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Flying Squirrel Buttress
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Bombs Away T 
Finders Keepers  T 
Flying Fortress T 
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Bombs Away 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 310'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Forrest Gardner, Peter Henley - 1985 FFA: Mark Cartwright, Todd Wells - 1999
Season: Fall and Winter
Page Views: 3,260
Submitted By: Amy Denicke on Nov 25, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (16)
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coming up P3


Who would have thought you could do an alpine climb in Tennessee!

P1: Scramble up on a small ledge, climb a right-facing flake, then step right and climb to an alcove beneath a bulge. Squirm throught a slot in the bulge, angle right to a vegetated ledge. Walk approximately 30 feet to the left on a very narrow ledge to a solid root on a cedar tree and belay (5.8) 140'.
P2: Move left from the belay and climb loose and crumbly rock for two or three moves, then move right below a huge right-arching corner on good rock. Angle right, pull an awkward overhang and belay on a solid tree (5.8+) 100'.
P3: Head up towards the large roof for a couple of moves then gingerly move left onto the face of the buttress on various sized blocks. Be careful as some of the blocks are loose. Climb left of the roof to a live tree on the top of the buttress (5.8-) 70'.


Located on the Flying Squirrel Buttress. Start: 50 feet to the right of the orange rock on Flying Fortress (5.10a). A double rope rappel is needed to reach slings on a tree at the top of the first pitch. A total of two raps are needed from the top. Killer hanging rappel from the roof top.

The Flying Squirrel Buttress can be seen about 1.1 miles up the canyon road at a large pull out on the right. Scramble down the hillside, cross the creek and make your way up to the buttress easiest way possible.


Standard rack with some smaller sized cams. Nothing larger than a #3 BD cam.

Photos of Bombs Away Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: P1/2 Anchor/Belay
BETA PHOTO: P1/2 Anchor/Belay
Rock Climbing Photo: 3rd pitch
3rd pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Start of Pitch 2
Start of Pitch 2
Rock Climbing Photo: A fun hanging rappel from the top
A fun hanging rappel from the top
Rock Climbing Photo: Amazing southern sunset from the top of the route....
Amazing southern sunset from the top of the route....
Rock Climbing Photo: View of the Flying Squirrel Buttress at the road.
BETA PHOTO: View of the Flying Squirrel Buttress at the road.
Rock Climbing Photo: Start of Pitch 1
Start of Pitch 1
Rock Climbing Photo: View from belay on pitch 3
View from belay on pitch 3
Rock Climbing Photo: We replaced the slings at the rap station on P1 wi...
We replaced the slings at the rap station on P1 wi...
Rock Climbing Photo: Start of P3...good quality rock right off of the b...
Start of P3...good quality rock right off of the b...
Rock Climbing Photo: the rap was fun!! a cold early-january day.
the rap was fun!! a cold early-january day.
Rock Climbing Photo: Working the 2nd pitch
Working the 2nd pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: the rap
the rap
Rock Climbing Photo: Double rope rappel (we used a 60 and a 70) gets yo...
Double rope rappel (we used a 60 and a 70) gets yo...
Rock Climbing Photo: Teejay grinnin like a possum eating a sweet tater....
Teejay grinnin like a possum eating a sweet tater....
Rock Climbing Photo: On P2,after following the off-width up and right, ...
On P2,after following the off-width up and right, ...

Comments on Bombs Away Add Comment
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By ChillFancy
From: Chattanooga, TN
Nov 25, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

First off, I would like to thank Amy and all of those who came to this route before us. This route is gold for any aspiring adventure climber. As far as total height is concerned, P1 is around 90, and P2+P3 are around 160, making the route around 250 ft tall. With that said, the actual distance climbed is probably over 300ft. I found several distinctive cruxes but route finding can be just as challenging as the cruxes. Love this climb, despite several sections of choss/lose rock.
By DaveJD
Jan 11, 2013
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

We just recently did this route a few days after some rain. The creek can be crossed if you have the necessary river reading skills and dont mind taking your pants off to cross(Dont get yourself killed). Pitch 1 was partially wet but very climbable and had really neat sequences with quality rock. Pitch 2 starts off with extremely loose rock for the first couple of moves and then turns into the highlight of the climb with a solid face with horizontal cracks and underclings in a somewhat exposed arch. Pitch 3 was somewhat confusing in terms of route finding, but it can be climbed nearly all over that face of the buttress. Extremely loose rock here for nearly the entire pitch, be very careful as to what you pull on.

