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Routes in Omega Buttress

Annals of Time T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Dihedral of Horrors T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Edge of Horror, The T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a R
Guardian of Death T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b V10 7C+ C0-1
Manufactured Crisis T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R
Omega Crack T,S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Omega Triangle T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Unsorted Routes:
Elevation: 7,500 ft
Shared By: Nick Stayner on Mar 26, 2006
Admins: Mike Snyder


There are a lot of fun routes on this small buttress/tower. With such a short approach, it's in the same class as Guide's Wall, No Perches Necessary and Baxter's Pinnacle: not overly alpine in nature. But the weather, some loose rock, and gully descent will remind you that you're in the 'Tons!

That said, it's a wonderful place to go if you've only got a half-day or don't want to commit to a bigger/longer route.

Getting There

Park at the Death Canyon Trailhead near the southern entrance of the park. Hike for a little over 2 miles (you'll climb up to Phelps Lake overlook, and then descend 2 switchbacks into Death Canyon proper). After hiking up the actual canyon for about 0.5 miles, you'll pass 2 switchbacks. A few minutes after the second switchback, look for a talus slope leading up to the Omega Buttress. The buttress is very high, but the unmistakable dihedral of Dihedral of Horrors makes a very good marker.

Hike up the talus until you arrive at a gully below the buttress. The easiest path up the gully takes some 4th class terrain on the right side of the gully for about 50 feet. Continue up the loose and somewhat nasty gully for another 10-15 minutes to arrive on the bottom of the Omega Buttress.

Total approach times is about 1 1/2 hour.


This is the descent for Dihedral of Horrors and Annals of Time

Two ropes required.

Locate the huge tree with lots of slings. A double rope rap leads to a gully. Follow the trail but DO NOT rappel off the lower tree! We made this mistake and had to climb back up some. Some downclimbing will get you to a grassy descent gully and back to your packs.

Note: Do not follow the HUGE gully to the left, instead aim for the saddle to your right and downclimb that gully!

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Classic Climbing Routes at Omega Buttress

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Jeff Dobronyi
Ouray, CO
Jeff Dobronyi   Ouray, CO
DESCENT BETA: I have heard of a few folks messing this up so here is a good descent option. After the first 60m rappel, take the trail to the skiers L (north). Go about a hundred feet, following the trail until it goes through a few trees. Once the trail begins to ascend and looks like it is heading to the huge gully, look down and right and you'll see a rap anchor on a downhill branch. Rap from here to a small saddle above a grassy gully. Walk down this gully on good trail to the base of the climbs. Jul 14, 2016
Chris Weber
Boulder, CO
Chris Weber   Boulder, CO
Left a C4 #1 on the crux pitch of Cardiac Aretes 7/27/09. Email me if you get it out and want to return it...

Nice to have a #3 and 2 #2s for it, as my #1 tipped out and walked in, apparently.

Edit: I guess there are 2 cracks to choose from on the crux pitch, one just right of the roof is what I did, which is described above. Some say (I didn't really look at it) that the crack about 4 ft right is the originally done route, which supposedly is slightly easier (5.9) and tighter hands. YMMV. Jul 28, 2009

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