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Northwest Buttress of Powell 


Type:  Mixed, 4 pitches, 600', Grade III
Consensus: M6 [details]
FA: Chris Trimble, Ben Collett. April, 2006
New Route: Yes
Season: All Winter
Page Views: 1,254
Submitted By: Ben Collett on Apr 30, 2006
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Currently, this is a new school mixed climb, meaning that it does not go to the top of the buttress. It ends just under a large loose flake that we felt uncomfortable climbing around, under or trundling. After the flake, it looks like there would only be another 20 ft of hard climbing. In part, this is being submitted to encourage someone a little bolder than us to top the route out.

Start at the base of the buttress a little left of the corner at a V groove. Climb the V groove (if you're lucky it'll have a little ice in the back). Continue on nebulous mixed ground and belay. Another rambling pitch should reach the base of the corner. Next, climb a fun shorter pitch to a slung block in an alcove low in the corner. The final, crux, pitch climbs the steep corner to a fixed belay below the flake mentioned above.

4 rappels will get you to the ground.


Between the North Gully of Powell and the Taylor Glacier Headwall lies a large triangular buttress. There is a huge, left-facing corner that splits the top half of this buttress. The route follows the corner.


Standard RMNP mixed rack plus pins. No screws were placed.

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By Randy Slavin
May 6, 2006

I've noticed this buttress before too, looks cool. But is this addition some kind of wry joke? "New school?" WTF? Not that it matters, but seems like ending the route under a loose block halfway up the wall would kinda make this a "nice try," or "close but no cigar" kind of deal. A new route? huh?

Not that it matters, but what gives? That said, might have to slog up and give 'er a try.

By Ben Collett
May 8, 2006

To answer your questions, it is new school in that there is no actual ice climbing and it ends before the summit (I meant the term to be taken pejoratively). I posted it so that someone would go and repeat it, hopefully trundling the flake. We also felt that if Broken Axes was a route, then this certainly was. You should go an give it a try. As long as there is snow around, it'll be in. The climbing is fun.