Login with Facebook
Green Giant Buttress
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Dreamer T 
Dreamer Direct T 
Urban Bypass S 


YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, 10 pitches, 1000', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Chris Greyell, Duane Constantino (1979)
Season: May-October
Page Views: 15,617
Submitted By: Matt Perkins on Aug 12, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (30)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]
Cool snow formation at the base.


Dreamer is the most famous route in Darrington, and with varied climbing at a moderate grade it is deservedly so. The route is located on a remote crag reached via a poorly maintained access route, it is ten pitches long, and the descent via rappel provides plenty of opportunities to get a rope stuck. It includes some interesting and challenging crack climbing in addition to several spectacular pitches of knobby face climbing, in a pristine mountain setting with magnificant views.

Description and Topo:


To reach Green Giant Buttress, drive five or six miles up the Clear Creek logging road from the Mountain Loop Highway southeast of Darrington, and take the right (main) fork. In less than another mile, pass the parking area for the Eightmile Creek trail, and continue on as the road deteriorates (the rocky roadbed is passable by normal cars, but some drivers will be squeamish about their paint job as the alders constantly sweep the side of your car). In another mile and a half or so, there is barely room to turn around and the road takes a distinct turn for the worse. The road ends entirely a few hundred yards beyond this point.

The route to Green Giant Buttress starts out on an old extension of this logging road, but after a half mile drops to an older mining road. After this ends, continue on to cross a side fork of Copper Creek, bear slightly leftward and follow the main fork to a series of three waterfalls. A tiny gully heads up and right into the maples and opens up to a larger gully that is followed all the way to the base of the rock. Scramble up and right to the traditional staging area, which is a few hundred feet below steeper rock above. There is no real landmark here, but there are a few small cedars standing straight up whereas above this point everything is more bushy looking.


The route requires gear to three inches. On one pitch, the "blue crack" pitch, one can save (hoard) their 1" piece lower down, but an extra piece in the 2 1/2 " - 3" range is helpful.

Photos of Dreamer Slideshow Add Photo
Looking down the awesome blue crack on pitch 6.
Looking down the awesome blue crack on pitch 6.
Dreamer - looking down from the top of the Blue Cr...
Dreamer - looking down from the top of the Blue Cr...
More knob climbing on pitch 4.
More knob climbing on pitch 4.
Lower Apron- Somewhere around pitch 1.
Lower Apron- Somewhere around pitch 1.
Pitch 5 - the climbing steepens here.
Pitch 5 - the climbing steepens here.
Green Giant Buttress
Green Giant Buttress
From belay station of first pitch. Rocky area high...
BETA PHOTO: From belay station of first pitch. Rocky area high...
Knob climbing on pitch 3.
Knob climbing on pitch 3.
Andy Fitz on Dreamer
Andy Fitz on Dreamer
On the approach looking up at the Buttress from th...
BETA PHOTO: On the approach looking up at the Buttress from th...

Comments on Dreamer Add Comment
Show which comments
By Jeff Hebert
From: Seattle, WA
May 12, 2013

If you find yourself off-route or confused near the start, consult this:
By Alex Mitchell
From: Cincinnati, OH
Jul 5, 2013

Don't get sandbagged by the approach! We were not moving super fast but even so it took us almost 2 hours! We did the first 6 pitches. Lots of great slightly runout slab climbing on chicken heads. More of a head game than actually hard climbing. For what we did of it was super sweet!
By Anna C.
From: VT
Jun 21, 2014

Did this recently as my first climb in WA state. A few notes:
1. Park at 6.2 miles on the road at a clearing - it gets bad quick after that.
2. On the approach, look very carefully for the gully up to the climb - if you find yourself bushwhacking steeply through maple and devil's club, you're off track. It's a rocky tunnel through the greenery, after the first stand of evergreens on the right of the stream.
3. Definitely print the topo if you don't want to get off route. Or accept that you'll have an adventure :).

