Type: Trad, Alpine, 900 ft, 9 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Allen, Falley, and Kauffman 2008
Page Views: 1,651 total · 38/month
Shared By: wayne wallace on Jul 3, 2015
Admins: Scott Coldiron, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick

You & This Route

14 Opinions

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This interesting route shares the first 4-5 pitches of Direct East Butt of SEWS. It busts out left of the bolt ladder pitch and starts off funky 10a. The quality gets better when it kicks into the headwall pitches. Sustained thin cracks start out in a corner then stays sustained for a couple of pitches, and the belays are vague and not yet fixed. Stephs great report stephabegg.com/home/triprep…


wayne wallace
wayne wallace   Seattle
Southern Man takes a bold line up one of the steeper cliffs on SEWS. The cruxes are of the thin crack/corner variety and the rock is sharp if not jagged. It has solid rock and good pro. The belays are not obvious or fixed so bring cordelettes etc. How about that South Early for delivering so many quality climbs!! Did a write up on my amateur website Jul 25, 2015
Chris Mutzel
Seattle, Washington
Chris Mutzel   Seattle, Washington
Just as Wayne: cool there are so many great routes here. I found the crux as hard as or a little harder than any single move on the Passenger. Did them back to back days so that not sure if that helped or hurt the ability to be objective.

Wrote a few thoughts here: chasingmastery.com/the-pass….

Be prepared to use your whole rack on the pitch 11+ pitch (rating in Cascade Rock). I felt it was was super sustained, except for where it backs off just after the crux. A super strong duo could blast up to this pitch very quickly to give it a burn. Aug 12, 2016
RyderS Stroud
Dali, Yunnan Province, CN
RyderS Stroud   Dali, Yunnan Province, CN
Such an wild line. Full-value, awesome position, and just straight-up fun!

Thoughts on gear: We were weirded out by the beta saying to bring 2 #4s. But, man, we were glad that we ultimately did! 3 belays took #4s, with the other #4 finding a home somewhere in the pitch. Don't worry about the weight of them and bring them! So much less faffing when we built belays. We also brought triples of .3-.5s. Totally worth it. While my partner and I climbed at a good pace, it was so comforting not to have to ration the finger-sized gear for when the going got hard.

Some route beta (stop here if you want to keep more adventure climbing involved!):

Approach: We took the Blue Lakes Trail up to SEWS. While it is longer, it is way more mellow than scrambling up crap from the hairpin. You also do not need to pack your approach shoes coming this way, as you can stash your pack at the base of the South Arete, which is the standard descent route off SEWS. To get to the base from here, descend down some ledges and crap scree to the prow of SEWS. Just when you think you have reached the base of the route at a bunch of dirty slabs, keep traversing to climber's right. You are looking for a bunch of left-facing overlaps near the prow.

P0-1: Low angle, grungy slabs. Follow easy climbing through left-facing overlaps through low 5th terrain. You'll find all sorts of ledges at which you can stop and belay if you want. The terrain will kick back a little bit towards the top of P2. Stop and belay P3 from an obvious ledge with a tree and rap tat.

P2: More slab wandering, passing some rotten blocks on the slab. A couple of easy but steeper moves gains more slabs. Head towards a big, gnarled tree to the left of a big corner system.

P3: Fun adventure climbing! Jaunt right off the belay into a steepening, left-facing corner system that leads into a series of bulges. Moderate, exposed climbing will bring you to a long corner crack that leads into a roof traverse and an awesome pull around the roof. Continue groveling through a slightly wider corner crack to a comfy ledge with a belay tree. Be careful pulling onto the ledge! There is a big loose block sitting in a depression on the ledge in some sand. Don't pull on it!

P4: More fun corner climbing. Follow another left-facing corner crack up to a big ledge where Southern Man diverges from DEB.

P5 Where DEB cuts out right towards the big, obvious prow, cut left across the ledge. You will see 2 large, rotten blocks sitting on ledges. Tiptoe up the smaller one that is further left. Climb carefully for a few moves as the gear is tenuous in the area around the block. Gain a big, left-leaning crack system. Moves get progressively harder, but never too hard, through some blocky, weird crack terrain. Pass 2 old pitons and belay in a triangular alcove beneath the crux on a slab in a semi-hanging stance.

P6: The business. Interesting, thoughtful moves off the belay through the triangular notch gains the hard stuff. Do some awesome, fun, powerful locks and stemming, passing a fixed nut along the way. Gain an OK stance and hang on in order to gain a ledge. You can belay on thinner hear from here, though the Nicholson book says to belay from slightly higher up in pod where you can place 1 of your #4s up near the flake. Not an ideal stance, but it works.

P7: Thin moves off the anchor will pass a bulge to a big block. Tricky moves up it will gain some easier locks. Continue up, passing another wide pod. Continue on and belay beneath a small bulge with cool crystal pockets inside.

P8: Surmount the bulge off the belay and follow a finger crack above. Do some tricky moves between the left face and the crack above to gain easier terrain. Pass a big pod (possibly still filled with bird feathers and bird poop) and gain a hand crack. Continue on until you reach a small ledge with a tiny tree and a big block. The hard stuff is finally over!

P9: Exit straight up off the belay, following a vague, left-facing corner. Where the corner goes straight up into a dirty, steep section, look out left and spot a left-leaning hand-fist crack. Make some airy steps left to gain the crack and a few burly moves up the crack itself. Continue on easy terrain above to the ridge to merge with DEB.

Top out: Follow the ridge to climber's left. Continue on it until you reach a notch in front of you. Cross the notch on class 4 terrain and scramble up to summit of SEWS. Sep 24, 2018