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Beggar's Buttress 

YDS: 5.11a/b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c

   
Type:  Trad, 9 pitches, 700', Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 24 British: E4 6a [details]
FA: Kevin Worrall and Mark Chapman, May 1976
Season: All day Shade
Page Views: 3,772
Submitted By: Eric Foster on Jul 13, 2009

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Me thinking about bailing from about halfway up

Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection MORE INFO >>>

Description 

Here's a bit more beta:

To find the route, park in one of the pullouts below and east of Lower Cathedral rock. Hike up from the road to the nice wide hiking trail. Follow it west past Lower Cathedral until you reach the toe of the buttress, and then scramble up the talus to reach it. Go up and left along the base of the cliff for maybe 100 yards to the start of the route. The beautiful left facing corner on the top of the first pitch is barely visible 100' off the ground. You can start on the left (5.7), or up bolts to the right (5.10). Both options meet up at the base of the corner, which features fingers, then fists (11a).

From here, trend up and right for the next 3-4 pitches. Along the way you will pass the really cool 5.10d cave/alcove/roof with a burly handcrack. There's much 5.8-5.9 crack climbing on these pitches, along with a good amount of loose rock. Around pitch 4 or 5, you'll reach a big ledge about halfway up the route.

About 200' of easy climbing (there's a fixed rope here for some reason...) takes you up to another ledge with a small tree. Directly above the tree is a clean crack/corner system. This is not the route, but a variation called "Going Nowhere" (11b). Beggar's Buttress starts up this for about 8' before stepping right to a steep, loose handcrack (10b). The routefinding is tricky here, but generally stay right and end up at a belay on a ledge/block with a fixed pin and slung horn.

The next pitch is the business, starting out with some stout face moves right to gain a thin crack with fixed pin (11b), and then a stellar steep corner that widens from fingers to OW/Squeeze. (Also 11b). We built a hanging belay at the top of the chimney, just below a roof. There's some small gear here for the belay, but it's pretty nice to have a bigger piece (#2-#4 Camalot) to make it really bomber.

Next, lie-back around the roof via a flake on the left wall of the dihedral. Continue up the handcrack to an optional belay at a small tree. The last bit of the corner is the crux, featuring steep finger jamming and liebacking with some lichen-ous rock. (11c)

The Descent: The route does not end on top of Lower Cathedral, but rather on a big ledge atop a buttress. From here, walk Southwest, past some cairns, to find the first of two bolted raps (60m rope required). From the base of the raps, I can't really give too much beta because it was dark and we got off route (ended up doing 5 raps off trees down a steep, very loose cliff). I'm thinking you stay west, contouring around the rock and follow 3rd class ledges down.

As for gear: a full single rack from Small to #4 Camalot (new style works fine) with doubles from thin fingers to wide hands. A single set of wires, and many long slings. Helmets.

Beta By Scott Bennett

Protection 

singles from #00-#.5 doubles from #.75-2 Singles of #3 and #4 camalot. Bring a good amount of draws and slings, cordellette for tree belays.


Photos of Beggar's Buttress Slideshow Add Photo
Brad and the Captain
Brad and the Captain
Brad coming face to face with the Cave/Roof (10d)
Brad coming face to face with the Cave/Roof (10d)

Comments on Beggar's Buttress Add Comment
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By Scott Bennett
Jul 15, 2009
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

Here's a bit more beta:

To find the route, park in one of the pullouts below and east of Lower Cathedral rock. Hike up from the road to the nice wide hiking trail. Follow it west past Lower Cathedral until you reach the toe of the buttress, and then scramble up the talus to reach it. Go up and left along the base of the cliff for maybe 100 yards to the start of the route. The beautiful left facing corner on the top of the first pitch is barely visible 100' off the ground. You can start on the left (5.7), or up bolts to the right (5.10). Both options meet up at the base of the corner, which features fingers, then fists (11a).

From here, trend up and right for the next 3-4 pitches. Along the way you will pass the really cool 5.10d cave/alcove/roof with a burly handcrack. There's much 5.8-5.9 crack climbing on these pitches, along with a good amount of loose rock. Around pitch 4 or 5, you'll reach a big ledge about halfway up the route.

About 200' of easy climbing (there's a fixed rope here for some reason...) takes you up to another ledge with a small tree. Directly above the tree is a clean crack/corner system. This is not the route, but a variation called "Going Nowhere" (11b). Beggar's Buttress starts up this for about 8' before stepping right to a steep, loose handcrack (10b). The routefinding is tricky here, but generally stay right and end up at a belay on a ledge/block with a fixed pin and slung horn.

The next pitch is the business, starting out with some stout face moves right to gain a thin crack with fixed pin (11b), and then a stellar steep corner that widens from fingers to OW/Squeeze. (Also 11b). We built a hanging belay at the top of the chimney, just below a roof. There's some small gear here for the belay, but it's pretty nice to have a bigger piece (#2-#4 Camalot) to make it really bomber.

Next, lie-back around the roof via a flake on the left wall of the dihedral. Continue up the handcrack to an optional belay at a small tree. The last bit of the corner is the crux, featuring steep finger jamming and liebacking with some lichen-ous rock. (11c)

The Descent: The route does not end on top of Lower Cathedral, but rather on a big ledge atop a buttress. From here, walk Southwest, past some cairns, to find the first of two bolted raps (60m rope required). From the base of the raps, I can't really give too much beta because it was dark and we got off route (ended up doing 5 raps off trees down a steep, very loose cliff). I'm thinking you stay west, contouring around the rock and follow 3rd class ledges down.

