The East Ridge of Cube Point is a wonderful little 3-5 pitch climb on good rock to the summit of Cube Point. It dries out early in the summer and is a great rest day climb.
The view en route to Hanging Canyon and Cube Point.
The East Ridge rising above the approach gully--getting established on the ridge can be accomplished in a variety of ways. The standard route starts further left than this picture shows, on a face rather than an arete/ridge.
Using the Cube Point main page, approach Hanging Canyon and Arrowhead Pool from the Jenny Lake boat dock. Scramble and slog up the couloir to the east of Cube Point a little ways, and just before the couloir bends right, look up and you'll be staring at the East Ridge. The Ortenburger guidebook states that there should be some overhanging rock in this area, and that one can scramble right onto the steeper rock to start the ridge.
The first pitch of the climb is fun 5.4, taking the path of least resistance straight up (first right a bit, then back left), to a gear belay in cracks. I believe we passed at least one piton en route.
The second pitch continues up until a steep, somewhat blank wall blocks progress. Drop off the boulder at the base of the wall right into jumbled, loose blocks. Belay from here.
The third pitch is a 4th class traverse, gaining almost no elevation for 150-200 feet. A belay can be established near the Cube Point summit block.
Sramble gingerly onto the summit block (typically while belayed still).
Note that the Ortenburger guidebook describes this climb in 5 pitches, but we found that with a 60m rope the route was easily done in 3 with no simulclimbing. Your mileage may vary.
The view from the first pitch belay.
From the summit block, descent is made south (or southwest) toward a small col where the East Couloir ascent route ends. Scramble down carefully--the climb is Class 4 and some parties may wish to rappel sections. In July, 2006 we found slings in several places during this descent.
Upon reaching the col, descend the gully leading skier's left. This is the East Couloir, which should take you back past your packs at the base of the East Ridge once the couloir doglegs skier's left again. This couloir is somewhat loose, so exercise caution, especially since there may be climbers below you.
Rope, light standard rack, helmets.
When to Climb
Anytime during the summer--the rock dries out earlier on this ridge than many other routes in the park, making this a suitable early summer climb.