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Cathedral Buttress
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The Snaz 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, Grade IV
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Yvon Chouinard, Mort Hempel, 1964
Season: Late May-Early September.
Page Views: 11,096
Submitted By: Nick Stayner on Mar 6, 2006

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Cruxing on the Snazette.
Photo: Nathan Furman.

Description 

A Teton classic. Classic crack climbing with lots of variety. The technical crux is a roof pull on pitch 4, while the physical lies in the consistent flake and wide crack movement of pitch 3. There are some notable variations: at the belay for pitch 3, move left for a 5.10 finger crack. At the top of pitch six, you can move 100' right for two more 5.9 pitches, Cousin Leroy. At the top of pitch 7, climb a three-tiered roof at 10+ instead of the .7 chimney. Also very good.

Location 

See the Cathedral Buttress overview for approach. If you're planning on rapping, the last reliable fixed anchor is atop pitch six. There is some tat at the top of pitch 8 that could get you down to the pitch 6 anchors, but at this point it's best to continue to the downclimb.
For detailed downclimb info, check out one of the guides. Basically, you continue up easy 5th class slabs for another 200', trending left. This brings you to a trail and eventually a couloir downclimb.

Protection 

Take a standard Teton rack with extra wide pieces. There are some fixed pins on the route, most notably one at the tech. crux.


Photos of The Snaz Slideshow Add Photo
professional christ on the Snazette variation, a stupendous splitter crack pitch not to be missed
professional christ on the Snazette variation, a s...
The Snazzette
The Snazzette
looking in to the 10a roof on the 4th pitch of The Snaz
looking in to the 10a roof on the 4th pitch of The...
Looking up the dihedrals of The Snaz from the base of the route.
Looking up the dihedrals of The Snaz from the base...
The second pitch of The Snaz.
The second pitch of The Snaz.
The Snaz.
The Snaz.
The Snazzette, as seen from the rappels.
The Snazzette, as seen from the rappels.
The Snaz.
The Snaz.
Arin Trook on The Snaz, 5 Aug 2003
Arin Trook on The Snaz, 5 Aug 2003
the Snaz in yellow, the stupendous Snazette variation in red, the very dangerous flake in white
BETA PHOTO: the Snaz in yellow, the stupendous Snazette variat...
Anna following "The Snazzette", a 5.10 variation on pitch 4.
Anna following "The Snazzette", a 5.10 variation o...

Comments on The Snaz Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 16, 2012
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Jul 17, 2006
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Some notes from our climb on July 17th, 2006.

We intended to climb the "Snazzette (5.10)" finger crack variation for pitch 4, connect back to the Snaz for the roof pitch, and then rappel after the 6th pitch.

P1 (5.5) - Enjoyable climbing in a short ramp above a tree leads to a dirty ledge system. Belay and then move the belay to below the blocky overhang above the ledge system.

P2 (5.7) - Climb the blocky overhang, pass another dirty ledge system, and continue up steep broken rock to the first set of fixed anchors. The anchors are a little right and about a 100+ feet up.

P3 (5.7) - Up the broken crack system that diagonals left. We aimed for the obvious finger crack on the headwall above and built a belay right below it. The fixed anchors for the regular Snaz route were up another 30 feet to the right and are poorly placed if you intend to do the finger crack variation.

P4 (5.10 variation) - A phenomenal crack pitch that begins as fingers (crux) and slowly widens to tight hands. 120 feet of beautiful crack climbing up a spectacular headwall. A must-do pitch!! We took a 60m rope to its end and belayed too high. It worked out, but a better plan would be to start looking to build an anchor as soon as you're done with the long crack portion.

p5 (5.8) - A diagonaling pitch to the right back to the Snaz. Like I mentioned above, we belayed too high (below a big yellow wall that is part of Caveat's I think) and had to traverse downwards and then up a finger crack to join the Snaz. The finger crack was unexpected, bonus fun! We hit the Snaz at the fixed pin anchors about 30 feet below the giant detached flake.

P6 (5.9+/5.10-) - Fun pitch! Gingerly climb up and around the detached flake....and cross your fingers it will survive one more day. Some wide crack action takes you to the dark roof. Awesome stemming and some conveniently placed chockstones see you over this obstacle. Fun climbing and good gear if you're willing to look around. There were some pins on this pitch, but they looked pretty sketchy. A week before we did this climb, a climber fell off the crux, pulled 3 cams, and landed next to his belayer after a 70 foot fall - resulting in a bad ankle break and rescue. There is plenty of good gear through the roof, so take your time to find it!

