Southeast Face

Page Type
Oregon, United States, North America
Route Type:
Time Required:
A few days
Class 2

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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Southeast Face
Created On: Dec 21, 2004
Last Edited On: Dec 21, 2004


Follow the directions on the main page under “Getting There” to reach the saddle between the east ridge of Cusick Mountain and Pt. 9,180. Drop off the south side to the floor of the South Fork of the Middle Fork of the Imnaha River. This basin provides good camping and the start of the southeast face route of Cusick Mountain.

Route Description

The actual route should take 1-2 hours. However, plan on 2-3 days to hike the ~25-30 mile round trip hike from the trailhead to the mountain.

From the basin you can head straight up the even southeast face through scree. This is difficult so the better route is to use the gullies formed between the scree slope and the limestone on the lower east ridge. These gullies have had the smaller loose rock washed away and ascending them is like walking up stairs. Do not follow the gullies up into the basalt pinnacles and limestone cliffs. At any point before getting to those cut left across the scree slope until there is a straight slope to the ridge top to the left of the difficult pinnacles and cliffs. Head straight upslope to where the scree becomes sparse and gives way to smooth limestone to the ridgeline. This limestone surface is a steep scramble, and should be no problem. However, it is really decomposing so the powdery residue can make the surface slick and it will blow into your eyes if it’s windy.

Once at the ridgeline continue to the west to the foot of the summit pyramid. The rock type here changes back to the shale scree. However, the path is fairly firm on the ridge itself all the way to the top. Avoid merging away from the edge because the rock can become very loose further out on the southeast face. Soon the rise gradually gives way to a spectacular, seldom visited summit. Return the same way or descend the north ridge to the Honeymoon Basin at the foot of the north cirque.

Essential Gear

Good hiking boots and possibly goggles to avoid getting the limestone dust in they eyes. Also the south side of Cusick Mountain cooks in the sun so a hat for shade and sunscreen is recommended. An ice axe and crampons are recommended for a spring or early summer attempt when snow will be present.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Southeast Face

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