American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Washington, Cascade Mountains, Cashmere Crags, The Blockhouse and The Rhombic

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1969

Cashmere Crags, The Blockhouse and The Rhombic. From a high camp on Mole Ridge near The Hook, on September 1 A1 Errington and I climbed a new route up The Blockhouse via its north ridge. The route began at the start of the standard northwest face route and followed the ridge line for three pitches, and then rejoined the standard route for the final pitch to the summit rim. Lichen, wet from the previous night’s rain, and a cold wind forced us to use aid on most of the climb. At the rim we decided to attempt a first ascent of The Rhombic, a spectacular tower whose base is about 75 feet lower and 100 feet northwest of the summit of The Blockhouse. We learned later that this tower had been named Rectiloid by the first party to climb The Blockhouse. The ascent involved 30 feet of A1 nailing up a solitary crack that ended 10 feet from the top of the tower. Darkness and a strong wind from behind the tower frustrated our attempts to throw a rope over the top from the highest piton. Cold and hungry, we rappelled and climbed down to our camp in the dark. Clear and warm weather next morning prompted us to climb the standard route on The Blockhouse, following which we completed the first ascent of The Rhombic on September 2 with the aid of a couple of bolts we had left in camp the previous day.

James Mitchell

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