- 3:15 hr drive to Cutthroat Trailhead
- 1:30 hr approach (1.5 miles, 1529 ft gain)
- 5:00 hr climb?
- 1:00 hr descent?
- 1:00 hr hike back?
- Car-to-car estimate: 9 hrs
- Home-to-home estimate: 15:45 hrs
From the Cutthroat Lake TH, walk up the old road bed for ~5 minutes, then head left up the hill into the brush. The brush is moderate at first, then the forest is pretty open and easy until moderate brush for the last couple hundred feet.https://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/topic/53760-tr-cutthroat-wall-easy-getaway-fa-iii-510-8292007/?tab=comments#comment-719695
turn uphill when the trail crosses a small creek. Stay left of the creek and veer slightly left up to the West edge of the cliff above.https://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/topic/53760-tr-cutthroat-wall-easy-getaway-fa-iii-510-8292007/?tab=comments#comment-719695
When you are following the old road don’t cut up the hill at all the rock carins. We did on the way and the trail quickly disappeared and left us in thick brush and much too far climber’s left. Instead just keep following the trail until you reach a creek. Before crossing the creek turn left uphill and follow it up to the basin above. Keep the creek close by on the right until you reach the open treed area. Passed this you reach a large slide alder section from old avalanches. If you stay right on the edge there is a pretty decent trail that you can follow all the way up to just below the boulder field. A few more easy boulder hoping and you are right at the base of the climb with very little bushwacking. We found this on the way down and it was WAY better than the route we came up.https://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/topic/53760-tr-cutthroat-wall-easy-getaway-fa-iii-510-8292007/?page=2
Nuts and doubles through #2, single #3, #4, 60m rope
Standard Washington Pass rack give or take – stoppers, small cams, double set of cams to big hand size, and a fist sized piece. Depending on the route you take a bigger piece could be used. The smallest thing we placed was probably a green alien and we brought up to a #5 C4. Cascades Rock recommends doubles down to tips, which may be needed if the pitches are climbed as described in that book.
There are no bolts on the route. There are no fixed anchors on the route, other than a handful of trees with some slings.
A single rope works fine. We used a 70m and maxed it out a couple times, although there are plenty of belay spots and shorter rope would be ok.Mountain Project
Climb location: 48.54604, -120.64607
The route generally follows the right-hand side of the buttress and features good protection and a few stand-out pitches. Begin on the right side of the buttress, just above and left from a tightly-bunched cluster of dead trees.Cascade Rock
Climbing begins at the right toe of the buttress, above a small cairn, and just left of ~6 dead silver snags in a group.https://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/topic/53734-tr-cutthroat-wall-the-perfect-crime-fa-59-iii-8102007/
Just above and to the right side of the giant steps is a small ledge in a bit of a depression. There is a small cave like feature at shin to knee level. It makes a nice belay platform and it is easy to hang your packs here.Mountain Project
Pitch 1 – 5.7, 40m
Start up some steep moves off a slab then trend left as you work up corners and ramps. At ~40m, step right to a ledge/small tree in front of a vertical splitter hand crack and belay here, just before the wall steepens up again. This is to the right of the base of a major orange corner/slab, which is part of Easy Getaway.Cascade Rock
P1 (5.7, 36m) – Begin up slightly steep rock with an undercut start, into a very short open book which ends too soon at a bush. A little bit left and up through some blocks takes you to an area with 3 general choices – cut a bit left on nice featured face with good protection opportunities, straight up a crack that merges with a blunt arete, or a bit right into a corner with a couple loose blocks and a dead tree. Any of these take you up to a great crack that takes medium cams for an anchor. There is a tree up here with some slings – we were able to barely rap from here with a single 70m with maxed out rope stretch.Mountain Project
P1. 5.7Cascade Climbers
Start up some steep moves off a slab then trend left as you work up corners/ramps/slabs. At one point there is a 2-3” crack you climb along. At ~40m, step right to a ledge/small tree in front of a vertical splitter hand crack and belay here, just before the wall steepens up again. This is to the right of the base of a major orange corner/slab.
