The Cradle South Peak by Highchair Mountain via Paddy-Go-Easy / 搖籃山

  • Reading time:5 mins read

Climbing The Cradle South Peak required us first to drive 11 bumpy miles through Salmon La Sac. It’s by far one of the worst service roads in the Cascades. Yesterday we were up on Dog Mountain.

Kodak moment on The Cradle
Kodak moment on The Cradle

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The Cradle at a Glance

Access: Paddy-Go-Easy Pass Trailhead
Gear: helmet

Paddy-Go-Easy Pass Trail

I could have easily missed the hidden trailhead sign next to the road. Not if I didn’t look closely. The nicely maintained trail to the pass was dusty at times. But the view from the pass was breathtaking.

At the same time, The Cradle was in full display before us. The part of the trail going down the east side could use some work. It also got a bit brushy half a mile before the French Creek Trail junction.

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6800 South Shoulder

We first hiked south on the trail for a bit. Then we crossed the water over to the north side. The path took us through down trees. Later we broke out of the forest and went into the open terrain.

We continued uphill and bypassed slide alder lower down. Beyond the brush, the terrain then steepened. The real crux was going up through the scree from 6000′ to 6800′. But we were able to make use of the vegetation on either side.

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The Final Stretch

From the south ridgeline, we had two options of going around the east ridge. We could either drop onto the steep eastern slopes first and aim for the crest.

We could also go a couple of hundred feet higher. Then we would make our way over to the east notch. So we went with the latter option. Soon, we made a rising traverse through the basin while aiming for the east crest.

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The Cradle Summit

Later we climbed over the east ridge via the 6900′ saddle. Then we went down the other side and onto the east face. The double-peak summit was now directly overhead to the west.

Our goal was to go up to the saddle between the two summits first via the class 3 terrain. The two peaks had the same elevation. But I read that the north peak was technical.

Views on the summit were excellent. But the north side was hazy because of the wildfire smoke. There were also two small wildfires to the west.

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