In the early 80s, I did Dog Star
and loved it. Returning this year we started up Dog Star
, felt adventureous and inadvertently climbed mostly new territory to the top of the Buttress. We were impressed with its quality, especially the stellar 4th pitch.
P1. Start up Dog Star
, when it reaches the horizontal grassy ledge step right then up a ramp/dihedral with a wide crack in its back. Belay near its top (large pro) 5.8, 50 meters.
P2. Finish the dihedral, step right onto a face and climb big holds and flakes around a short headwall (5.9R) onto a slabby area. Continue 60 meters to a ledge belay.
P3. Do a long pitch up the middle crease of this central, slabby area. A distintive quartz seam shows the line and the belay is at a landmark, barndoor-size flake sitting on a flat ledge. Possibly shared in part with Dog Star
, 50 meters, 5.7.
P4. Above is a clean, right-facing flake where someone has rigged a rap anchor with 3 stoppers, quicklink and red sling. Do that, pass an area of jumbled flakes, and spot a fingercrack that angles slightly rightwards across a smooth slab. This is one of the finest pitches I have climbed in alpine RMNP, 5.10a, well-protected with small gear, 50 meters.
P5. Angle leftward up a series of large, hollow flakes aiming for the major, right-facing, right-leaning corner that forms the left edge of the Buttresses apex. We crossed leftward under this corner system and belayed in a tiny niche below a smaller, right-facing corner. 40 meters, 5.7.
P6. Lieback and jam, 5.10b, the thin corner above the belay then a few feet above do a blind traverse to the left, 5.9 onto easier ground and the top, 40 meters. [Descend] down Stoneman Pass.
Standard to #4 Friend.