East Butress Direct

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 48.51220°N / 120.6541°W
Additional Information Route Type: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: IV, 5.9, A1 or 5.10+
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: 5.11a (YDS)
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 10
Additional Information Grade: IV
Sign the Climber's Log


From I-5, drive Hwy 20 east from Newhalem and travel over Washington Pass past the Blue Lake parking lot. Park at the hairpin turn below the East Face of the Liberty Bell group. From the hairpihn hike uphill towards the east face of South Early Winter Spire through an obvious breach in the cliffs. Follow a gulley until able to traverse right underneath the face of South Early Winter Spire passing a cave. Scramble up steeping benches until more difficult climbing forces you to belay.

Route Description

This route is best done in summer when the approach and descent are snow free. July-Sept are good months. An excellent topo and description can be found in Nelson and Potterfield's, Selected Climbs in the Cascades (Vol I).

Belay two easy pitches to below the obvious crack system. Climb the crack to a roof. Undercling left, around the roof and up more cracks to a good ledge. Climb trending first left, then back right to a good ledge with a small tree.

Climb the bolt ladder up and right around the corner, aid or free. Follow another bolt ladder to a hard mantle and more cracks to the summit.

Descent: Down climb the south rib with a couple of single rope rappels at the bottom.

Essential Gear

Rocks shoes, Helmet, 60 meter rope, 12 nuts, cams from small to 3", doubles .75 to 2" or #8-11 hexes are useful. 10 slings, 6 QDs, (pair of aiders, ascenders, sky hook can be useful if aiding.)

Miscellaneous Info

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