Trip Report    

Intermediate Alpine Climb - Mixup Peak/East Face

A one-day climb of a rugged peak near Cascade Pass.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The moat in the V notch is easy to access from the snow but the climb onto rock, which is fractured, is a little delicate. The rock in the gully is very loose. From the ridge to the summit the rock is solid.

    Keep an eye out for rappel anchors on the ascent so you can find them when descending. We made four rappels: two of the anchors were fine, we added some new cord to one, and we rebuilt one (and packed out a mess of dead webbing).

Our party of five left the trailhead around 8:00 a.m. and headed up the switchbacks to Cascade Pass. It was a beautiful day to be outside and many other people thought so too. But after we headed south from the pass we only saw a few parties, presumably Ptarmigan Traversers. We branched off at the Cache Glacier and headed towards the two notches below Mixup Peak.


The East Face of Mixup is accessed from the "V" notch on the right. (It is common to go through the "U" notch on the left and wrap around the back side to reach the V notch.) The moats between the snow and rock were sizable on both; we headed directly to the V notch.

After stashing unneeded gear we started up around 11:30 am. The first 50 feet to get out of the moat was the stiffest climbing of the day, perhaps mid-fifth class on loose and dirty rock. We belayed Daniel up and he fixed the rope; the rest followed on a prusik or klemheist.


Once out of the moat we gingerly scrambled up the gully full of loose scree to the top of the notch. From there we climbed up fourth/fifth class rock about 30 feet where it eased to third-class terrain. We coiled the rope and scrambled up to the ridge and then traversed to the East Face, which has been called a "white staircase." It became fun, easy scrambling on solid rock with big exposure.


Photo: David Ryan

The staircase steepens as it nears the summit ridge. The Summitpost description says "the climbing is definitely Class 5, but there's no place to place any pro, so you pretend it's Class 4 and don't make any mistakes." We climbed up to the small notch in the ridge and made the airy traverse to the summit. We arrived on the summit around 2:15 p.m.

IMG_0192.JPEGPhoto: Michael Nanney

The Cascade Pass area is quite scenic and Mixup Peak has great position. The weather was pleasant so we spent some time taking in the views.


We spotted some familiar names in the summit register.


We started down with a double-rope rappel from the summit, which got us partway down the staircase. We retraced our way down until we reached an existing rappel anchor. Two single-rope rappels took us into the V notch. We descended the loose gully one-at-a-time, and made a short final rappel back into the moat around 5:15 p.m.


At this point we split up: the other four headed off to Cache Col on their way to Mount Formidable; I headed down back to the trailhead, arriving around 8:15 p.m.

Gear: 2 x 60 m ropes (could have gotten by with just one), light alpine rack