Raid Peak, South Buttress and Face North of “Ambush Peak”. On July 16 and 17, John Bouchard and I climbed the 2000-foot south buttress of Raid Peak (12,532 feet). The climb starts 100 feet from the toe of the buttress. Three pitches led up an obvious ramp on the right side of the buttress. We continued up the middle, passing several large overhangs. A huge ledge was found in the area of the tenth pitch. We continued five pitches more to a block-covered ledge, where we sighted a golden eagle. The final pitch ascended an enjoyable face. From there it was third class to the summit. Several pitches were relatively unprotected. The rock is generally solid. Iron: 2 horizontals and one angle of each size up to 1¼" ; 15 assorted nuts up to Chouinard N° 10. NCCS V, F8. Just north of “Ambush Peak” (12,173 feet) a steep face is bordered on its northern edge by a snow couloir. The right side has three prominent crack systems. John Bouchard and I climbed the left- hand system, which leads directly to the summit blocks. We ascended steep snow or talus to a small stance below an overhang, followed cracks for two easy pitches, then traversed left to a large ledge (cairn). We continued up cracks, eventually reaching an overhanging flake system slanting left. Very difficult free climbing brought us to a small stance below another overhang (hanging belay). We passed a notch in the overhang, using a few nuts for aid, and got up to a belay. After stepping right, we climbed a hard crack to a right-facing corner. Another crack led to a belay on chockstones. We stepped right onto delicate face climbing and ascended to a large ledge on the left. A 40-foot chimney took us to a stance on the right. Easy climbing on superb rock led up to a ledge, above which we followed hard cracks on the right to another ledge, just below the summit blocks. This route, with excellent nut protection, is comparable to the northeast buttress of Higher Cathedral Rock in Yosemite. Iron: 2 horizontals and 1 angle of each size up to 1½" ; 20 assorted nuts up to Chouinard N° 10. NCCS IV, F9 to 10, A3.
Stephen J. Arsenault