Pitch 2 – 5.8, 50m
Climb the steep wall left of the belay on great horizontal face holds. Then move up/right and follow the natural line. Partway up, undercling or layback around a small roof and up a good finger crack. Belay below several prominent roofs.Cascade Rock
P2 (5.8, 25m) – Move up and left from the belay into an awkward flared groove. Trend up and right to the base of a hanging yellowish flake. Pull around the right side of this and up into an easy wide crack that leads to a nice ledge with 2 big gnarled over trees that make great anchors. (CR mentions a finger crack up here, but I am not sure where that was).
P2.5 (approx 5.5, approx 25m) – This could be linked with previous pitch. Climb straight above the right side of the gnarled trees (the left side looks inviting, but there is a big dead tree just barely laying on the slab above, and is really hard to avoid). Ramble up and slightly right to a minor bowl with a very good tall tree on the right that makes a great anchor. This is about 100 feet below an amazing looking spiral tree that makes a great landmark.Mountain Project
P2. 5.9Cascade Climbers
Climb the steep wall left of the belay on great horizontal face holds. Then move up/right and follow the natural line. Partway on this pitch one does and undercling/layback around a small roof and up a good finger crack. Belay below several prominent roofs (~50m)
Pitch 3 – 5.9, 40m
Climb up toward roofs, then work right (underclings and a ramp) below the biggest roofs and past a couple small trees. Undercling and layback around the right-most and proceed up on awesome finger pockets, past a small tree in the crack, and up/right to a great belay ledge with a horizontal crack. This pitch is left, then above the distinctly spiral-shaped tree.Cascade Rock
You’ll know you are on route if you climb to the left of, then above a spiral-trunked “barber poll” tree.https://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/topic/53734-tr-cutthroat-wall-the-perfect-crime-fa-59-iii-8102007/
p3. 5.9Cascade Climbers
Climb up toward roofs, then work right (underclings) below the biggest roofs and a past a couple small trees. Undercling and layback around the right-most roof and proceed up on awesome finger pockets, past a small tree in the crack, and up/right to a great belay ledge with a horizontal crack You should climb to the left of, then above the crazy spiraling barber-pole tree. (~40m)
P3 (5.9, 60m+) – After doing the route and comparing it to CR, I think you are supposed to basically go straight up the hand crack dihedral, through a blocky section, and past the amazing spiral tree. We didn’t do this. We went up the dihedral, cut right on nice climbing below a yellow buttress, and up an obtuse elevator shaft. The shaft has great climbing, but the protection is a bit spaced. This is a long pitch, belay on a small ledge.Mountain Project
Pitch 4 – 5.8, 60m
Personally P4 was shorter than 60m, more like 50m or even less. I took the easiest route which seemed easier than 5.8, maybe one or two harder parts.
Climb up and right across beautiful orange granite. Traverse hard right into a finger crack which widens, passes a tree, and emerges on a ledge above.Cascade Rock
p4 5.9Cascade Climbers
Climb up and right across beautiful Orange granite. Traverse right into finger crack which widens, passes a tree, and emerges on a ledge straight up. (60m)
P4 (5.9, 60m) – We couldn’t get this to match the description in CR, so here is what we did. A short bit of easy climbing goes up to a huge ledge on the right shoulder of the butress. There are 2 major options up here. We climbed the big low angle hand crack corner on the right to the base of a #6 sized flake, but it seemed like it was going to dead end, so we downclimbed it. Instead, move up and left from the ledge system, over an orange coffin flake with a 5 inch crack on it’s right side. At the tree there is a really nice crack that starts up and rambles up to another large ledge. A great face with a slashing finger crack culmninates in a steep fun chimney. Belay directly above, anchor gear is fairly varied, medium cams or so. (After looking at Blake’s photo topo, the chimney section is the upper part of the last pitch of the route to the left – The Great Escape).Mountain Project
Pitch 5 – 5.8, 60m
Climb rightward from the belay into a clean 4″ crack (fairly low angle, 1x #4″). Follow this until you can step right into a hand crack and flake above, which comprises of an excellent and well-protected stretch of climbing to the top of the wall.Cascade Rock
p5 5.9Cascade Climbers
climb rightward from the belay into beautiful 4” crack (fairly low angle, one 4” piece is ok to walk up). Follow until you can step right into 1” crack. Lieback steep flake at the top of the crack (5.9+) and then follow cracks up to the end of the rope and belay on easier ground.
