With Matt Below, 15 hours and one minute, car-to-car.
Lots of approach for a short climb, but still fun. I would rather do this one early-season, as the dirt and scree on the way to Needles Pass is absolutely wretched. Mountain goat harassment added something special to the day. Trip report.
Climb was made from Flapjacks Lakes on five day pioneer climbing trip. All the peaks in the Sawtooth Group were successfully climbed including Cruiser, The Needle, The Fin, The Horn, The Rectagon, The Trylon, and Mt Lincoln.
In the 1950's the approah to Flapjacks Lakes was only 4.5 miles from the end of the old road from the Ranger Station.
The climb of Cruiser was made in perfect 70 degree weather.
We did not use crampons, but kick stepped up the snow slope to Needle Pass. The traverse to the ledge above the chockstone was all done unroped. We used one 120' nylon three strand rope for the final 80' pitch. There were no bolts or other artifical protection in those days. We placed a nylon runner and repel ring near the drop to the chockstone and repelled off using no seat harnesses, just slings with a carabiner. All the rest of the return along the ridge was down climbed unroped.
Most of the peaks in the Sawtooth we climbed unroped because of the lack of cracks to place our old iron pitons. For the rock climbing we used the original Van shoes since the heavy weight triconi or Bermanti Soled Boots just were not suited to these climbs.
I love the Sawtooth Range and returned forty years later with my son to climb at age fifty six one of these summits.
Approached from Mildred Lakes, used one 60m rope for the rap with plenty of leftover. A fine climb.
Climbed Cruiser via the South Corner and the 5.0 pitch on a beautiful mid-July clear and sunny day. Nobody else on the mountain, few enough people even at Flapjack Lakes - mostly just folks hiking out or day hiking.
The couloir up to Needle Pass was full of snow and quite icy when we hit it, circa 9am. Crampons a must (I think) in those conditions unless you want to spend hours cutting steps. Wonderful scramble along ridge, tagged the top of Beta, then down to the gully on the east side (we traversed along rock above the scree, still partly covered in snow), up the cannon hole, to the base and the rock. We carried two 70m ropes, only needed one for most of the rappels - down from the 5.0 pitch, down from the belay ledge past into slot above the gully, down into the gully -- I'd be inclined to just reverse our traverse in the future -- then we scrambled or downclimbed until Needle Pass. There the second rope was useful to get past the steepest of the still fairly firm snow. Great climb! We camped at Donahue Creek because the quota for Flapjack was full but that proved nice - we could have a campfire!
- Late season (> Sept 1) is great for this peak. You can leave snow gear behind and have a way lighter pack.
- Basalt rock is very slippery with any sort of rain on it. This route could get a LOT harder with a slight bit or rain.
- From the talus to the top of the chockstone is 1 60m pitch of 4th class, a bit exposed. If you have newby climbers, this pitch is easy to protect with a fixed line.
- ONE rope is needed for the climb. There is a nice newly bolted rap station about 25m up from the start of the first pitch. A single rope rap from here gets you to safe ground.
- The true summit is about 75 feet of exposed but easy climbing past the rap station. Protect if needed with 2 double runners and clip the lone bolt; belay from the bolted rap anchor.
- Downclimbing the scree gully below Needle Pass is way faster then rapping it.
- See this link for an annotated photo of beta for Cruiser summit block: http://outdoordads.org/images/cruiser-route.pdf
First rock climb on a mountain/peak. Actual rock climbing was super easy and very fun. Snow slope was a little spicy on the way down until I fell and gained confidence in self arresting; after that, it was a blast. Next trip, the 5.7 route will be a must do.
A really fun overall climb with good camp at Flapjack Lakes. The scrample up and down between Needle Pass and the ridgeline is quite interesting. Enjoyed this one a ton! The crowds were out on this day though, as there were probably 20-25 others up there. We passed a fairly large group on the steep snow (firm 40 degree plus, with horrible runout) below Needle Pass. Only one member brought crampons, so they elected to climb and descend via the moat. It looked ugly both ways as it slowed them immensely, and I think they had to turn back short of the top due to time.
This was a lot of approach for a couple of pitches of climbing, but a fun route. We didn't get to enjoy the summit much, as it began snowing rather hard. We seemed to do fine without the "required" #3 Camalot. I really enjoyed this climb.
Long approach but a very enjoyable climb in a spectacular setting.
* the snow slope to Needle pass was steeper than expected (~40 degrees)
* suprisingly, there was still some snow packed in at the base of the route that required some tricky navigation
* the climbing was easy and very straightforward thanks to beta from this site
* only 1 rope needed for descent (via 3 raps)
Pax and I climbed Mt. Cruiser via Mildred Lakes. Because of the unusually warm and dry winter, we had little trouble getting up to the rock, which was dry. We camped at the lower lake.
Climbed this great fun little peak with my wife and our friend Jeff. Approached from Flapjack Lakes side. Probably one of my favorite mountains to date. The S. Route is runout but is easy and leads to a beautiful summit atop the fin! Will go back to try and do the 5.7 route on the west (?) face of the spire.
LOVE that climb!!!