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North America, United States, Washington, Traverse of Molar Tooth, North Peak, Cutthroat Peak and Whistler

Traverse of Molar Tooth, North Peak, Cutthroat Peak and Whistler. This is a grand traverse showcasing the best routes on these four consecutive peaks from north to south. The granite is coarse, often steep, with vertical jointing providing ample handholds and protection. The rock is sound on the technical sections, though often of poorer quality on the ridges between the peaks. In July, Todd Myers, Brian Buck and I hiked a ridge south to the north ridge of the Molar Tooth. We climbed the two or three pitches (5.7 and 5.8) to the summit and worked southwest to an 80-foot rappel, where we met a ridge running south to North Peak’s north face. We ascended a talus-filled couloir to a left-slanting ramp, which we climbed and up the east face to the east summit. We traversed along a knife-edge to the steep north face and continued on up to the summit (5.8). (See the report on the Molar Tooth for the first ascent of this route.) We rappelled the same face and traversed west to a ridge with a platform above an easy chimney, which we descended to gain the north ridge of Cutthroat. This ridge, described in Beckey’s guide, begins in a deep notch and after a 50-foot 5.7 crux continues on easy, clean rock to the summit in six pitches. From Cutthroat’s top we descended the west ridge to Whistler. An easy ½ mile traverse took us to a notch below its north ridge and in four pitches of third and fourth class, we were on the summit. Descent was a walk off the west flank to Rainy Pass.

Fletch Taylor, Unaffiliated