2014 Update: Blob Rock, Bitty Buttress, and all seasonal raptor closure areas on U.S. Forest Service land will be re-opened August 1, 2014 for climbing.
Each year, Boulder Canyon raptor nesting area closures are in effect starting February 1st through July 31st at Eagle Rock, Security Risk, Blob Rock, and Bitty Buttress. However, the area is monitored and closures are periodically lifted early (due to no active nest, nest site failure, or early fledging). This monitoring program is a partnership with the Forest Service Boulder Ranger District, Boulder Climbing Community, and Audubon Society. Check back periodically during times of closure for updates. More info at www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/arp/recreation.
This information is a public crowdsourcing effort between the Access Fund,
and Mountain Project. You should confirm closures, restrictions, and/or related dates.
The four blocky towers known as the Elephant Buttresses lie just to the right of the Dome. They are numbered one through four from left to right. Almost all the routes are trad; no sport routes here. Some routes have old fixed pins; not many have bolts. An irrigation water pipe runs along the base of these crags.
Be careful of poison ivy; this area has it in abundance!
Approach as for the Dome. Park in a small pullout on the right 0.5 miles up the canyon, or in a large parking area on the left. Cross the bridge over the creek and turn right. Follow the new climber's access trail up to the aqueduct. Turn right and walk along a trail to the water pipe; watch out for poison ivy! Continue along the water pipe to the crag you want to climb. The pipe ends at a water tunnel between the Third and Fourth Buttress.
There are several ways to descend from the top of these crags:
The easiest walk-off is to head left (north) toward the Dome, and descend a trail down to the aqueduct just left of the First Buttress.
You can scramble down between the Second and Third Buttress to a tree atop Pine Tree Route, and rappel 90' back to the water pipe.
If the water level is low enough, you can descend to a tunnel between the Third and Fourth Buttress, and walk through the tunnel back to the water pipe. Be prepared for darkness and wet legs/feet!
You can downclimb the steep, 4th-class gully between the Second and Third Buttress; tricky in spots and not recommended for novices.
Cool route with interesting moves. My limited trad experience kept my evaluation to a modest two stars.The route starts about halfway up the 4th class gully between the second and third buttresses. The climb itself is on the third Buttress. Begin by traversing right across a ledge into the obvious dihedral. Some small, good placements will get you up to a new bolt that protects a few feet below the roof and the first crux. Clip this and then a fixed Friend in the overhead crack. My buddy w...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
Ok, I feel kinda dumb for asking this but I was at the Elephant Buttress this night and we headed up a chimney onsight somewhere in the vicinity of the 1st maybe 2nd pinnacle, but I don't think it was the chimney listed in the 2nd pinnacle's list. We headed up a chimney until it got too wide then climbed up a crack on the south side of the chimney. The chimney itself was probably .7- but the crack was reaching into the .9 territory. Does this sound familiar?
Actually after looking at the picture again I realize I wasn't really on a ROUTE. We ended up chimneying up the crack kinda directly between the 1st and 2nd buttress, then squirming up the crack on the right. Weird route. Anyone know if it's got a name?
There is currently a very nice, large and extremely clear photo of the Elephant Buttresses at the Boulder Library as part of the ditch exhibit. All of the popular climbs are very visible. It's worth a look. The history of the Silver Lake Ditch and the other ditches is very interesting. There's a working model of the two "tram lines" used to move the pipes during the 2008 rebuild of the pipe below Elephant Buttresses.