OverviewThe "Directismo" route rate at 5.8 in the "Washington Pass Climbing" guide by Ian Nicholson identifies only one of the three pitches unique to this route. It is pitch two that makes this route different. I have two pictures with the red line next to crack for visual cues. For the most part, pro placements are abundant allowing newbies to 5.8 more secure (like Omar and me). The long running crack can use up to 4'' cam, so if you have a need for stress relieving placements, take a full set of cams up to 4". Route length is listed at 190 feet in guidebook, but the real crack of 5.7 and 5.8 is about 80 feet plus and it seems close to vertical, but I think we were in fear mode... but it's steep. Omar lead this pitch like he knew what he was doing... super.
Route DescriptionSo in review, you start the same pitch as North Face, right at the
Concord/Liberty Bell notch just before you would drop over to the east
side. Pitch one is well protected running about 60 feet to a large ledge
system. We set up our belay at the tree with slings on it,but you could
move it over and up choosing a higher stance. Pitch two of Route still shares the
early part of North Face as the route moves west and up, but the
Directismo Crack is clearly visible to the climber's right of North
Face route. It actually bulges out slightly early on. Climb straight up
into the crack until you find the angle easing and you find the ridge
leading to the summit. Excellent belay stance, good anchors placements.
Pitch three right on the ridge and is a slab with minimal placements,
but good holds and some huecos near the top that give some comfort to
the exposure, about 70 feet from belay to summit. Two new bolts and
chains greet you for your anchor and rappel. Three rappels take you
back to the notch where you can leave approach shoes, packs and
unnecessary gear before you start this route. Views are the usual
amazing North Cascade Treat. First Rap from summit chains takes you to a
ledge you can't see from summit. There are two more bolts and chains
here. About a 100 feet. Second Rap off chains to ledge system you topped
out pitch one. Rap three is into Liberty Bell/ Concord notch off tree
with slings. You're down!