Cascade Mountain; Bankhead Buttress
This is a good route with some fun climbing but the 1971 grade of 5.6 is not for beginners. It is more like 5.8 by today’s standards with some lengthy run outs and good gear placement skills required.
The route description says the climb starts 30-40 m to the right of a shallow drainage. There are a couple of bolted stations in a location that fits that description with a single bolt visible on the slab above (also matching the description). This is not the start of the route and the bolts lead to nothing but loose rotten rock. Instead continue down into a second loose drainage with no trail and traverse broken slabs to a small cairn and the real first pitch bolt above.
Pitch five is short and ends up a loose ramp which threatened to have the rope knock rocks down on my belayer and a party below, so I enchained a double and single length runner to clip the anchor and linked pitches 5 & 6 in about 55 m. The p6 anchor allowed a good view of both pitches below.
The last bolt on pitch nine which would protect the traverse to the anchor nicely has had the hanger removed and the stud pounded in for some strange reason. You can still protect the traverse by redirecting the rope over a corner of manky rock and placing a marginal cam, but it would be nice to have that bolt replaced.
The guidebook said a bolted anchor was needed at the end of pitch 11 so I brought a drill up and installed that.
The book also says that walking off to the C Level Cirque trail is “easy” and “worth considering”. In fact, this option involves a lot of traversing on hard scree slopes, kicking across some snow patches (at this time of year) and then a long mind-numbing descent down knee jarring, unforgiving talus slopes to reach the trail. I will never do this descent again and would definitely not recommend it without a ski pole, mountain boots and / or an ice axe to chop steps in the hard scree. Even then it is tenuous in places where the steep, hard goat trail traverses above exposed 1000-foot cliffs below.
If you are looking to rap the route from the top of pitch nine, the description says two rope are required for pitch four but I climbed this in 35 m so a single 70 m rope would get you down.