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Routes in Cutthroat Peak

Cauthorn-Wilson T WI4+
Complete South Buttress T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
South Buttress T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
West Ridge T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
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Type: Trad, Alpine, 850 ft, Grade III
FA: Fred Beckey and Donald Gordon, 1958
Page Views: 3,569 total · 74/month
Shared By: Joe Manning on Aug 7, 2014
Admins: Scott Coldiron, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick

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33 Opinions

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This face, clearly visible from the road, is climbed via wandering easy rock climbing broken up by steeper sections up to 5.8. Route finding generally follows the path of least resistance and variations are possible. Expect both solid rock and sections of loose blocks and kitty litter.


Locate the parking and trail from the highway which leads into the basin below the peak. Climbing starts from a notch below the South Buttress/Face.


Lots of single and double length runners, alpine rack.


John Van Sickle
Seattle, WA
John Van Sickle   Seattle, WA
There is a poor trail that starts near the east end of the pullout. The real/better trail begins a couple of hundred feet west of there where the lower meadow is visible through a gap in the trees. As of September 2015 it was marked with a cairn and a couple of long sticks. Sep 14, 2015
Mike A. Lewis
Estes Park, CO
Mike A. Lewis   Estes Park, CO
Descent: From the summit, look NW across the summit plateau and you will see some obvious rappel chains. From these chains, rap (80'?) NW through some boulders, over a short vertical face to a second set of chains. From here, rap 80' to a grassy, exposed ledge. There are only 2 raps to this ledge - Ian's book shows 3. Traverse W along this grassy ledge to the top of a small ridge - from the top of the 2nd rap, you can see two ridge that go west - a smaller one that is closer, and the long, thin one that is just below the smaller one. So, traverse along the top of the smaller one, then make a short scramble down to the second one - which is the West Ridge of Cutthroat. Traverse along the top of this ridge for a ways. As the ridge begins to drop toward the col far below, you will see some small sandy trails/paths down to your left/south. Take this little trail about 30' and you should be at the rap anchors. These anchors face West, so you can't see them until you really get close. You will be rappelling toward and into the obvious right facing large, shaded dihedral that is down and left(W-SW) from the ridge.

Key Point - Rap 60' or so W along a sloping ramp and the next set of anchors are just over the edge of the end of the ramp. Do not rap straight down with gravity! 2nd Rap - Angle skiers right toward the dihedral for 85-90'. Finally, Rap another 90' to the ledge at the bottom of the dihedral.

The best way to get down from here is follow the climbers trail skier's left and back to the right toward a ridge that is skier's right of the main gully below the rappels. There are some cairns to aim for helping you get across the main gully and onto the ridge. Fun Scree skiing! Sep 28, 2015
Descent of the west ridge is very straight forward, even more so if you have the WA Pass guidebook west ridge topo. While being straight forward, it is also fairly unsavory. Having not climbed every peak in WA Pass I can't say for sure, but I'd venture to say it has one of the least pleasant descents in the area. A rappel descent of the route itself would certainly be worse though, even though it appears that rap slings are in place enough to make one. Aug 21, 2016
This climb was great. Car to car it was 10.5 hours. The left gully (entrance to climb) was a low 5th/ high 4th class scramble and we finally roped up about 350 feet up. After that it was pitch after pitch of fun, easy-moderate alpine route finding. The crux pitch, last pitch, was a 5.4 gully, but the gully stem moves are not 5.4. We opted for better protection with a harder routes so we chose to exit the gully and find a 5.7 finger crack with a 5.8 exit move. Anchors are 10 ft up and right of top of gully.

We decided to rappel the route despite other comments and research that stated it would be a bad idea. It is completely doable, and quite honestly, really fun to rappel the route. We did it with a single 60m rope with a couple of down climbs to get to the next rappel station. We replaced/redid nearly all 15 rappel anchors, so the anchors should be much better. If we had not replaced anchors, we could have been car to car in closer to 9 hours. Sep 3, 2017
I climbed this route 25 years ago. At the time, we didn't think it warranted an alpine grade of III, but it it was a fun route with short lived difficulties and straightforward route finding. From what I remember, all of the steep parts were on good rock with good pro available. We rapped the route, and had no problems, but we also had twin ropes so could do 50m rappels. Dec 25, 2017
Nick Sweeney
Spokane, WA
Nick Sweeney   Spokane, WA
We descended the South Buttress using mostly existing anchors with material in good shape. We had to build our first rap anchor - maybe the normal anchor is still buried in snow. While this descent option is totally doable and straightforward, I'll descend the West Ridge next time. Jun 18, 2018

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