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Ascent of Cutthroat Peak on 1995-09-17

Climber: Brian Friedrich

Others in Party:Greg Bernard
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, September 17, 1995
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Cutthroat Peak
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:8050 ft / 2453 m

Ascent Trip Report

Following Liberty Bell and Concord Tower the day before, we felt good about this peak; at 0500 Greg woke me up a bit dazed in my bivi; we quietly drove off and got stuff ready at the Cutthroat trailhead (side of hwy marked by cairn in pullout); crap it's cold-next time must also bring warmer sleeping bag; we marched down through 5 minutes of trees and then up into open grassy alpine terrain toward S Buttress; Greg thought the route headed to top of first bump but just before we realized this error (as we were on C3-4 terrain) and so walked around W side of 1st bump into broad loose gully; from here I continued N up small ramp and up easy, but sandy/loose, W slopes of bump; Greg thought that I had climbed rock on SW side and so made way to E side of bump; I waited 10 min on bump-top and then went looking for him: "what the heck are you doing?" I asked seeing him on loose and exposed C3 stuff; we rapped from 2nd bump into gap below S buttress start after ditching unneeded gear; suggest next time to bring 20-25m rope to fix and leave here--no need then to re-climb on way back then; I had privilege of climbing first pitch here--dirty, sick gully pile and the fact it was first pitch made it quite unnerving for me (RL; 5.6); from here we scrambled up easy benches thru trees etc (C3-4) and then a couple of fun bench to bench pitches of C4-5.0 followed by some great leads of 5.6-5.7; the crux pitch came just before the notch (5.7-5.8) and involved a great sequence of traverse moves across a small bulge--fun because it had a unique combo (undercling and sidewall finger pocket); a large sandy plateau is then ascended to another notch (easy downclimb to right); we then climbed up other side and found it not to be summit (5.5; short); downclimb this to another notch and then up again (oh summit...where are you?); Greg got a final short 5.5 offwidth (3m; very exposed) and then behold--the summit; it was now 1445 and we hung out for about 15 min; great view of course; water was our main craving as we drank remaining 400mL here and then suffered down; we had both been dehydrated on way up; Greg reported lightheadedness and near fainting in the dry heat--I wasn't much happier about the situation; eating was thus far from the mind; we made a total of 10 rappels down the rte; this was probably the riskiest thing--often from used slings and thin dead trees (hmm); nonetheless it was a fairly fast procedure; back to notch around 1700; I led back up to our stuff on one piece of low pro (5.6; RM-)--hair raising little thing, goofier than it looked; we then blasted down the W slopes of bump 2 and I headed straight for small creek (no filter, but what can you do); from here to truck took lovely 30min--must remember to empty boots of pebbles first next time; the drive home was good and uneventful--dinner at Subway in Burlington; overall fabulous "Made for Climbing" weekend
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2854 ft / 869 m
    Route:S Buttress
    Trailhead:Highway pullout  5196 ft / 1583 m
    Grade/Class:Class 5.8
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb
    Gear Used:
Rope, Bivouac
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Ascent Part of Trip: Liberty-Concord-Cutthroat (1 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Liberty Bell Mountain1995-09-162329 ft / 710 m
2Concord Tower1995-09-16328 ft / 100 m
3Cutthroat Peak1995-09-172854 ft / 870 m
Total Trip Gain: 5511 ft / 1680 m    Total Trip Loss: 5511 ft / 1680 m



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