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North America, United States, Washington, North Cascades, Inspiration Peak, Southwest Buttress

Inspiration Peak, Southwest Buttress. On July 16, my brother Carl and I climbed the Southwest Buttress of Inspiration Peak. This buttress starts at the foot of the south face and sweeps up to join the standard West Ridge route. We started on the South Face route, which begins with a 5.7 pitch after bypassing the toe of the buttress on the right side. Above, where the South Face route angles right, we continued straight up, staying just left of a prominent scooped-out area of light gray rock. Two pitches of excellent rock led to the ridge crest. The second of these was the crux, a right-facing corner crack visible from below. A pitch or two along the crest led to the West Ridge route, which we followed to the summit. Besides being an enjoyable climb, the buttress offers a good rappel route off the peak, since it avoids the loose rock and snow of the West Ridge gully. Grade II or III 5.8, excellent views.

Lowell Scoog, unaffiliated