Standard Route aka 1st Buttress Route
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This route ascends the left side of the 1st buttress of Hallett Peak. It is characterized as a broken dihedral system that climbs two pitches up the side of the headwall of the 1st Buttress. From a distance, the climb is visible as a series of weaknesses on the left side of the headwall. Though primarily a scramble over moderate terrain, the technical climbing at the top is fun to climb.
There are numerous starts to this climb and others on the left side of the 1st Buttress. Most of the starts can be referenced from the base of Hallett Chimney. Easy ramps lead up and to the left. As the ledges are climbed, weaknesses will appear, leading upward to the right, into the bowels of the face. Chose your path. The goal is to reach a series of ledges in the middle section of the face described as the white bands. Lower angled slabs with cracks and the occasional shallow corner mostly characterize the climbing found on the initial pitches. Don't worry about being off-route as there are multiple ways to go. The best start would be to do the initial pitches of the Great Dihedral. Eventually scramble up to the highest of the ledges in the white bands. Scramble up and left across a broken face and large blocks to reach a grassy ledge on the lower right side base of a prominent tower.
Climb 2 pitches up the left most of two, right-facing dihedrals. The dihedral can be climbed on both sides and finishes on the right with interesting face climbing through loose blocks. Scramble over easy ground to the top of the buttress. 5.5.
For a descent, it is best to use the East Ridge. You are on top of it when you top out on this route. Head left and look for cairns. The cairns lead to a set of chain anchors. One 100 foot rappel will lead to ground that is safe to scramble down. Follow cairns down towards the low spot in the ridge. Look for a very faint path leading off to the left. There should be cairns marking the way. At all costs, avoid getting into the obvious snow or scree gully that is in front of you. Eventually a small col will be encountered where the option exists for easily dropping into the ugly snow or scree gully mentioned before, or turning to the left and having a delightful trot down ledge systems that make up the lower section of the 1st Buttress. Cairns mark most of the way and after a while it becomes obvious which way to go. This descent brings you back out at the base of Hallett Chimney.
Take along a standard RMNP rack. Don't worry about the RPs, but you might feel comfortable taking along a #4 Camalot.
|Photos of Standard Route aka 1st Buttress Route Slideshow
BETA PHOTO: The final pitch of the standard route on the first...
|Comments on Standard Route aka 1st Buttress Route
|By Leo Paik|
From: Westminster, Colorado
Aug 2, 2002
At least it was not loaded with loose rocks mimicking holds. A bit Canadian-Rockies-like. Seemed like it might be a more interesting mixed route if it drips with ice....
|By Brian Faulkner|
From: Fort Collins
Aug 11, 2003
The climb was very mellow and enjoyable. I have not yet done any other routes on Hallett yet, but I imagine it's a good introductory climb for the area. I was not worried about making very many gear placements, but they were not many good ones unless you dig out moss and dirt.
|By Jim McGuire|
Sep 26, 2003
It's best to start with Great Dihedral or patch together some easy leads up the slabby section below the first buttress. Otherwise, it's a long haul for 2 or 3 pitches of not so great climbing. We took the right hand dihedral -chimney mentioned in the description which is quite easy until the very top. A bit claustraphobic, but it offers a quick discharge of the upper part of the first buttress.
|By shad O'Neel|
Mar 23, 2004
We combined portions of this route with the Center Route and Finch Route this past Sunday. Although, we found no ice, it was a brilliant winter scratch fest. Long, sustained, moderate, mixed pitches (5.5 - 5.7). We needed 5 pitches (each 200') including one (200'+) of snow in the mid section to go from the base of Hallett Chimney to the top of the Standard Route. The descent was tricky in the deep unstable sugar snow, and we were forced to rap back onto the north face after the 2 standard 1 rope raps. This climb yielded a good challenge and beautiful tour for two school boys with wintertime cabin fever. Incut holds in the long RF corners provided good crampon and tool placements, and continous cracks gave good protection (with some excavating of snow/moss) except for those mantle moves up onto snow covered ledges. Definitely bring big gear, and lots of nuts. We placed a #4, 3.5 and 3 Camalot on each pitch. We left all small cams below yellow TCU at home, but wished for green Alien a couple times. We never had to wail on iron or place a screw. Highly recommended.
|By Kevin Landolt|
From: Fort Collins, Wyoming
Feb 1, 2011
Does indeed make for an excellent winter route. No ice required.
Aug 20, 2012
We climbed this yesterday.
1. It is possible to reach the start of the route by a class 4 scramble. Start from about where the Great Dihedral route starts and scramble left and up but not too far left. Once close to the "bowl in the face" and "white band ledge", cut across right and up to the base of the climb.
2. There's a lot of moss, grass, and dirt along the climb. It would not be good if wet. The protection is not great, dirty, mossy cracks around 1" or wider. You would wish for larger pieces.
3. The first pitch goes along a nice, straight, right-facing dihedral for about 100'. Then ledges and steps and easier ground for a short distance. You will be forced a tiny bit feet left to a base of a double right-facing dihedrals, 15' or so. There is a ledge and holes between rocks. There's a small tree above on a buldge. We belayed here (~180' from the base?). The second pitch starts a bit harder and protection is more difficult. Took some time to figure out which line to take. Then it's again very straight long big dihedral to the skyline and the top of the climb.
The general impression is that climbing was not that hard per se, but protection made for some excitement. The beta is not great and there's not many people climbing this.