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Routes in Oakey Buttress

Cheap Drills T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Les Miserables T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Okie from Muskogee T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Summerset T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Tres Bon T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Description

The Oakey Buttress is on the western end of the west ridge of Cactus Flower Tower. It overlooks the first fork in Oak Creek. The buttress sits somewhat below and to the west of the Blood Wall, and is distinguished from that area by differing descent routes and character of climbing.

The first recorded climbing in the area took place in the late 1970's. Bob Harrington, Alan Bartlett, and Bill St. Jean put up Oakey Dokey. They had originally intended to name the route "High Anxiety," after the recently released Mel Brooks movie, but found that the name had already been grabbed by the Uriostes for a route on the Brownstone Wall. At around the same time, Harrington teamed up with Ron Overholtz climbed another line farther to the east. Bob called it a "super-forgettable grovel... that didn't merit naming." This line probably coincides with Okie from Muskogee.
RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone in Red Rocks is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Details

Getting There

Approaches for routes on the east side of the formation (from Oakey Dokey and eastward) are probably best started by using the Blood Wall approach. To reach the western side (Cheap Drills and west), it is probably easiest to scramble up the left (south) branch of Oak Creek until reaching the area of The Condo, then climb up and follow a brushy ramp back downstream to the wide ledge area at the base of the wall. This area can also be reached by climbing a darkly varnished 4th class slab that starts in the main Oak Creek streambed a short distance above the departure of the Blood Wall approach.

There are three options for descent. You can easily walk west, then south, to drop into the small canyon that separates Cactus Flower Tower from Mount Wilson, then follow the streambed around to the main Oak Creek.

The second option is to wander down and west on improbable slabs just to the west of Les Miserables. This will lead to a small buttress where a single rope rappel takes you back to the base of the wall. The rappel can be avoided via exposed downclimbing a little to the west.

Lastly, you could probably rappel Cheap Drills, using the bolted anchors. (At present, these stations do not have chains or rings.) This will also take you to the base of the wall.

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