American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

United States, Washington—Cascade Mountains, Dragontail Peak, Northeast Buttress, Stuart Range

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year: N/A
  • Publication Year: 1990

Dragontail Peak, Northeast Buttress, Stuart Range. During a stormy July weekend, Wayne Wallace and I climbed the northeast buttress of Dragontail Peak. After approaching via Cold Chuck Lake, we proceeded on white granite up the toe of the northeast buttress. We leap-frogged six pitches of up to 5.11 and left our ropes fixed. We climbed down a terrifying 200-foot weakness of the Dragonfly route. Near the toe of the buttress we bivouacked without bivy sacks. A storm dumped sleet on us for six hours, robbing us of sleep. In the morning, black clouds billowed over us as we climbed unroped on damp rocks to our ropes. After prusiking up them, we decided to go for it. Wayne re-led a super 5.11c crack. After two pitches of moderate climbing to 5.10c, I led the crux of cracks up an overhanging corner. We then cruised the fearsomely exposed headwall on three pitches of 5.11b on thin hand cracks. Yoyoing through three roofs, we jammed upward as our ropes floated in space. We were ecstatic as we topped the beautiful white granite on the headwall. We then soloed 1000 feet up to 5.9 +. We reached the top near the triple couloir as the sun set.

Robert McGown

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