P5 (5.0, 60m+) – Definitely different than the CR pitch. Climb directly above and then trend generally left to the summit on easy slabs with short easy boulder problems. You may have to simul-climb a bit to get to a decent anchor – there isn’t much anchor material to work with until you can sling a good sized rock on the east edge of the summit. Or, make an anchor before the summit if possible.Mountain Project
At this point you should be on a big, really flat rock formation. There will be another chunk of rock with a lot of dead trees and stuff to the east. To descend, walk east until the little mesa you are on necks down and there will be a tree at the top of the descent gulley. It should have some webbing around the base of it. Follow the descent described on the Cutthroat Wall page.
walk across the flat summit terrace (cairn) to where the crest narrows before you’d need to scramble up again. Look for a pine tree on the right with a yellow runner. Make one 20m rappel down to the right, then contour at that elevation, skier’s left around the head of a gulley and walk down/left on timbered rib to the base of the wall.https://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/topic/53760-tr-cutthroat-wall-easy-getaway-fa-iii-510-8292007/?tab=comments#comment-719695
DESCENT: It is pretty key to nail the descent, or it can suck.Mountain Project
From the topout of the routes there is a minor notch that separates the westernmost buttress from the higher central buttress. At this notch there is a slung horn/tree. A single rope rap (over a chockstone tunnel, which is a potential snag on the rope pull) leads to a dirty ramp with a big cave.
THIS IS WHERE IT PAYS TO STAY ON TRACK WITH THE DESCENT (unlike i did when i botched the descent and dealt with a lot of crappy loose gully action).
From the base of the rappel, look down/left for an upward trending gully or ledge system on skiier’s left. It may be a bit inobvious, as it looks more straight forward to go straight down the gulley. Instead, take the skiier’s left gulley/ledge system and ascend a bit on 3rd class with a few cairns. It will curl clockwise and traverse around the head of another gulley. Keep traversing, head through some trees, and you should intersect a grassy low angle gully that will wind down into the main basin. It should spit you out pretty even with the start of the route, so traverse hard skiier’s right to get back to your stuff.
IF FOR SOME REASON YOU MISSED THE UPWARD GULLEY/LEDGE SYSTEM, this is what you can expect below:
Another very short rappel off a slung evergreen bush/tree drops you into the upper part of the gully. The scramble down the gully starts not-too-bad, but quickly becomes steep, exposed, and loose. It is very loose and any rock you disturb will fling itself down – be really careful here.
When the gully begins to merge with another gully on skiier’s left, cut down and across both of them (semi-exposed, loose). There is a tree with a sling near the junction of the two gullies that can help.
When you get to the skiier’s left side of the far gully, carefully make your way down. We stayed way left and used the trees as terrain fencing against exposure, as well as to stay out of the bowling alley. There are numerous trees with slings to facilitate this. Be careful with the rope as there is a constant threat of creating rockfall.
After about 600 to 800 vertical feet of gully surfing you should drop down onto some lightly vegetated slopes. An easy traverse around the buttress will return you to the start of the routes.
Make sure you go all the way to the big flat slab before trying to rappel down to the right. We knocked all the numerous loose blocks off the rappel and the anchor cord looked in good condition. From the end of the rappel we hiked up the gully a hundred feet then crossed it on a decent ledge to the treed ridge. From here it was an easy hike down the ridge contouring skier’s left to the main low angle gully system. No nasty scree down climbing necessary.https://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/topic/53760-tr-cutthroat-wall-easy-getaway-fa-iii-510-8292007/?page=2
We left home at 3:00 AM as planned, and arrived to the trailhead around 6:10 AM, and started hiking at 6:25. Stats 1:30 hours on the approach 6:00 hours of climbing 2:00 hours of descending back to base of P1 1:00 hour of descending back to car 11:20 hours car-to-car (Started 6:25 AM, back at…
Weather Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 45. Northwest wind 7 to 13 mph. Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 65. Northwest wind 5 to 7 mph becoming west in the afternoon. Route is probably in the shade till around noon Itinerary 3:00 AM – Leave home (3:15 hr drive) 6:15 AM –…
Weather As of 3:00 PM 8/23… Mountain Forecast NOAA Saturday Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 70s to lower 80s. Northwest wind 5 to 15 mph with gusts to around 25 mph. Saturday Night Mostly clear. Lows in the upper 40s to mid 50s. Breezy. West wind 5 to 15 mph with gusts to around…