Type: Trad, 400 ft, 4 pitches
FA: Nick Nordblom and Jenni Stone, 1987
Page Views: 1,984 total · 12/month
Shared By: J. Thompson on May 2, 2005
Admins: Larry DeAngelo, Justin Johnsen

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Red Rock RAIN AND WET ROCK: The sandstone is fragile and is very easily damaged when wet. Details


Bighorn Buttress ascend's the obvious varnished buttress located on the tier directly above the Black track buttress.Start near the right hand side of the buttress on top of a small pillar, on a good ledge. start up the face aiming for a short, thin crack leading to a small bush. Above the bush locate a bolt about 20ft up the face. Climb past the bolt and pull the bulge above(you'll be alittle runout), leading to another crack. Pitch 1 is 5.10- Belay at the obvious stance with fixed knots!! Pitch 2 starts up the obvious crack then heads right on the face towards a bolt, you'll want the bolt to be above you on the traverse. Turn the corner of the arete and find another bolt. From here there are 2 option's. Option 1; continue across the obvious varnished face, on very poor(breakable) holds until you reach a bolt(5.11+). Option 2; head straight up the arete until you reach an obvious horizontal hand traverse then climb right to the aforementioned bolt(5.10). From the bolt head up the obvious varnished corner, thru an easier section then up another varnished corner. Belay on the left side of the big ledge below some bush's. Pitch 3 Climb a shallow right facing varnished corner then up a white face, passing a bolt to a 2 bolt anchor(5.9).It is possible and recommended to link pitch's 3&4. Pitch 4 Climb the varnished face past a bolt aiming for the obvious right leaning crack. Continue up the crack to the summit (you'll once again be a little runout) and belay off of fixed gear in the summit boulder (5.10).

To descend rappel off the fixed gear in the summit boulder to the bolt anchor at the top of pitch 3. From the top of pitch 3 rappel to an anchor on a ledge to the right of the route- 2 ropes are needed one 70M will not work. From this anchor rappel to the ledge near the start of the route.


Single set of nut's, cam's to 3"


This route is definitely spicey. The bolts are in or near the cruxes but the condition of them are not the greatest. The rappel from the top is off two fixed pieces and numerous webbing. The next rappel is off two bolts one of which should be replaced. (All the bolts should be replaced). The last rappel is off one bolt and one piton. Still a very enjoyable line with a sweet short approach. Nov 7, 2006
Jon O'Brien
  5.11a PG13
Jon O'Brien   Nevada
  5.11a PG13
Sick Climb! Did it Saturday... Not sure where the 10+ comes from, the line is very clearly an 11a with the crux being a traverse up and right from the bolts. The 10D "variation" of climbing the arete straight up and then traversing is just that, a variation, it also seems pointlessly dangerous, the crimpers are protected by the bolt that is, in fact, good. Bad info to say that the credit card crimpers are friable. I'm 230 pounds and those puppies are SOLID! (leaders, protect the corner as high as you can for your second, otherwise it's a scary pendulum, consider back cleaning some gear) The whole route's rock is SO solid it's kind of shocking! Incredible route! Mentally challenging on every pitch with a hero finish! The rap stations up top weren't incredibly condidence inspiring. This purdy route could use new anchors. Apr 27, 2009
Las Vegas, NV
  5.10+ R
J W   Las Vegas, NV
  5.10+ R
Pretty awesome route- well worth the effort, and although I'm not sure I'd call it an .11a. the traverse up and right is the only obvious way to go, imho- the lower traverse looked insane. the traverse up and right also takes you directly to the third bolt, where the other way wouldnt.

otherwise, the route was pretty awesome. i felt that the grade was fairly sustained the entire time at the .10/.10+ range with some easier sections here and there. given the pro (or lack thereof), though, i'd say be solid at .11a (or better) before giving this one a go.

if you link the last two pitches, bring doubles of blue, yellow, and orange metolius for ease of mind.