As for gear: a full single rack from Small to #4 Camalot (new style works fine) with doubles from thin fingers to wide hands. A single set of wires, and many long slings. Helmets.
By Alexey
From: San Jose
Aug 13, 2012

route in the shade in August from 11am to 5pm.
If done with Giblet and Tiblet instead of p1 plus p3-5 { all class 4 to easyclass5} can be link in one 60m pitch. The result 7 clean and good pitches or very good ( especially 11a/b clean corner) and one not.
The decent is probably worst I've ever done- take something avay from the route
By bud miller
From: SAR site, Camp4
Jun 2, 2014

I wouldn't have minded one extra purple (.5) camalot (3 total) for the 11.b fingers corner, and may give you a little more confidence to send. I also felt that two blue (#3) camalots was really good to have for the upper section of that pitch. But I try and keep things pretty safe.
By Vlad S
Oct 20, 2014
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a

More like Sandbagger's Buttress. What a grovel! Hans is right that Astroman has nothing on this climb. The 10d handcrack out of the alcove on p2 is as scary as the Harding slot (although much easier). Get rid of your helmet for that one unless you have +6 or more ape index. I laughed when I saw the "5.9 thin" at the end of that pitch. It's thin inside a 10a flaring chimney. NOT 5.9. The two pitches of megachoss following that makes you think that you are the first person climbing that stretch of rock.

The enduro layback on pitch 7 is hella pumpy. If that's 11b, then enduro corner would be a 10d easy warm up. Add to that the V4 face climbing crux at the start of that pitch and the 10d OW/squeeze at the end and you'd be wishing there were bail anchors there instead of a fully hanging belay. By the way, the topo shows the hanging belay right in the middle of the crux of the OW. Is this one of those things where you get to build the anchor whenever you run out of juice and hang and still call it a free climb? I think it would be preferable to link this with the next 10b pitch for a full value 12a ledge-to-ledge endurofest, but I'm not sure a 60 m rope would reach (might be close). Then you'd actually have to climb the heinous OW all the way without stopping. Anyone have beta for linking these?

The last pitch is actually not that bad (I think 11c is right on) and it's short - only 45 feet, but considering that you've just climbed p7 not long ago - you'll flail anyway. There's a painful kneebar just before the crux that lets you place a 00 or 0 C3. After that jam right foot as high up in the open part of the crack as you can and reach way up past the seam to the good locks.

Some beta on the season for this climb: DO NOT DO THIS ONE IN THE SUMMER. It was 65F in the valley and we were sweating up every pitch of this epic grovel in the end of October in a thin t-shirt, even though it gets no sun at all this time of the year.
By Kevin Worrall
Jun 3, 2015

To put things in perspective, consider that Mark and I first climbed this route forty years ago, both of us were 20 yrs old. No cams, no bolts, no food, no water, no helmets, no harnesses, no sticky rubber, no whining. There was some loose rock and hollow flakes - welcome to the real deal. Climb around them carefully.

As to the route being "a grovel", I guess it depends on your definition of grovel. Just because the route kicked yer ass don't mean it's a grovel! It's hard and tricky and strenuous, but it tests every aspect of your crack climbing ability, and if your skills are lacking you take a whacking. There's a reason this route is Hans Florine's favorite.

Pitch one is a clean easy flare and some scrambling. Tidbit variation to the right looks really good, they end at the same belay, I think. The roof on the second pitch is intimidating and tricky to start, but turns on bomber hands. The next pitch is easy well protected mixed climbing with some dirt and vegetation, overall fun, but the worst pitch on the route. It ends on a big terraced ledge system.

The "200 ft" of easy climbing is more like a hundred feet of steep unroped hiking on dirt ledges with big trees. This ends at the start of the upper four pitches which are the meat of the route. It's basically one long crack system, with the first pitch being the center of three possibilities. Weird sections of different types of steep and sometimes cranker climbing take you to a belay perch hidden from below under stacked roofs. The next pitch is exposed vertical 5.11 face climbing right off the belay.The lie back higher on this pitch is one of the most classic splitter hard cracks I've done. It starts of tips and over about 60 ft gradually opens bit by bit into thin hands, then fat hands, then fists snd finally offsize. Superb airy position, and a lonely challenge for the leader with your belayer out of sight under the roof below. The hanging belay in the middle of an offsize described above is a no hands stance of sorts in the middle of what might be 5.2 climbing.

The next pitch turns a big roof by a couple of different methods, both tricky, strenuous and well protected. The leader is rewarded after negotiating the roof by twin bomber hand cracks with 5.9 fun climbing. The next pitch is moderate mixed thin crack with a shallow squeeze section. I liebacked that on the FA because there was a cubic foot block precariously wedged inside touching the walls at only two small points. Werner sent it on a later ascent.

The top pitch crux is thin stemming and fingertip lie backing which ends abruptly on a flat rock ledge with a belay tree. A classic topout.

The line is as direct and obvious as it gets. Look at it from ElCap Meadow before you do it.

The comments about the descent are baffling to me. We scrambled down and west to a big tree, made one two rope rappel, and dirt skied down a series of slopes between small cliffs. We were at the road in less than 15 minutes after the rap. I remember laughing about how quick and easy it was.

Route finding skill isn't only for climbing up, guys.

It's a route for climbers who appreciate and understand wild terrain, not fer city bred gym spawn, that's for sure.
By Drew Marshall
6 days ago
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

Awesome climb, and not a sandbag! Middle pitches are a bit dirty and it's better to move quickly through them because of all the ants at the belays.
The sport route up to the splitter corner (11a) is a great alternative to pitch one.
Would recommend some micros, doubles .3 to #3 and a #4, with triple .5s

It'd be worth scoping the line of the descent from the parking lot beforehand
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