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Lower Eight Mile Buttress
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The Tree Route 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

   
Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 500', Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
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Page Views: 1,376
Submitted By: ferrells on Jun 24, 2010

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (15)
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Description 

It's no Astroman, but this route has a couple things going for it. The best things about this route are that the rock is impeccable, the line follows the major weakness in the cliff (there's an elegance in this, when it happens, I think), it takes good gear at the 5.6 parts, and you get to climb for a good long while. Except for the bleached crack at the top, the moves are fun.

Pitch 1 (5.6): Follow the huge left facing dihedral. Find the line of least resistance, with a few possibilities. The pitch ends to the right. Use long runners, or carry a winch to bring the rope up at the belay. There are some cool moves in an odd, low-angle chimney at the bottom, and a fun mantel/step up to the right. Belay less than one rope-length above at a modern rap station.

Pitch 2 (5.easy/J1): With just a few moves of fifth class climbing, make your way through the low angle section to the base of the next pitch. If memory serves me, this is a traditional anchor.

Pitch 3 (5.6): Fifth class pretty much the whole way, with a bleached, wide, low-angle 5.6 crack at the top. Belay at the trees - a 48" sling makes for an easy belay set-up.

It may be possible to do this in two pitches with a 70m, but communication difficulties, rope drag, and length will conspire against you. The three pitch split-up feels natural.

I haven't done any routes above, but this is a great way to access the upper cliffs.

Location 

Hike to the base of Lower Eight Mile Buttress. Locate the massive left facing dihedral, and scoot up the starting slab that angles to the left. If your starting spot has a bolted line branching to the left (Thunderball, bolted 10c), and a large overhang further left of that, you are in the right place.

Protection 

Depending on your comfort level, bring somewhere between a half rack and two racks of cams, with one set of nuts. Most of the cruxes protect well with big cams (2"-4").
The descent to the west was uncomfortable. Bring descent shoes, and use your best discretion. The hike down the east side may be better.


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By Frank Sosa
From: Washington
Mar 28, 2011

"Except for the bleached crack at the top, the moves are fun."

I have to completely disagree. Pitch 1 = fun moves off start low angle ly'backing. Then interesting climbing with a *slight route finding challenge for the remainder of the pitch. Pitch 2= 4th class (almost 3rd) scramblin up to a roof and awesome belay ledge. Pitch 3 climbs through the roof on the best rock of the route (really fun here) and turns onto a slab featuring a huge low-angle o/w crack. The roof and the entire crack are the best climbing on the route. I would love to find a long low angle o/w like that!

To avoid extra spicyness on pitch 1, don't climb direct through the flared chimney. Bad rock, bad pro. A fall could be really bad in or above there.
By Ethan Henderson
From: Silverdale, WA
Jan 25, 2012
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

From the "modern belay/rap station" one can climb to the top in one pitch with a 70, though it will be a rope stretcher.

Another option is instead of belaying at the bolts, climb maybe 30 feet higher up grassy 3/4th class to a crack where you can build a gear anchor. I would recommend this way. It also might be possible to top out with a 60 if you belay here.

Oh and the descent is very easy going to the left (looking towards the road) Follow a trail until it starts going down it will be obvious.

For the OW the average leader will want at least 2 larger pieces such as a 4 or 5 Camalot.
By Josh Golden Eagle
May 29, 2012
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Went into the chimney on the 1st pitch with bad pro/not much pro. Next time I will definitely go right where there is pro and avoid the chimney.
By geoff georges
From: Seattle, Wa.
Oct 16, 2013
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

This is a good 5.6 multi pitch . It will be pretty challenging to the new 5.6 trad leader, a step up from R&D.
When considering the chimney or not you may want to know that the right side variation is a steep move on finger locks ( 5.7)
The chimney protects fine if you find the spots and use long slings.
2nd pitch is low 5th class to a large flat ledge with good pro .
3rd pitch: right leaning 1/2-3/4" cracks, layback up and around a corner on hand size crack, wander up to the OW, 1 #5 Camalot can be moved up with you.
A good 5.6 continuation is the Stump route on Middle 8 mile.