Worth the trek!!!
By John Van Sickle
From: Seattle, WA
Aug 24, 2014

In the blue crack I could have used a second #2 (gold) camalot.
South-ish facing. Sunny, 80 and an occasional breeze for our climb. Would not want to do it on an 85 day with still air.
By Johan
From: Seattle, WA
Apr 27, 2015

We approached yesterday April 26 2015 and found the valley covered with patches of recent snow and much of the rock soaked from a wet week. There were waterfalls across the Green Giant Buttress, and slab-climbing was clearly a non-starter. We had sort of anticipated this (there were snow patched alongside the road in), but we were hoping to give the first few pitches a try. We had not accounted for how treacherous the final bit of the approach ("3rd class" slab) would be with all the wet rock. You definitely want to climb this in dry conditions. The approach to reach the toe of the Green Giant Buttress itself is manageable.
By BeccaS
From: Seattle, WA
Jul 7, 2015

2 things:

1) In the summer, this crag gets direct sun basically all day. So climbing on a particularly hot and sunny day with no cloud cover is kind of the worst--ok, like actually the worst. I have burn blisters on my hands and feet that will testify to that.
2) The approach is no joke. Depending on how far your car can get, plan on 2 hours car-to-crag if you are a cruiser, a good route finder and a hotshot. If you are awesome like me and get lost and distracted by waterfalls, plan on closer to 3. To get to there, drive as far past the 8-Mile Creek trailhead as you can get. Then start hoofing it. Eventually, the road continues on into the forest. After about 40 or so minutes of leaving your car, you'll drop down into a dry creek bed and hear water. You'll then cross a shallow creek aided by a pointless rope. Just a few minutes later, passing old pipes and continuing on the well-trodden path, you'll get your first glimpse of the Buttress through the trees and your first thought will be "Holy crap! It is still so far." At this point, you'll be out of the trees. A couple minutes later, you'll hop across some boulders for a couple minutes before you get to a series of small waterfalls and pools that feel amazing to soak in after coming off the rock. What you DON'T want to do here is run up the slab of the waterfall only to realize you can't reach the route from the top and then have the horrifying experience of downclimbing back to the bottom. What you DO want to do here is look for the cairn to the right of the waterfall that points you to a small brush tunnel. You'll be hacking your way through brush for a just a couple minutes, but it will be enough to make you momentarily question the life you have chosen. Stand up and you will get whacked in the face. Bend down and your pack will get stuck. If you are worried that there aren't any thorny bushes to stick you as you squeeze through the brush, don't be. Plenty of roses and blackberries will gladly grab you as you pass by. Once you're done running the brushy gauntlet, the path will open up and you'll be scrambling over some boulders. Right in the middle, there is a SUPER sketchy deteriorating rope that you can decide to trust (or not) to aid you over a biggun. You'll then come to a little sandy bowl with 3 distinct and equally intimidating ways to get up and over it. Door #1 to the left has a 4mm cord hanging from a rock that supposedly helped someone out at some point. Door #2 let's you play Indiana Jones as you carefully try out each rock to see which ones will bear your weight and which ones will drop you into the pit. Door #3 to the right is all sand and madness up to the top. Pick your poison and just trust that other humans have done it before...probably. Once you get out of the bowl, it's basically anyone's guess as to where to go as there is no distinct trail and the cairns are scarce. What you DON'T want to do is head left and out of the trees and up the slab as that will take you off route and you will have the horrifying experience of downclimbing until you're back on track. What you DO want to do is basically make as straight a line to the base of the rock as possible staying close to the trees on the right-ish. Once you get to the tallest cedars (compare to the topo), head up just slightly to the left and gear up. You can start the climb from just above the cedars. This will add an extra part-pitch. Or you can just scramble up the slab 100 or so feet (I'm bad at judging distance) to an anchor with a rappel loop where I believe is actually supposed to be where the first pitch starts. Have fun.
By Jon Nelson
Jul 9, 2015

Thanks Becca!

I particularly like that 'awesome like me' part. Don't we all tend to chase the waterfalls?
By J. Manning
From: Seattle, WA
Aug 15, 2015
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Do this climb! Still the best 5.9 multipitch I've been on, anywhere. Don't miss the view from the 'top.' Probably best when temps are reasonable due to the cliff's aspect and the significant amount of friction climbing. I think the trail could use some additional traffic to remain obvious, but for whatever reason coming down did not look at all like it did coming up. Make sure you turn around on the approach and take note of key changes, seems possible to get disoriented out there.
Beyond the Guidebook:
The Definitive Climbing Resource
Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run
Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps
Backcountry, Sidecountry
& Secret Stashes
Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!