We had difficulty finding the rap station on pitch 3. We assumed that someone removed any sort of gear that was up there. We rapped off the tree above the large ledge with a sling and biner. If you head up there bring along some webbing. The rap station on top of pitch 1 is bomber.

The pictures really did help and this climb is pretty fun so dont let the loose rock and approach turn you away.
By fisherman
From: Central California
Jan 10, 2015

Did this today, fun multi-pitch climb. We boulder hopped the river as it was kind of low after several days of no rain. We saw it was raging, near waste deep whitewater a week or so before, luckily we chose the TWall that day. Got to the route and ice and water seeping all over the cliff, it was early January. The majority of the ice and wetness was just off route. We rapped right down it though. Very cool alpine feel. Sun was hitting the west facing wall all day between noon and 5:30. The climbing was fun & varied, the starting flake was a good warm-up, the slot was challenging and fun, 2nd pitch was rotten corner and decent face along with a couple of cool ledges and 3rd pitch (loose) continued to be fun and exposed. Some loose rock sure, but feel around and you'll stay on the good stuff. Did not see a rap station at the top so we left some webbing and a ring. The P1 red webbing is still there and good. Left a large hex at the start of P2, pm me if you want to return it.

edit to add: 3/17/15 The loose rock is borderline unsafe. Use caution on what your pulling on. A day of clean up would up this to a two-star climb. Helmets mandatory. When rapping from the top, slide the webbing/rap ring up the tree and ropes will pull easier. Get your ropes on the smooth edge of the overhang and slide your knot down past the 1st bit of rock, close to the edge as possible. Try to avoid the huge tree when throwing the ropes (throw to the right). Two stars in ChattTrad is kind of mis-leading. Zero to One star in my book. Not a n00b outing. Starting later in the day may allow P1 to dry up. The hex on P2 is fixed and makes a great 1st piece of pro.
By eli poss
From: Durango, Co
Jan 11, 2015
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Climbed with chad, first pitch was alright (flake and slot were icy so it was painful) but the 2nd and third pitch were great. 2nd pitch was great after the awkward first couple of moves. lead the 3rd pitch and it was awesome. great exposure, gentle overhang, plus could've done it on all passive (i used tri-cams .25, .5, 1, and #1 Camalot but could've used at 2.5 tricam if i'd had one). great quality face climbing on stacked blocks and horizontals, wish it was longer.
By Drew Hellams
From: High Point, NC
Apr 30, 2016

Fun route and spicy with the choss factor. Offers great moderate multipitch where there is little.

Add'l Beta:
Getting There: at the farthest end of the pulloff, head down the steep trail. Head right at the river about 50 yard and cross over into a creek/wash that heads uphill. Follow this almost to the base of the buttress. If you go all the way to the top there is a small waterfall. about 100' before the waterfall you can cut right and head up very gradually. You will quickly come to the left end of FS. This way avoids much of the poison ivy prevalent in the spring and fall.

P1: For the novice adventure climber, to get to the first belay clip the large cedar at the top of the route with a long sling and head all the way to the left of the ledge to a mangled cedar tree. A cam can be had at shin level opposite of tree.

P2: Climb the face out right, following underneath the arch. Step further out onto the face just before the small, nearly dead cedar and pull onto the ledge. Belay can be had here, but there is little rope drag and another 15' up and right leads to a nicer ledge with some shade and a few medium cedars.

P3: Head up and left from here through some vertical, pumpy rock. The rock is a little better here but knock first.

Rap: As mentioned above, a red sling and ring has been placed. It may be advantageous as time continues to supplement the single sling. Double 70m ropes will get you to the ground in one rap but it is hell getting the rope back from the lip drag.

Final note: There is plenty of poison ivy on the rock out here. Familiarize yourself with it before heading up, lest you end up having a really bad second day.

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