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Northeast Cutoff 

YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a

Type:  Trad
Original:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a [details]
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Submitted By: Skip Harper on Jan 1, 2001

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Devin King str-e-e-e-tching for the crack near the...

Dirt roads reopened as of June 2014 MORE INFO >>>


This is NUMBER 1 on the topo. It is a great climb for beginning leaders.

Start in the vertical crack seen at the tip of the arrow. You'll come to a wide pod about 25' off the ground. Head right from here, and continue up about 20' past this. Protect here and cross over to the upper crack (this is NE Cutoff), the one that heads directly towards the belay on the topo. Protect along the way, paying particular attention to your second - if they fall, they pendulum on a cheese grater! The crack will eventually peter out (protect here with a #0.5 Camalot or wire), so traverse the blank area on crystals-go ahead, do it, then ascend the crack to the right about 10 feet and traverse again over to the bolted belay. A 60m rope will get you down from here.

  • NOTE: an alternate second pitch: 5.7 - go back left from the belay, and ascend the gnarly handcrack seen on the topo to a bolted rap station at the top (to the right as you top out). Tape up for this one! Two rap stations to the bottom as indicated on topo.


Take a full rack, cams from #0.5 to #3.5 Camalots, maybe double up on the #0.75 and #1. Take all wires and some spare 24" slings. There is a double bolt and chain anchor at the top, so take what you'll need for that. A 60m rope is necessary.

Photos of Northeast Cutoff Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Stef Dutton pro-ing and going on N. E. Cutoff.
Stef Dutton pro-ing and going on N. E. Cutoff.

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By shad O'Neel
Jul 29, 2005

Cool traverse, spicy for 5.5.
By Danny Inman
From: Arvada
Jul 24, 2006

This is a great 2-pitch route. The rising traverse towards the end of the first pitch is exciting, while the second pitch off-width is nice and worth while. A #4 and #5 camalot is handy for pitch two.
By Avery N
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 9, 2009

Harper and Kelman indicate this is 5.7, with the crux being at the 10+' blank traverse. Based on my experience, I'd say that seems reasonable (the climb is not rated 5.5, though most of it is at that grade).

Despite the climbing being easy, I don't know that a beginning leader would be comfortable with a 10' pendulum potential. Of course, since it's a mostly horizonal traverse -- it's the same for the second.

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