We rappelled from here (should have kept going!) with two ropes. We passed the fixed anchors below the detached flake and continued down another 50 feet to the anchors directly abovethe wide pitch on the Snaz. The anchor is hidden but it on an obvious ledge. This anchor consisted of 3 bomber, fixed nuts. Another rappel down to the bottom of the wide pitch. Another rappel to fixed anchors below the long, easy crack pitch. Another rappel to a small tree with slings directly above the first 5.5 slab section. And a short 40 foot rappel to the ground. Next time, skip the raps and keep climbing!

Gear: Nuts, 2 sets of cams from TCUs to #3 Camalot, one or two bigger pieces (I had a #3.5 and #4 Camalot). We didn't do the wide crack pitch of the Snaz, so this gear recommendation is for the doing the Snazette variation!
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 19, 2006

"A roof at the end of every pitch" - that is how I remember doing this climb. Awesome!
By Nick Stayner
From: Billings, MT
Jul 19, 2007

Fixed nut near the crux of the Snazette as of 7/07. Also, first two 5.7 pitches of the Snaz are easily linked w/ 70s. 3 #1 camalots may be nice for some people on the Snazette variation. Another note: one can easily continue into the 5th (overhanging handcrack) pitch of Caveat from the top of the Snazette. Just trend left.
By Eric Goltz
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 30, 2007

To find the second pitch, you basically climb plumb straight above the giant fir tree below the route. Don't get tricked into going left in the vicinity of the chimney with the chockstone (O's topo somewhat confusingly depicts a left-slashing chimney with a chockstone; there are apparently two such features)!
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Jul 7, 2008
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

The Caveats/Snaz link-up is a great way to get the best pitches of both climbs. Climb the first three pitches of Caveats, and then do a right-trending pitch (first right, then up, then across a dirty ledge, up a finger crack, then right again) until you intersect the Snaz. Belay here (right below the huge flake on the Snaz's 5th pitch). Then climb the crux pitch of the Snaz and continue to the top. 8 pitches in all (3 at 10-), with only one dud (the first pitch of Caveats).

The walk-off descent was surprisingly quick. After topping out on the last pitch, climb up and left on the 4th class slabs for about 300'. There is a huge cairn on the left skyline that becomes visible... aim for that. Once there, an easy trail leads West back to the Death Canyon trail. It only took 45 minutes, including climbing the slab.

Gear for Caveats/Snaz linkup - nuts, 1x TCUs, 2x #.5 camalot, 2x# .75 camalot, 2x #1 camalot, 3x #2 camalot, 2x# 3 camalot, 1x #3.5 camalot or #4 camalot... We also brought a pink tricam and two big hexes. The hexes were great instead of lugging up some more big-hand-size cams.
By Daniel Trugman
From: Los Alamos, NM / Stanford, CA
Aug 20, 2010
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Excellent climbing! We did the Snazzette variation on pitch 4 (which was superb!), and rapped after pitch 6.

A few thoughts:

1. If you set your belay for pitch 1 as high as possible, you can get from the top of pitch 1 all the way to the base of the Snazzette (or to the anchors for the original variation) in one 60m pitch.

2. If rapping the route, you can skip the anchor just below the base of the 5.9+/10a roof (pitch 6). We had plenty of rope to do this with twin 60m ropes; I think twin 50m would also be fine. You probably can't skip any other rappels.

3. The last rappel anchor is well hidden from above. It's a smallish tree just below the ledge splitting the 1st pitch. If you're looking for it while climbing the first pitch, you'll probably see it. My partner and I missed it.

Anyone have a rack recommendation for the original P4? It looked pretty damn wide and sustained.
By Stan Pitcher
From: SLC, UT
Aug 24, 2010

Did it yesterday with standard rack to 3.5 camalot and doubles of .75 thru 3 which seemed ample. On the forth pitch you can walk the 3.5 to a fixed chockstone and then walk above there till some small nut/tcu placements left of the wideness. I ended up having the 3.5 at the belay! Great climb! A lot harder than I remembered from the previous ascent 15 years or so ago! :)
By Daniel Trugman
From: Los Alamos, NM / Stanford, CA
Aug 24, 2010
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Thanks, Stan! I was thinking that you might need all sorts of wide gear for the original P4, but it sounds like you can get by without it. Good to know.
By eDixon
From: Durango, Colorado
Jun 20, 2011
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Did this with a random that I met at the Climbers' Ranch, they brought the rack and I the ropes. Remember thinking that a #4 Camalot would've been nice on the rack (had a single #3) for the OW. There are a couple of chockstones to sling that made it reasonable without the big cam. Good route with some fun climbing.
By erik rieger
From: Gold Hill, CO
Jun 16, 2012

Highly recommend "The Snazzette" variation and the 10+ roof on the last pitch. Four double rope rappels get you down to the base quickly.