Brewer Buttress is an excellent easy multipitch with good rock, great views, a straightforward descent, and fun climbing. All belays are fixed with bolts.
Pitches are described as per the topo given below.
P1: 40m, easy fifth. Follow broken rock up and left. In my opinion this was the only bad pitch on the route.
P2: 30m, 5.5. Continue to a belay on a large ledge on top of the pedastal.
P3-4: 55m, easy fifth. Follow a break up and right past a station to a belay on top of a small ledge. These pitches are typically linked.
P5: 35m, 5.5. Climb up a broken wall to a good ledge and a belay anchor. Continue left along the ledge around the corner and belay there.
P6: 30m, easy fifth. Climb up and right to belay at the base of a left facing corner. Belay here or link with pitch 7.
P7: 25m, 5.6. Climb to the top of the corner and move right to the belay.
P8: 25m, 5.5. Climb another left facing corner to a ledge.
P9: 40m, 5.7. Climb a right facing corner over a bulge. Continue up the corner to a belay.
P10: 20m, fourth class. Climb easily up a slab by wall to a belay at the base of a steeper wall. This pitch can be linked with the previous one.
P11: 35m, 5.6. Climb up through a steep section then more easily to belay at a good ledge.
P12: 40m, 5.6. Climb up a corner then move right onto a steep wall that leads to the top of the cliff. Finding an anchor at the top of this pitch is difficult, as is hearing your partner.
P12-13: 35m, 15m. Follow the corner to a belay, then climb the short wall above to the top of the cliff.
Approach and Descent
Either approach to the upper cliffs is viable for Brewer Buttress, though the hut approach is probably quicker overall. See the Castle Mountain page for details.
For the hut approach, Brewer Buttress is visible from the hut as the last buttress before the Eisenhower Tower.
From the hut on Goat Plateau, follow the trail east along the base of the cliff until you reach a bay on the right side of the buttress. A belay bolt marks the start of the route.
Alternatively take the Rockbound Lake approach and from Eisenhower Tower follow the trail along Goat plateau from right to left to reach the start of the route.
To get down, walk WAY west to reach a large low angle scree gully. The walk is likely farther than you will think. The correct gully is typically marked with a large cairn. Two or three short rappels are required near the bottom of the gully to bypass chockstones.
Gear and Beta
A small rack of nuts and cams is sufficient. Bring long draws. When we climbed it we had double ropes, and I would recommend this to avoid rope drag and to facilitate retreat in the event of a storm or accident.
Glenn T. in front of the Castle Mountain hut.
BETA PHOTO: A topo of the route.
The first pitch of the route (this was by far the ...
Pitch 9, the crux of the route at 5.7
The correct descent gully.
Pitches 3 and 4, seen here, are usually combined. ...
Although only rated 5.6, the route is very steep w...
The right finish (recommended) takes this steep wa...
The view of Rockbound Lake from the summit.
Brewer Buttress climbs the buttress to the left o...
A huge chockstone near the bottom of the descent g...
Looking up the steep 5.6 corner of pitch 7. Nice p...
By Clint Landrock
Jun 17, 2014
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Great alpine rock climb, consistent at the grade featuring some very nice exposure. Get the new Banff Rock book for the best beta/topo. Most pitches feature very secure climbing in the 5.4-5.6 range however pitches 7, 11 and 12 (last pitch variation) I felt were more in the 5.7/8 range and held some of the best climbing. For comparison we did Aftonroe (5.7, 9 pitch sport) the previous day, and the harder pitches on Brewers were easily as challenging or more so than those on Aftonroe. Notably the rock on Brewers was as good if not better than Aftonroe which is said to have some of "the best quality limestone anywhere in the Rockies". There ample places for pro on all the hard pitches. The "crux" pitch 9 has only one hard move (5.9ish) protected by a good bolt - you could pull the bolt to bypass the move, and the rest is 5.6 or easier. You can combine pitches 3 and 4 as well as pitches 9 and 10 with a 70m rope. We did the climb in mid-June and the large bay at the start of pitch 1 was filled with ~10m of snow, so I tried combining the 1st and 2nd pitches but rope drag was too much of an issue. If you soloed pitch 1 than it could be doable. Soloing pitch 1 is definitely an option, we climbed it in our hiking boots as we didn't want to put our rock shoes on in the deep snow, and it was pretty easy going despite some loose rock. Exposure-wise, pitches 6, 8 and 11 are highlights, definitely try to stop mid-pitch and take it in. We brought ice axes with us to the summit and were happy we have them for the descent. The snowpack was deep (~1m or more in places) and was very soft in the afternoon sun - we did lots of post-holing. The descent gully was full of snow and would have made for some insecure down climbing in steep snow w/o an axe. The descent from the top of Brewers back to the hut took us ~3 hours due to the deep snow pack.