Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
Ben Johnson

[TR] Cutthroat Wall - One Piece at a Time (5.10d) 09/20/2020

Recommended Posts

Trip: Cutthroat Wall - One Piece at a Time, 5.10d

Trip Date: 09/20/2020

Trip Report:

 

This past weekend (9/20) Tim Foster and I wrapped up what may be a new route on Cutthroat Wall, climbing a bit left of the two established lines on the face. We enjoyed 5 pitches of fun climbing on good stone, with difficulties up to 5.10d. There were no signs of previous traffic on route, but it’s possible that someone (maybe one of you?) climbed the thing back in the day.

 Our first foray up the wall was over Labor Day weekend. We originally planned to climb an obscure route in the area, but after about 30 seconds of walking from the Cutthroat Lake trailhead, our eyes were drawn to nice looking corners on the left side of Cutthroat Wall. Tim ran back to his truck to grab the bail rack (a set of nuts and a couple rigid-stem cams) plus some gardening implements, and we tromped up the valley.

On our first go, we climbed the route in 6 pitches, bypassing the two best corners because the gear looked tricky and the climbing looked hard. The initial line we took goes in the mid-5.10 range, and offers a decent, slightly mellower variation to the crux pitch two, described below. While we were excited about the climb, we clearly had to come back for the money pitches $.

IMG_6693_LI.thumb.jpg.6df215c11bd3ff6a84fe3ad90bf97268.jpg
 

We returned the following weekend to discover that the direct corner on pitch two does in fact take small gear (these placements were inadvertently tested with a couple whips—our only falls on route). We climbed to the top and scrubbed/trundled our way back down to prepare for a “clean” ascent the following weekend. On Sunday, we finished the job with a party send by Tim, me, and our friends Milk and Conrad.

 

Pitch by pitch breakdown:

 

P 1: 5.8, 55 meters. Start just left of the main buttress of the wall, ~ 150 yards left and a bit uphill of Easy Getaway. Climb a short, broken corner right for 30 feet, then follow the obvious twin-crack system to a belay below the flare of pitch 2.

IMG_6739.thumb.JPG.c2668a949792f0714f99900095e62149.JPG

 

P 2: 5.10d, 25 meters. Climb to the treed ledge, then move up and left into the flare. Get gear where you can as it’s small (.1's and rp's) and can be finicky to place. Some granite trickery required. There is a chockstone block at the top of this pitch that feels solid enough, but shouldn’t be pulled on, and may need to go at some point. Belay from a tree on the ledge above. Alternatively near the beginning of the pitch, you can climb straight up the narrowing crack from the treed ledge, past a slightly committing 5.10 boulder problem, then cut left up a hidden ramp to rejoin the corner and bypass the pitch's hardest climbing. 

 

IMG_E0602.thumb.JPG.aef1a2d4149397fbc43908bec25ed374.JPGIMG_E6704.thumb.JPG.d710edbf0b92ccc0f8978cf8b13a84e3.JPG

 

P 3: 5.9, 40 meters. Climb up the wide hand crack to a treed ledge, battling a few bushes along the way. Continue up and right on the featured face and in the thin corner to a mossy ledge out right.

 

P 4: 5.10, 25 meters. Move left, back into the corner system, and launch up the perfect tips crack (visible from the parking lot!). Pull a juggy bulge and exit right through a short layback section to a good tree belay. 

 

IMG_6823.thumb.JPG.bea6501d2d1f995eb3f7bf326c2af5ab.JPGIMG_6757.thumb.JPG.2da5c49f2d99ff2eed64f6399cbe39cd.JPG

 

P 5: 5.9, 45 meters. Walk right, past a tree, to the awesome splitter hand crack/layback corner that traverses right. Continue up and over a bulge, then move up and right through blocky terrain until the angle eases.

 

From here, scramble up 4th – very low 5th class terrain to the top of the wall. Descend via the gulley described in Cascade Rock, or head down the route with a little down climbing and three full 60m rappels from trees. 

Tim and I both think the climbing is pretty darn fun, and it’s certainly worth the hike in. The ledgey nature of the wall does make for some shorter pitches and a lack of great exposure up high, but the movement is enjoyable and unique. It could be a worthy linkup with other climbs on the face. While the rock is generally quite good, there is certainly some looseness and lichen remaining. Be careful, as the standard approach sits in the line of fire of anything coming off the wall.

As for the name, we figured we would stick with the crime theme (ahem, Johnny Cash), and the route took a few iterations to get just right. If any of you get up to the climb, let us know what you think!

Gear Notes:
Doubles from tips (bd .1) to wide hands (bd #3), and a set of nuts. Small offset nuts/RP’s are handy for pitch 2.

Approach Notes:
We never took the same route twice. If you keep walking, you can do it in ~ 1 hour.

Edited by Ben Johnson
  • Like 3
  • Rawk on! 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations on a nice find. Looks like fun alpine granite, yum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hell Yeah! I had been looking at that line up there as well! Glad you guys put in the work to clean it up for the masses, It's certainly not the most pleasant approach. What obscure route were you guys originally planning to climb?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Ben Johnson You were on the right track! The key is never taking the same route twice. As far as I'm aware the Wright/Pond also is waiting for a second ascent by someone other than the FA party. There is so much potential in that little zone!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×