American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Washington — Cascades, Colchuck Peak

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1993

Colchuck Peak. On August 9, Keith Hertel and I did a new but unpleasant route on the clean-looking face and slabs on the east face of the northeast buttress of Colchuck Peak, left of the standard northeast-buttress route. We climbed the Colchuck Glacier almost to its top directly below the northeast summit. Scrambling led up to the slabs, but they consisted of rotten rock. We kept going up and left for 500 feet until a jam-crack and open-book let us get onto a wall on the left side of the face. Steep climbing up cracks, short walls and large loose flakes led to a small roof, after which the hard climbing ended. Five hundred feet of easy fifth class led to the northeast summit. We placed one bolt. (IV, 5.10d, AO.) Colchuck’s west face gave much better climbing. On October 11, after an approach via Mountaineer Creek, Donna McBain and I did this climb by a large gully which splits the bottom half of the left face of a large yellow wall. The crux was a steep section of cracks and ramps on the right side of the gully which led to easier slabs above. The upper 700 feet are broken, offer variations and end in a beautiful amphitheater of pinnacles just below the summit. (III, 5.8.)

Steven C. Risse

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