Backbone Arete with Fin Direct, Dragontail Peak IV 5.9


North Cascades, Washington, USA

  • Currently 5.0/5
Avg time to climb route: 1-2 Days
Approach time: 3-4 hours
Descent time: 3-4 hours
Number of pitches: 14
Height of route: 2,000'
From a climber’s perspective, Dragontail Peak (8,840’) might be the ultimate mountain. At roughly 2,700-feet tall and over a mile wide, the amount of climbing terrain on Dragontail is staggering. Nearly 20 routes of both alpine rock and winter ice, some upwards of 25 pitches, line its northerly granite walls. The Backbone Aręte with Fin Direct is a classic and challenging line up one of the peaks many northern ribs. The rock is solid and fractured; the views are beyond incredible. A 5.9 off-width kicks it off as the route’s crux, but the real fun comes when reaching the high Fin – an immaculate slab of granite the size of two football fields tilted up to about 65-degrees and shot with cracks.
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Source: SuperTopo Guidebook Staff
Dragontail Peak - Backbone Arete with Fin Direct IV 5.9 - North Cascades, Washington, USA. Click to Enlarge
Winter view of the Backbone Aręte.
Photo: Joseph Puryear
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