Elevation: 5,048 ft
GPS: 36.006, -115.466 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 7,171 total · 64/month
Shared By: Andrew Carson on Sep 7, 2009
Admins: Larry DeAngelo, Justin Johnsen
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Access Issue: Red Rock RAIN AND WET ROCK: The sandstone is fragile and is very easily damaged when wet. Details


A small canyon cuts into the escarpment just north of the well known Illusion Crags. On the north side of this drainage, more or less at the entrance, is a 500' buttress which we called the Disappearing Buttress. Surely it's been visited by climbers over the years, and the January '09 parties found some old webbing at a rap station, but there's no record of these earlier groups.
There are already several enjoyable routes on good rock, with room for more. The area receives a long day of sun even in the dead of winter, since there isn't a massive formation to the south which would intercept the sun, something of an issue in other canyons. Although you can't escape the sound of traffic from the Pahrump Hwy, it still has a distinct feel of privacy and solitude, with little sign so far of previous passage. The descent is easy, the approach is neither long nor hard, and the area, particularly the upper tier of rock beneath which descending parties hike, offers a lot of room for future routes. This upper band is of especially attractive rock but is probably far enough away that it will be a while before routes are established.

Getting There

Drive as for Illusion Crags (and on to Windy Peak) and park at any of several pullouts below the Illusion area. Hike across the desert and into the mouth of the canyon, and to the base of the buttress.

Although there are options, it is probably easiest to park at a small turnout a few hundred yards north of the normal parking spot for the Illusion Crags. Head across the desert following occasional trail fragments toward the cliff. The route goes generally up the small ridgelets in the area of the main wash. As you approach the mouth of the canyon, cross to the right and follow improving trails on the north side of the canyon. The route passes under a dark varnished wall on the hillside, detached from the bigger formation.


From the shoulder at the top of the buttress a long, spacious ledge system angles west beneath another tier of cliffs. Walk and scramble along this, crossing a couple of very minor ridges, to a wide slabby gully. Go down the gully to the slopes below. From this point it is probably easiest to pass right (south) of the small outcrop, then contour east toward the toe of the buttress.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Disappearing Buttress

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13
Sunday Cruise
Trad 3 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Prime Rib
Trad 4 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
No Country for Young Men
Trad 3 pitches
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Vanishing Act
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Sunday Cruise
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13 Trad 3 pitches
Prime Rib
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 4 pitches
No Country for Young Men
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 3 pitches
Vanishing Act
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Trad
More Classic Climbs in Disappearing Buttress »

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Maurice Horn
Bozeman, MT
Maurice Horn   Bozeman, MT
Gray and I climbed Prime Rib in November of 2009, my third ascent of the route. It is a superb winter climb because of the sunny exposure. We did it in 4 pitches. Both previous ascents were done in 5 pitches. Good luck finding your way across the desert. It's well worth the effort. Probably the North side of the canyon is a better approach than the Illusion Crag side. It is separate from the Illusion Crag and has a new name: Disappearing Buttress. It has three routes developed in 2009 and they were posted on MP. They are left-to-right: No Country For Young Men 5.8, Prime Rib 5.7 and Vanishing Act 5.9. Dec 5, 2009
Be sure to factor in enough time so you don't walk back in the dark. The walk off the top is not bad, but the hike from the base back to the parking area is not well defined due to lack of traffic. The sublte complexity of the terrain makes route-finding a challenge. The going is steep in places with a lot of loose rock and cactus (so much cactus,)and of course scruboak thickets (nothing like a little bush wrestling to end the day.) Mar 15, 2010
Jeffery McKeough   Ottawa
Anyone have any further info on routes (additional routes to the right of Sunday Cruise/bolted anchors) in this area? Dec 24, 2017