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McHenry's Peak
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Dog Star T 
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Dog Star 

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

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches, 800', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Larry Hamilton and Dakers Gowans, August 1974
Page Views: 1,532
Submitted By: L. Hamilton on Apr 8, 2003

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Morning light on McHenry's Peak.


This long route offers good rock and several excellent pitches. It climbs near the center of the deceptively large triangular buttress that dominates McHenry's northeast face. A good corner pitch low on the route leads to an easier midsection. At 2/3 height another steep corner breaks through to the upper wall. Variations are possible near the top; the original line ends right at the apex of the buttress.

The FA took place during the dog days of summer, which were once believed to be so hot because the dog star Sirius was reinforcing the sun.


A standard traditional rack provides fine protection.

Photos of Dog Star Slideshow Add Photo
Dakers Gowans on the final pitch of Dog Star (FA).
Dakers Gowans on the final pitch of Dog Star (FA).
NE face of McHenrys Peak showing Dog Star (left, b...
BETA PHOTO: NE face of McHenrys Peak showing Dog Star (left, b...

Comments on Dog Star Add Comment
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By L. Hamilton
Apr 8, 2003
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Justin Dubois deserves credit for the fine photo of McHenrys, above.
By Anonymous Coward
Aug 18, 2004

OK route with some interesting pitches. Won't be waiting in line for this one. Oh, and Larry, I went to your website and thought it was really cool. Your accomplishments are impressive and your understated way of sharing them is great.
By L. Hamilton
Aug 19, 2004
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Glad you had a good time -- like Snark and Warhead, this is one I thought might get popular someday, but it sounds like it's still rarely done.
By richard magill
Aug 19, 2004

Some years back, we tried to do this line and got off route somewhere up on the wall.We cleaned moss out of some cracks and continued on, and did a couple of 5.10 pitches on the way up.

The stone was good and it made for a pretty nice alpine outing - a long hike in and a full day of climbing. I really recommend McHenry's for some adventure climbing and the opportunity to do first ascents on some pitches (whether you want to or not).
By L. Hamilton
Aug 20, 2004
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

As for finding the original (5.8) line, it's hard to pick out in a photo but seemed clear enough from the base on the first ascent: Near the prow of the buttress, we aimed for 2 prominent inside corners -- the first about 1/3 height, and the second about 2/3, going through the steep band. Both were nice pitches, no cleaning required at the time. The rest of the route was 5.7 or easier, but also good rock.
By justin dubois
From: Estes Park
Jul 20, 2009

We cast off yesterday, aiming somewhat for Dogstar.
Starting in the very prominent WIDE corner a little left of center.
I never really knew where we were on the huge face, and just resolved to find A WAY up..
This buttress holds plenty of adventure for those who enjoy somthing off the beaten track. Theres also plenty of plantlife.
At one point I wished I had brought my Steaknives and Golfshoes!
No crowds, killer rock, and amazing views.
Just don't bring a topo and expect to follow it...

We did 7 long pitches, some must have been Dogstar, some definitely were not.
I wouldn't say this is as classic as the nearby Warhead..but a worthy climb anyways!
By Greg Sievers
From: Estes Park, CO
Aug 7, 2009

Scott Kimball (his highness) and I had a bit better luck than JD. Aug 2-09) the second dihedral right made a fitting 5.8 start. up and right was the general trend of the day. I skipped the "roof capped corner" mentioned in the description and jumped on a killer 5.9 LFD just left of it. Yes, seven long and very enjoyable pitches.
By L. Hamilton
Aug 19, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Greg, that "killer LFD" you jumped on might have been our original FA line. I recall two crux pitches (we called both 5.8) in fairly obvious dihedrals, the first about pitch 2 and the second through the steep section at mid-height. Both were clean and fun, if I remember right. Since Dog Star was the FA of that whole buttress, not just a new route, we tried to take it from the lowest point to highest point of the wall. Quite the cruise -- wish I'd shot more photos.
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