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Merriam Peak
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Direct North Buttress 
Dr. Bear Love Project 
Flying Buttress, The 
Triple Cracks Project 

Direct North Buttress 

YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- British: E2 5b PG13

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 1000', Grade IV
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10a/b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VI+ British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Vern Clevenger/Bob Harrington
Page Views: 3,700
Submitted By: Old Skool on May 26, 2008
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You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (14)
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BETA PHOTO: The Route.


The entire route entails some challenging but very fun diverse climbing. The crux 10.b lies on the Seventh pitch. It is definitely a Classic and must DO!

Total of seven technical Pitches with an additional 300' feet of Class 3ish to reach the Summit proper.


Descend Class 2 via the West Ridge to the Col between Merriam and Royce. Then proceed down to Camp.


This is a Backcountry Trad route with ZERO fixed gear.

Gear List:
2ea MET TCU's (#1-3)
2ea MET FCU's (#4-8)
2ea WC Flexi #4 Friend
1 Set Of Stoppers
10 Alpine Slings(Draws) w/Biner's
10 Spare Biner's
2 60m Double's

Photos of Direct North Buttress Slideshow Add Photo
fun ridge climbing
fun ridge climbing
The Triple Crack Pitch (5).
The Triple Crack Pitch (5).
Bruce Lella starting the crux hand crack.  The quality of this crack makes up for the loose sections below. <br /> <br />July, 2007, we day-tripped it from Paradise.
Bruce Lella starting the crux hand crack. The qua...
Upper North Buttress
BETA PHOTO: Upper North Buttress
Part of the class 3-4 summit ridge.
BETA PHOTO: Part of the class 3-4 summit ridge.
Sunset on the DNB!
Sunset on the DNB!
Looking up to really fun crack system. About 5.9.
BETA PHOTO: Looking up to really fun crack system. About 5.9.
Merriam's North Buttress
BETA PHOTO: Merriam's North Buttress
Looking down from about halfway through the route.
BETA PHOTO: Looking down from about halfway through the route....
Looking up from the start.
BETA PHOTO: Looking up from the start.
Looking down the summit ridge toward the North Buttress from the true summit.
BETA PHOTO: Looking down the summit ridge toward the North But...
Comments on Direct North Buttress Add Comment
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By Dustysdawg
Jul 30, 2009

That is my beta/topo photo that I put up on Summitpost. Glad to see it is getting used, because it took me a while to make it.
I thought the route was solid, and does not deserve a PG13. There is a little bit of grainyness because it doesn't get climbed that often, but there is very little loose rock. Pretty standard for Sierra granite.
The great thing about this climb is that it is all climbing. There is very little scrambling or easy 5th class.

By Chris Owen
From: La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake
Aug 30, 2009

Thanks for posting!

By Some Random Guy
From: San Francisco, CA
May 21, 2013
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b PG13

This route is AWESOME! I believe it would be just as poplar as the Third Pillar of Dana if not for the looooooong approach. A wee bit more moderate than Third Pillar too. My main complaint was that it was too short. I could have used a few more pitches. Very fun.

By Dustin Stephens
Jul 1, 2013
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a PG13

Great route! Especially as you get higher up. First couple pitches are somewhat dangerous and loose. Approach is burly, so be in the mood for a backpacking trip. Mosquitoes can be pretty heinous in mid-summer up until Boyce Lake.