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Raoul Duke

[TR] Cutthroat - South Buttress 10/20/2013

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Trip: Cutthroat - South Buttress


Date: 10/20/2013


Trip Report:

We went into the basin under Cutthroat on Sunday armed with axes, gloves and puffy jackets expecting something cold and testy; no such luck! Warm and sunny rock all the way from the notch to the summit. A lot of melting up there over the past week, still some snow in the approach gully.


Route-finding on this route is indeed tricky... if, that is, you go up there thinking there is a "correct" route to find. We didn't climb the "5.7 face" right out of the notch as mentioned in the Supertopo guide, didn't "go under a huge chockstone" on pitch 8, and never found a 5.8 crux pitch with fixed pins.


We simul-climbed the obvious crest low down, found ourselves at the base of a stepper face, climbed a steep pitch (150' 5.7?) up cracks, and then a short, easy pitch that put us between the humps. Then some rambling to the summit. The route has a very broken, alpine feel and doesn't seem to lend itself to topo-fication; we followed a line of resistance and had a fine time.


Descent down the West Ridge was a mix of rappelling off shiny bolts and some awesome, easy down-climbing on the exposed catwalk.


Moonlight on the Liberty Bell group from the overlook:



A step in the approach gully:



Getting out of the notch:



On our crux pitch:



Looking up at the final OW:






Descending the West Ridge:



Looking back:






Gear Notes:

Slings for trees. Never really needed anything beyond 2" except for an optional 4" (we brought it) for the summit off-width.


Approach Notes:

We found the start cairn in the daytime from a previous trip which made an early start easy.

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