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Sundance Buttress
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Slim Pickens 

YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 700'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Chip Salaun, S. Kimball, 1978.
Page Views: 3,570
Submitted By: S. Kimball on Aug 11, 2004

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It's hard getting back to places I've already been. Glancing up this thing you think: groody looking...I dare say it is 3 star; steep strenuous and six pitches of superb rock. Scramble up to the highest ledge, as sister route, Progression.

1.Start just left of that route. First, easy up to bush below a orange-lichened left-facing dihedral. Jam and bridge (careful of block corking dihedral) a short but vertical 5.9 pitch, 90ft.

2. Continue a clean 5.9 handcrack followed by a long 5.8 chimney. Exit left (exit right to Progression to an exposed and incredible belay (150ft.).

3. Traverse left across black knobs and pick a perfect 5.8 fingercrack to a nice grassy ledge (100ft.).

4. Choose the middle of several left-facing dihedrals. It is a sharp, steep corner tapering to a point where a narrowing lieback gives the obvious crux. Well-protected with small stoppers and reevaluated from 1978 origins to harder 5.10, as hard if not harder than Progression. Now enjoy a stiff 5.8 corner and belay atop a square pedestal (150ft.)

5. Step right or jam straight up, either way 5.8 and goes to the same area of lower angle dihedrals and slabs (150ft.).

6. Straight up another 5.8 left-facing dihedral to summit (200ft.) or horizontally right 200ft. to descent gully.


Large selection. Small stoppers to 4 cam, extra slings, there is no fixed protection/anchors.

Photos of Slim Pickens Slideshow Add Photo
First pitch has exciting stemming and jamming at 5.9. It didn't feel this overhanging. Camera angle may be adding to the drama a bit here. (Photo by John Courtney)
First pitch has exciting stemming and jamming at 5...
Crux seems straightforward enough, a lieback. (Photo by John Courtney)
Crux seems straightforward enough, a lieback. (Pho...
Sonya Erickson follows the 2nd pitch of 'Slim Pickens (5.10)' on Sundance Buttress at Lumpy Ridge.
Sonya Erickson follows the 2nd pitch of 'Slim Pick...
Comments on Slim Pickens Add Comment
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By Luke Clarke
From: Golden
May 29, 2006
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

This is a great route, as is Progression next door. Maybe it's because the line is less obvious from the ground than Turnkorner and the Nose, but this climb and Progression don't get the attention they deserve. The climbing experience on this one rates with those -- good sustained climbing that rarely strays below hard 5.8 and the cruxes are burly for the grade. Slim Pickens probably weighs in around 10c by current standards (not the 10a in the book), definitely stiffer than Progression, as suggested.
Feeling whacked after doing this in five pitches yesterday.

By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jul 5, 2006
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

You can make this route more clean, challenging, and fun by a few minor improvements.
1) By bumping over to to do the crux of Progression as part of the first pitch, which will total 70m. This way skips some of the hum-drum territory.
2) By doing the climb in 3 long pitches plus a short top-out. You need a 70m rope though. The pitches will be 70m 5.10c, 50m 5.9, 70m 5.10b, then move up and over the top in a short pitch or unroped if so desired.
Done this way, the route is 4-star 10c instead of 3-star 10b.

By Ross
From: Pinewood Springs
Jul 12, 2009
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13

We decided to go up the wide crack section and were rewarded with a great 70m 1st pitch. This 1st pitch is better than Progression.

After the "Slim Pickens" CH you can find a good belay on a nice horn the size of a small saddle, just before the short traverse left.

This is a great sustained route, it felt like maybe 10a.

By Guy H.
From: Fort Collins CO
Jun 25, 2011
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13

There is a lot climbing on this route. It doesn't slab out like its neighbors to the right. There is a great knee bar at the crux, which give you plenty of time to figure out the moves. Placing gear in the crux section would be difficult, just plan on doing the moves. The 5.8 above the crux is demanding and quite runout!

A #4 Camalot is not required, although a #4 Friend is nice to have. I didn't place any small stoppers on the route either, but I guess others have. I felt more worn out after climbing this line then Turnkorner!