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North America, United States, Washington, South Face of Cutthroat Peak

South Face of Cutthroat Peak. This climb could well be done in a more leisurely fashion, but Don Claunch and Fred Beckey made this new route on a fall weekend from Seattle, approaching via Twisp River and Copper Pass. We found the actual climb not as difficult as anticipated because of well-broken granite and enough bushes for rapid rappels. The route began on the southeast ridge, which merged into a steep wall. It involved about five leads of 4th class climbing, made more difficult by a veneer of fresh snow. Eventually we encountered a difficult rotten chimney that required the use of several pitons and wedges. A deviation to the right might have avoided some of the problems, but because of the late hour we had to hammer our way up the crux of this wet groove. Above, a sand-slope led to a rampart over which we climbed; then followed a short wall and a final jam-crack which called for full use of arm and leg muscle. This is the third route on Cutthroat and the third ascent. The aftermath was an all-night hike to the road and drive back to Seattle.

Fred Beckey