American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Washington, Blockhouse, East Face Route

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2004

Blockhouse, East Face Route. On June 14 Ron Cotman and I completed an aesthetic, complicated route on the Blockhouse’s east face, in Leavenworth’s Cashmere Crags group, accessed by the Hook Creek drainage in the Icicle Canyon. Our original ascent took three days and seven belays, due to hand- drilling and technical aid sections, but a competent party should be able to complete the ascent in a day or two and only five pitches. A few sections were originally aided due to the need for cleaning cracks for gear placements, but could probably be repeated free by a competent party.

Approach toward the gully between the Blockhouse and the Crocodile Fang. The route starts just a few feet up from a large tree, with a short traverse onto a ledge (5.9) and a move up into a black corner (Cl) that ends at a ledge. Pitch two climbs to another ledge and past a large flake to a bolt (A1 or 5.10). Climb above the bolt to the base of a hand crack. Pass the belay bolt and climb the crack to an exposed traverse left on a large ledge. Pitch three climbs the crack past a small roof (Cl) and continues leftward past the roof to a crack (A2+). Climb the crack trending leftward to a tree snag (A2+). The fourth pitch climbs up past a large loose block into a slot chimney (5.9) and face climbs up and right to the base of a corner (5.10). The fifth pitch climbs the corner (5.10) to the base of a headwall. Climb the headwall (Al) and a short free section at the top. Grade III 5.10 A2+. Bring a large rack, to 4", that includes knifeblades, Bugaboos, angles, and Lost Arrows and bring two ropes for rappels. Descend the route via tricky rappels, at the tree snag continuing to a station 150 feet below.

Tony Bentley

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