oh, and leave the trail line at the bolts on the last pitch- you can get back to them easily with a single 60m and the rope pull is much easier. Nov 11, 2009
Jeffrey Gagliano
Pennsburg, PA
  5.11a PG13
Jeffrey Gagliano   Pennsburg, PA
  5.11a PG13
Just did this climb on the 11/22/09. The traverse on P2 is hard. Definantly 11a IMHO. The 4th pitch is a real gem, an exciting finish to what was already an exciting climb. This route is not for the faint of heart. Nov 25, 2009
J. Thompson
denver, co
J. Thompson   denver, co
@ Jon Obrien.....Those crimpers crunched and broke when I first pulled on them and later stepped on them. 4 years and a few more ascents later maybe they cleaned up abit.
The "Variation" honestly seemed like "the line" to me. Going right on those crimpers seemed a bit contrived. I don't remember it making anything "more dangerous" though.
Either way you do the climb it's pretty damn fun!

josh Mar 6, 2010
This route does has some very cool, heady, climbing. First pitch is not for the faint of heart. The bold moves over the bulge on the First pitch is definitely heads up climbing. And I didn't like the Star drive bolt below, protecting the run out 5.10 climbing over the bulge,on the first pitch. Your in for a possible long drop on it and if it failed you'd be in for a very long drop.

Second pitch route finding is a bit weird. You can go high or low near the finish around the buttress.

Overall, I thought it was a memorable route with a stellar finish! Mar 16, 2011
Ivins, Utah
mtnsoceans   Ivins, Utah
I concur with Bob on the serious nature of the first pitch. A great route with a stellar final pitch. Rope drag is an issue on the raps..... Mar 22, 2011
smassey   CO
As of 4/29/10, the LVCLC with the blessing and support of the ASCA, has replaced all but the crux bolt on this route. Bolts are 3/8x2.25 SS, with one 3/8x3 SS in the bolted anchor. To those who were worrying about that Star-Dryvin, let's just say it took some work to get it out. The remaining bolt will be replaced in the near future. Right now the first anchor does indeed consist of several jammed knots, backed up with a new-looking huge stopper. If one wanted to construct a modern belay anchor, offset nuts and purple metolius size gear would be appropriate. The tat on the top (3 nut) anchor is new. Rope drag is not really an issue on the raps, now. Apr 29, 2011
J. Thompson
denver, co
J. Thompson   denver, co
Thanks Smassey!

I did the route with Greg Barnes...maybe the best old bolt analyiser(sp?) in the world...he saw it and said it was plenty good...it was a 3/8's star.

Better to have new gear though.


josh May 2, 2011
smassey   CO
Thanks, Josh! Yeah, despite appearances, most of the bolts on this probably would've held a fall or two more. The one set of bolted anchors flexed alarmingly, and were eroding out of their placements, but were pretty solid... Those jammed knots, on the other hand, are bomber... May 5, 2011
Amos Whiting
Basalt, Colorado
Amos Whiting   Basalt, Colorado
We did this route yesterday. Spice town on pitch 1, but you can fire in small red C3 or X4 after the roof. .

P2 did the 11+ flake variation which was also spicy. About 9 ft over the bolt pulling the crux moves. The two bolts on P2 are good, but whoever replaced them left the old ones which are spinners and rub on your draws.

The last anchor after the last pitch is 3 fixed nuts. We replaced the soft goods as of 10/8-14

All the pro bolts are modern 1/2 in. Oct 9, 2014
Brett Merlin
Boulder, CO
Brett Merlin   Boulder, CO
Did this route yesterday. A little gear beta:
P1- save a pink tricam and a .4 C4 for the upper varnish face before the bulge. A little purple and green C3 are useful right at the bulge after the bolt.
P2- Double ropes could really be useful. The hard traverse is really fun. Up high the rope drag kinda sucks. Climb and build a gear anchor.
P3- Go up right (on very shallow left facing rampy corner thing) then look back hard left to the face with a bolt. Don't continue right into the big wide dirty crack left facing corner.

An extra one or two double length runner is useful if you are climbing on twins.

Really cool route, gets a lot of shade and has a short approach. Oct 17, 2014