House Of Cards
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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.
|Comments on House Of Cards
|By Tod Anderson|
Aug 4, 2005
This sounds similar to a route that I did several years ago, at least the nice thin crack part. I sent a topo to Rossiter, so it may show up in his next book. The whole face is so indistinct it's hard to tell where you really are though.