Trip Report    

Basic Rock Climb - Mixup Peak/East Face

Although not too long and not a lot of elevation gain, this climb keeps your attention for hours on end. Stunning views in the area if you can see them.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Road to Cascade Pass trailhead in good condition although not all paved.

The 4 of us left the TH at about 5:40am.  It was pretty warm and muggy as we hiked the 3.5 miles to Cascade Pass.  A lone marmot near the trail paid us little attention.20190713_071203.jpgWe're at Cascade Pass a couple hours later and it's totally socked in.   Can't see a thing.20190713_072824.jpgAfter waiting about half a hour, we decide to go anyways.  We'll evaluate as we go.  Luckily it starts to clear as we move along the boot path that will take us to  Mixup Arm.20190713_080228.jpgThe sun trying to break through and I'm getting hopeful.20190713_080623.jpgWe cross a few patches of snow.  One spot we need to traverse is especially bad because it's steep and muddy.  The run out is bad.  20190713_090751.jpgSahale, Ripsaw Ridge and Buckner make an appearance.20190713_090754.jpgUnder Mixup Arm we see our route to Gunsight Notch.  We will need to get on Cache Glacier in order to get there.  We don't rope up for this crossing.  
InkedInked20190713_091045_LI.jpgOn the Cache Glacier heading towards Gunsight Notch.20190713_093933.jpgWe must decide whether to use the preferred "V" notch or the "U" notch to get on the rock.  The summit is on climber's right.  Hong's photo of the 2 notches.Inked67235458_455636861892260_6059462985024274432_n_LI.jpgWe decide on the "U" notch because it looks better from a distance, but we won't really know about the moat issues until we're much closer.   Jerry is in front and finds a sketchy crossing.  Mark and I follow him.  Hong finds another way which is the way we'll use on our return. 20190713_101738.jpg It's about 10:30am now. Hong on the loose, crumbly rock.  A rope left behind by someone is next to her.  We'll need to carefully climb to the notch now.  We're very careful traveling 2 by 2, but rocks still fly.20190713_102613.jpgAt the notch there is a partial view of Mt Formidable.20190713_131722.jpgWe now head for the "V" notch saddle by following another boot path on the south side of the peak.20190713_104816.jpgA little scrambling to get there.20190713_105004.jpgAnd then we're near the notch which we had to scramble down some more to reach.20190713_110105.jpgAt the "V" notch saddle and looking at Cache Glacier.  Photo taken on our return.20190713_193611.jpgFrom this "V" notch we drop down this gully on the south side about 100' to where we will start our climb.  Photo taken on departure.20190713_193618.jpgBy the time we're ready to start climbing, it's probably already around 12:15pm.  Hong and I lead and we place 1 or maybe 2 pieces in 30 meters.  There is nowhere to place any protection so thankfully the climbing is easy.  Class 4 mostly.  It's even hard to find places to build any anchors.20190713_131704.jpg

20190713_131717.jpgWe pitch it out twice and then coil our ropes and scramble the rest of the way to the ridge where we cross over to the other side of the peak and see the east face.  The clouds are moving across our views all day.20190713_134545.jpgThe Class 3 staircase will take us to about 70' below the summit where we will do 1 last pitch to the summit.  It's 1:45pm now.20190713_134549.jpgSome views.  Cache Col and Magic Mtn.20190713_134607.jpgWe should have gone further climber's right to climb up to the ridge, but Hong led this harder chimney to the ridge.  It was a dirty, short pitch, but not easy.  A rock came flying and almost hit Jerry who was belaying.  Luckily the anchor above on the ridge was a good one so I asked her to belay each of us up.  We also avoided having to protect the exposed ridge to reach the summit by doing it this way.20190713_145100.jpgLooking at Hong from the summit who is at the anchor on the ridge.  This is where you rappel too.    The easier way to reach the summit is climbing to the notch behind her.  From that notch to this anchor is a short, but exposed traverse that should be protected.20190713_153810.jpgWe're at the summit at 3:30pm. Unfortunately it's when the summit is in the clouds so zero views.   We stay about 20 minutes and depart.  Looking at the summit from the anchor.20190713_155118.jpgWe set up double rope rappels twice.  It would have been faster to have not set up a double the second time, but 1 person preferred it so we did.   After scrambling back down the "staircase" and to the drop that overlooks the "V" notch we find the first rappel anchor in a tree.  Jerry rappels first.  It's 6pm now.20190713_180120.jpgWhile waiting to rappel, Mixup Peak comes into full view.20190713_180137.jpgA view down towards Stehekin.20190713_180219.jpgThis second rappel anchor and Hong on the first rappel.  A double rope rappel from this second anchor could have taken us to the ground, but we weren't sure so didn't do it unfortunately.20190713_182831.jpgAnchor for last rappel where Mark and Jerry are.20190713_182822.jpgThis anchor to the ground was sketchy, but no alternatives.   If we had done a double rope rappel from above, we could have bypassed this awful one.20190713_185924.jpgIt was 7:30pm by the time we were all down and ready to go.  We made the mistake of trying to reach the Cache Glacier directly from the "V" notch.  We spent too much time descending it and then finding the moat too deep to cross so had to climb back up to the notch around the back and back to the "U" notch.  From there we used another sketchy anchor (which had that rope that was left behind.)  20190713_202907.jpgBlurry photo of the rappel back to Cache Glacier.20190713_204921.jpgIt's 9pm by the time we're all back on the glacier.  So thankful we're down by dark.  Nothing epic about this climb except the very long day.  We're all back at our car around midnight.  

Definitely Type 2 climb at 19 hours c2c.  I would  have given this 4 stars if we had superb views, but because we didn't, I am rating it as 3 stars only.  Another great group who all helped make this climb successful.