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Trip Report    

Cutthroat Peak/West Ridge

Gained W ridge via SW gulley. Finished via the (squeeze) chimney described in SuperTopo.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • No snow on route. Plenty of running water in basin below the W Ridge, if one wishes to bivy the night before.

Trip Date: 7/30/2016
Party size: 4
Departed from pullout on Hwy 20 at 6:15 AM
End of trail/start of choss: 7:30 AM

10 AM : Gained W Ridge via SW gulley. Summit Post describes the SW gulley as the most common start. This gulley matched the photo exactly and was reasonably clean, though definitely steeper than what we'd scrambled so far. We scrambled this gulley wearing rock shoes. The top of this gulley is the top of Washington Pass Climbing SuperTopo P3. Found rap chains here. We left our boots and large packs 60m below on a ledge, climbers left of the gulley.

10:45 AM : First rope team gained the crest (top of P5)
11:30 AM: Everyone scrambled P6 and reached point where ridge steepens (start of SuperTop Pitch 7).

SuperTopo P7:  This pitch took some time. We started straight up about 15' and then traversed right.  These first moves were the crux of the pitch. Might have been able to traverse right before heading up, but this would require standing on some completely detached boulders that looked impossibly balanced above a nasty gulley where someone was descending by a non-standard route. Chimney is a squeeze chimney - plan accordingly.

SuperTopo P8: In the interest of time only one person lead pitch 8, everyone else was belayed up. This pitch felt harder than 5.4, but maybe we didn't take the easiest route.

2 PM: Everyone scrambled the rest of the route and arrived at the summit.

3 PM: Started first of 2x30m rappels from chains on NW side of ridge. One person did a third rappel to retrieve a dropped cell phone, then scrambled back to the ridge.

4:45 PM Start of rappel from chains at top of P4. We did not see these chains on the way up. They were located near some small pine trees, perhaps 20' below a large rock cairn near the ridge crest.

5:45 PM: Back at our packs, 60m below the chains at the top of P3. We did not find the lowest set of chains shown in Supertopo.

7:45 PM: Back at cars.

This climb is more involved than a typical Basic-level rock climb. There was lots of exposed 3rd and 4th class terrain. Sometimes the rock was not as solid as one would like. We covered much more terrain un-roped than roped. Everyone on the climb was an intermediate level climber. Pace throughout the day was relaxed, with time for photos, snacks, and summit views.