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North America, United States, Washington—Cascade Mountains, Lake Ann Buttress

Lake Ann Buttress. One of the principal points of Shuksan Arm running between Austin Pass and Mount Shuksan, is the peak just northeast of Lake Ann. Its south face is a 1000-foot rock wall that offers some dubious route problems and has apparently repulsed a number of attempts by interested climbers. Tom Stewart and I spent the afternoon of September 18 climbing three slabby pitches of very good rock up a shallow open-book that lies about center-face, then returned to the luxury of a campsite by the lake. We continued the route in the morning, finding what appeared from below to be a simple exit onto the upper face to be a semi-horror pitch, with loose blocks and expanding cracks. Some aid was needed here and later again on a similar pitch 300 feet higher. The climb is fairly exposed and continuously technical. There is no real letup on the ascent, and some of the belay points could have been better in view of the questionable quality of piton cracks. Almost every pitch had sections of difficulty that ranged from 5.5 to 5.8; unfortunately, the last half of the wall had much friable rock, which made for nervous climbing and required added time to search for piton cracks.

Fred Beckey