All Locations > Washington > Northwest Region > North Cascades > Washington Pass > Cutthroat Lake Crags > Cutthroat Wall
The Perfect Crime (with variations...)
Avg: 2 from 1 vote
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 800 ft, 5 pitches, Grade III|
|FA:||Max Hasson, Blake Herrington (2007). Variation pitches likely climbed previously also.|
|Page Views:||140 total · 26/month|
|Shared By:||slim on Aug 6, 2017|
|Admins:||Scott Coldiron, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick, Nate Ball|
DescriptionI will describe the route as we climbed it, but there are sections where our route differed from the route described in Cascades Rock. The rock has so many features that it is pretty easy to mix and match your way up the wall. CR has a good photo of the route, but we didn't have it when we climbed the route.
P1 (5.7, 36m) - Begin up slightly steep rock with an undercut start, into a very short open book which ends too soon at a bush. A little bit left and up through some blocks takes you to an area with 3 general choices - cut a bit left on nice featured face with good protection opportunities, straight up a crack that merges with a blunt arete, or a bit right into a corner with a couple loose blocks and a dead tree. Any of these take you up to a great crack that takes medium cams for an anchor. There is a tree up here with some slings - we were able to barely rap from here with a single 70m with maxed out rope stretch.
P2 (5.8, 25m) - Move up and left from the belay into an awkward flared groove. Trend up and right to the base of a hanging yellowish flake. Pull around the right side of this and up into an easy wide crack that leads to a nice ledge with 2 big gnarled over trees that make great anchors. (CR mentions a finger crack up here, but I am not sure where that was).
P2.5 (approx 5.5, approx 25m) - This could be linked with previous pitch. Climb straight above the right side of the gnarled trees (the left side looks inviting, but there is a big dead tree just barely laying on the slab above, and is really hard to avoid). Ramble up and slightly right to a minor bowl with a very good tall tree on the right that makes a great anchor. This is about 100 feet below an amazing looking spiral tree that makes a great landmark.
P3 (5.9, 60m+) - After doing the route and comparing it to CR, I think you are supposed to basically go straight up the hand crack dihedral, through a blocky section, and past the amazing spiral tree. We didn't do this. We went up the dihedral, cut right on nice climbing below a yellow buttress, and up an obtuse elevator shaft. The shaft has great climbing, but the protection is a bit spaced. This is a long pitch, belay on a small ledge.
P4 (5.9, 60m) - We couldn't get this to match the description in CR, so here is what we did. A short bit of easy climbing goes up to a huge ledge on the right shoulder of the butress. There are 2 major options up here. We climbed the big low angle hand crack corner on the right to the base of a #6 sized flake, but it seemed like it was going to dead end, so we downclimbed it. Instead, move up and left from the ledge system, over an orange coffin flake with a 5 inch crack on it's right side. At the tree there is a really nice crack that starts up and rambles up to another large ledge. A great face with a slashing finger crack culmninates in a steep fun chimney. Belay directly above, anchor gear is fairly varied, medium cams or so. (After looking at Blake's photo topo, the chimney section is the upper part of the last pitch of the route to the left - The Great Escape).
P5 (5.0, 60m+) - Definitely different than the CR pitch. Climb directly above and then trend generally left to the summit on easy slabs with short easy boulder problems. You may have to simul-climb a bit to get to a decent anchor - there isn't much anchor material to work with until you can sling a good sized rock on the east edge of the summit. Or, make an anchor before the summit if possible.
At this point you should be on a big, really flat rock formation. There will be another chunk of rock with a lot of dead trees and stuff to the east. To descend, walk east until the little mesa you are on necks down and there will be a tree at the top of the descent gulley. It should have some webbing around the base of it. Follow the descent described on the Cutthroat Wall page.
LocationJust above and to the right side of the giant steps is a small ledge in a bit of a depression. There is a small cave like feature at shin to knee level. It makes a nice belay platform and it is easy to hang your packs here.
ProtectionStandard Washington Pass rack give or take - stoppers, small cams, double set of cams to big hand size, and a fist sized piece. Depending on the route you take a bigger piece could be used. The smallest thing we placed was probably a green alien and we brought up to a #5 C4. Cascades Rock recommends doubles down to tips, which may be needed if the pitches are climbed as described in that book.
There are no bolts on the route. There are no fixed anchors on the route, other than a handful of trees with some slings.
A single rope works fine. We used a 70m and maxed it out a couple times, although there are plenty of belay spots and shorter rope would be ok.
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