Pitch 1: Begin at the base of the First Buttress on a short ramp down and left of the obvious tree on the face. The ramp gains a discontinuous crack system that works up and right. You will see the obvious tree on your right and a large roof on your left. Your goal is somewhere in between those features. The crux comes about 2/3 of the way up the first pitch. A thin hand crack that is somewhat difficult to protect gives way to an exposed exit onto a vertical face with bomber hands and feet (5.6). From here, you can spot the grassy ledge that is your belay. Small cams and crafty nut work provide a solid anchor. Take a minute to check out the views of the divide. 195 feet.
Pitch 2&3: The Hubbel guidebook breaks this route up into 3 pitches, but we did it in one long pitch and combined the last two into a single 100 foot pitch. From the first belay, continue straight up a series of small cracks to the 2nd pitch crux. Climb a short, vertical dihedral (5.5) and a ledge with a small tree. It is possible to belay here to facilitate better communication (50 feet). From the ledge, you can escape left over low fifth class terrain or go right and keep the climbing at about 5.4/5.5. Find a belay along the summit ridge, again taking in the excellent views of the divide.
We got off route and went left which dead ended on crumbly lichen encrusted rock with few protection options. I ended up down climbing 150 feet in order to get back on route. When in doubt, trend right and look for the path of least resistance. I am not sure if I ever gained the correct route as the first pitch felt a good bit harder than 5.5, maybe 5.6/5.7. Still, a fun route in an alpine setting with an approach that keeps the crowds away.
The First Buttress is easily seen from the base of the talus field. Pick the easiest way up and right to gain the base of the wall. Look for a tree 1/3 of the way up the face and start at a ramp 30 feet left of the tree.
The descent is a somewhat exposed scramble west along the summit ridge. Once you get to the big block, follow the easiest path that drops beneath the summit ridge and past two trees before reaching terra firma. Head west towards the first second buttress and descend via a gully that deposits you at the base of a large slab. (There is a 2 pitch 5.6 on this slab that looks fun.) From here, work east towards the base of the climb or descend to the trail following the easily spotted cairns.
Standard rack. I needed nothing bigger than a #2 Camalot and small nuts were helpful for belays.
View from the first belay.
Looking down P1, Mike almost to the belay. I went...
The route from the ground up. Aim right of the obv...
First Buttress is on the right. Look for a good si...
Gearing up in the parking lot with the First and S...
BETA PHOTO: Looking up P2 from where I belayed for P1, again, ...
BETA PHOTO: P1...just go up! No idea where the route was/is.
Mike topping out on the 1st buttress.
|By Joe Brannan|
From: Erie, CO
May 24, 2010
If you follow the thin finger crack, it's not 5.5 or 5.6 but more like 5.7 (different route?). Great climbing on that first pitch to a sweet belay ledge with killer views. Second pitch is 5.5, head through the wall at the top for some vertical jugging. Walk off behind by following the ridge briefly north.