NE Buttress

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 48.46500°N / 121.091°W
Additional Information Route Type: Bushwhack, technical rock, glacier
Additional Information Time Required: One to two days
Additional Information Difficulty: V, mid-5th
Sign the Climber's Log


Park at the Cascade Pass trailhead at the end of Cascade River Road or at the "hairpin" turn. Descend and cross the Cascade River. Climb up and over the terminal moraine, trending towards an obvious snow finger leading rightward onto the NE Buttress. 1 hour.

Route Description

The NE Buttress of Johannesberg has numerous "lines" on it. See Selected Climbs II for a description of the 1957 NE Buttress Western Variation.

From the snow finger(~3500'), bushwhack and climb up and right towards the ridgecrest. Most pitches will be short (or you can simul) due to rope drag caused by the bushes. Lots of water is available low on the route.

Once on the ridge crest (~5500' and a good bivy ledge), climb a series of pitches of bushwhacking and steep heather slopes leading to 4th class rock. There is an adequate bivy ledge with seasonal snow at ~6200'. Stay on the ridge crest and scramble up to the piton rappel station(~6800'). From here, you have 2 options.
1. rap into gulley and climb snow up to the glacier (only if snow in gulley is continuous)
2. trend left about 60' and climb the obvious chimney. Above, a long, loose 5th class gulley leads to the glacier.
This took us ~30 roped pitches, either belayed or simulclimbing.

Once on the glacier (awesome bivy site at base of snow arete), climb the fantastic snow arete reminiscent of Eldorado. Head left towards the steep snow headwall and the summit ridge.

Once on the summit ridge, descend about 75', drop your packs, and scramble rightward towards the summit (loose class 3 & 4).

Downclimb summit pinnacle via 3rd/4th class climbing and retrace steps back to packs. Connect 3rd/4th class ledges, staying about 75’ down from the ridge crest. Occasional small cairns will help with route finding. Descend until an obvious rap station is visible (red webbing) at ~7500’. A series of single rope rappels (7) and downclimbing takes you to C-J Col and a fantastic bivy site.

Doug’s Direct descent: descend down and left from C-J Col, aiming towards the base of the Triplets buttress (~6000’). Climb up and right, crossing heather and talus slopes, aiming for the righthand “heather tongue” that leads up Mixup Peak. Climb up to the ridgecrest (1500’ gain from Triplets buttress). Descend down 3rd/4th class slabs and blocks to Cache Glacier. Traverse left towards Mixup Arm, gaining a climber’s trail. Follow that to Cascade Pass.

Essential Gear

60m (half) rope, lots of long slings, small alpine rack to 1", ice axe, aluminum crampons, rap sling material, cell phone (to call in/off a rescue) and a cool head.

Trip Reports

July 2005

July 2004



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