American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Washington, Cutthroat Peak, "Portly Gentleman's Route"

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1995

Cutthroat Peak, “Portly Gentleman’s Route.” On August 28, Brian Buck and I left the North Cascades Highway 1.8 miles west of the Washington Pass scenic turnout, crossed State Creek and ascended steep alpine meadows as if heading for the west-ridge route. At the basin southwest of Cutthroat’s summit area, two prominent gullies lead toward the main (north) summit. We entered the first, the south gully and the most direct line to the main summit, past grassy ledges and on until it widens into a steepening clean face below the orange west face. We climbed several pitches of low fifth class to a spacious ledge below a left-facing corner. Thirty feet left of the corner, we face-climbed to an easy rightward-slanting ramp, which we followed for 20 feet to a belay ledge. We continued leftwards up easy slabs to the shoulder of the west ridge. We climbed the face and gained a short chimney. We climbed the obvious 5.10+ overhanging hand-crack above until it became off-width, where a 10-foot face climb left took us to a large block to belay. Left around a corner we found a 20-foot hand-crack, which was followed by a short scramble to the summit. (III, 5.10+.)

Fletch Taylor, Portly Gentlemen Alpinists Association

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