American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Washington—Cascade Mountains, Sloan Peak, East Face

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1968

Sloan Peak, East Face. Although only 600 feet high, the overall shear- ness of the east wall of this popular peak in the west central Cascades has discouraged previous attempts. (A 1965 route using the southeast corner of the face avoided the difficult lower half.) On August 26 and 27, Gary Glenn and I selected a route beginning at the top of the glacier directly below the summit, and after 18 hours of mostly aid-climbing we completed the first direct ascent. Start from the moat 250 feet north of the south edge of the glacier and climb a slightly overhanging bong crack to its end, then right up a smooth block (2 bolts, rurps) to a cramped, dirty ledge. Twenty feet above, the first hanging belay was established. Climb directly up mostly vertical rock using fair aid cracks and one bolt, passing under a small overhang with a left step-across (F8), then up on knifeblades and a bolt to a prominent down-sloping ledge. The party bivouacked here with hammocks under the protection of the large overhang, although a better ledge could be reached with two more class 5 leads. Traverse along the ledge to its north end, then up a large rotten chimney for 100 feet until a crumbly left traverse (F8) reaches the end of a large level ledge. Climb right on the face above on aid to a wide sloping platform that leads north to a left-leaning dièdre. One hundred thirty feet of class 5 on its left wall gains a rubble heap where difficulties end. Traverse left, then up for two class 4-5 leads to the summit. 75 pitons and 4 bolts were placed. Incipient cracks in the Sloan Peak gneiss make knifeblades and rurps a necessity, and the first crack requires 1-4" and two smaller bongs. NCCS IV, F8, A4.

Mike Heath

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.