass.

APPROACH

From Pacific Crest Trailhead (PCT), north of SR 20 at Rainy Pass, follow PCT north for about 20 minutes.

Leave trail at small stream bed just before large creek, and ascend steep open timber to basin northwest of the peak (brief avalanche swath debris to cross before entering basin. Ascend to head of basin and 7,520+ ft notch between north and south peaks.

ASCENT ROUTE

Gain ridge via obscure gully 200-300 ft south of notch. On ridge, rock improves significantly. 5th class steps and easier climbing lead to base of summit block. Ascend easy broken chimney to summit. Running belays are frequently useful on this route.

DESCENT ROUTE

Downclimb route; easy with several short rappels. One longer rappel to notch. Or, descend Basic route on West Ridge route (reportedly loose).

TRIP PROFILE

SEGMENTTIME (HOURS)ELEVATION GAIN (FEET)
Seattle to Trailhead 3.5
Trailhead to Camp 3-4 2,000
Camp to Summit 3-6 1,000
Summit to Camp 2-3

EQUIPMENT

Light rack of mostly medium to larger.

NOTES

Short approach from North Cascades Highway to a short, uncrowded climb of modest technical difficulty. Some parties prefer to bivy in basin below ridge night before climb.

  • Suitable Activities: Climbing
  • Climbing Category: Intermediate Alpine
  • Seasons: May, June, July, August, September
  • Weather: View weather forecast.
  • Difficulty: Intermediate Rock Climb
  • Elevation Gain: 3,000 ft
  • 8,050 ft
Map
  • USGS Washington Pass
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