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Rock Springs Buttress
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Clowns and Jokers 

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

   
Type:  Trad, Sport, Alpine, 5 pitches, 400', Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Dave Ryan
Season: Summer
Page Views: 1,106
Submitted By: Andy Laakmann on Jun 30, 2007

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Description 

Fun, safe, and steep line up Rock Springs Buttress. The protection is excellent along the entire route and all belays are fixed. The guide gives the route 11b, but it felt a touch soft to me....

To locate the route, look for a huge gnarled tree sitting in a crack about 30 feet high left of the prominent arete on the leftmost side of Rock Springs Buttress. This tree marks the start of the first pitch. The climb begins to the left of the most obvious arete system on the 2nd buttress, and has a nice flat area below the root system of the tree mentioned above. Most of the first pitch is shared with Exum Arete.

Pitch lengths are estimates

Pitch 1 (5.7, 30m) - Head up the gully/corner system past the gnarled tree. When the crack starts getting wide (#3 camalot), move up and right. Continue past the first set of chains and walk along the dirty ledge system. At the end of the ledge system you'll find a bolted belay on a large boulder. This is your anchor.

Pitch 2 (5.8, 25m) - A line of bolts begins off the dirty ledge and climbs up the featured face. Eventually you gain a nice handcrack for about 30 feet, and finally another bolt. Belay at the first anchor (with chains) on the ledge. You can leave your rack here, it is bolted above. I placed a #1, #2, and #3 camalot and a big nut.

Pitch 3 (5.8, 20m) - Follow the bolts up and slighty right of the anchor. The next set of chains is directly below the headwall and is semi-hanging. There is an opportunity for a TCU (red alien size)midway up this pitch if you desire.

Pitch 4 (5.11-, 20m) - Head straight up the imposing headwall past many bolts. Ample stemming helps keep the pump in check. The first half of this pitch is steep and stemmy, the second section slabby and delicate. Hanging belay at the chains.

Pitch 5 (5.11-, 20m) - Step left from the belay directly into thin, technical moves. Continue left past thin edges until gaining the big arete. Follow the line of bolts up the arete, and onto the final headwall.

Linking - One can easily link pitches. I would probably link pitches 2 and 3 if I were to do the route again. One can link pitch 4 and 5, but you would need ALOT of quickdraws and it would be a long, engaging pitch.

Rappel Descent - We had a 70m and rapped as follows. Top of the route to the chains at the base of the last pitch (it looked like the rope BARELY made the next anchor, but we didn't want to test it). On the next rap we skipped the next anchor and JUST made the anchor on top of pitch 2. Next rap was to the top of pitch 1. Then to the ground.

Note: With a 60m rope would you need to use ALL anchors on rappel.


Protection 

Mostly bolted. One set of cams from 0.5" to 2" would be plenty. A few long slings are useful. A medium nut could be useful getting to the last bolt on the last pitch.



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By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Jul 14, 2008

Climbed it again today. Great, well protected route. We placed a #1 and #2 camalot on P2, and an orange metolius master cam (#0.5 camalot would work) on P3. There is a stretch between the last two bolts on the last pitch where a medium nut could come in handy.

Still felt soft, 10+... maybe 11-.

If you are familiar with the Exum Arete, rap that route instead. It is a 5 minute walk from the top, and there are ledges all the way down. 5 raps will be required with a 60m rope.

By mdaverin
From: portland,or
Jun 24, 2012
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

If you are going to link pitch 2 and 3 you will want to be careful with your runners. Donít clip the anchors at the top of p. 2 and put long runners on the 1st 1 or 2 bolts of pitch 3.
I did not think pitch 4 was soft for the grade. I would call it 5.11. (Personally I think number grades are misplaced at RSB.) Pitch 5 seemed more like a 5.10.
Pitch 4 has 9 bolts plus the anchor and pitch 5 has 7 bolts plus the anchor. So to link the two you would want at least 17 draws.

By Tyler Barker
From: Jackson, WY
Jun 24, 2012
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

...agreed, if linking pitches 2 and 3 do NOT clip the anchors at the top of pitch 2. The beginning of pitch 3 is further right of the top of pitch 2 than you might expect. Pitch 4 is solid 5.11.