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Routes in Coffin Buttress

C.P.O.D. T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Closed Casket Variation S 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Coffin Roof T 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Coffin, The T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Exsqueeze Me S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
No Star Tuesday T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Rightside Variation T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Strewn Masters of Hore S 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b
Viewing, The S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R
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Type: Trad, 80 ft
FA: FFA: McQuarrie & Lowe '64
Page Views: 31,982 total · 181/month
Shared By: Peter Gram on Mar 23, 2004
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Gate Buttress Area Recreational Lease: Climbs on Church Buttress above vault remain closed Details


The Coffin is the obvious finger crack that perfectly splits the face on the Coffin Buttress. The opening is a little tricky to protect, but still has good pro. After that, the gear is great until the anchors.

Clip the manky pin left of the crack, then traverse into the crack. Place a small cam, then climb up the beautiful finger crack for 80' to the large roof. From here two options exist. Traverse right (easier) to the anchors, or traverse left to anchors. Going left is highly recommended and adds some more fun climbing to the pitch.

Descent) Rap with one rope back to the base.


Mostly finger size gear, .5 and .75 camalots are about the right size. Near the top camalots up to #3 can be used. Also a small cam (green alien) is useful to protect the opening.


John J. Glime
Salt Lake City, UT
John J. Glime   Salt Lake City, UT
Definitely a fantastic crack... here are a couple of thoughts. You have two options for the start. Traverse in from the left, or climb the plumb line of the crack. Although the plumb line is a tiny bit more difficult, there is better protection with the plumb line. The first ten to fifteen feet are tenuous due to the semi-lack of good protection. You start the climb on a ledge/hillside which could make for an ugly tumble if you fall during those first ten feet. However, when you are standing there you can take a good look and know that after those first moves you are going to immediately come to the great protection mentioned above. This is a great 5.9 route for 5.8 leaders to attempt/climb. As stated, you can sew up this route. If you are gear happy, be sure to save some gear for the top. Mar 28, 2004
Peter Gram
Cupertino, CA
Peter Gram   Cupertino, CA  
The direct 5.9 start does look more aesthetic for The Coffin. However, the 5.8 piton start is pretty safe. After clipping the pin, good foot holds allow an easy traverse right where a good small cam can be placed. From here the climb is very protectable and safe. Make sure to have some gear left to protect yourself and your seconder when going left under the roof. A #1 camalot works well. Mar 30, 2004
Andrew Gram
Salt Lake City, UT
Andrew Gram   Salt Lake City, UT  
The pin on the 5.8 start probably isn't even worth clipping, but you can get a great small TCU in just before it. Definitely use a screamer on the pin if you choose to clip it.

This is my favorite pitch in LCC so far. Beautiful route! Apr 16, 2005
vincent pierce  
My fave pitch as well! Super classic. I'm pretty sure this is solid 5.9... not old school 5.9 but it makes for an interesting warm-up if you are just breaking into that range of tradThe direct 5.9r start really isn't bad. You can get a piece in pretty low down and it's not as hard as the crux section midway up where it starts getting steep and you have no feet. Of course there is some deck potential so... watch out. . May 26, 2005
Nathan Fisher
St George
Nathan Fisher   St George  
A fantastic line that must be repeated and repeated. Going left at the roof is also a must-do. Don't forget to protect your second.

As far as the 5.8 beginning, if you don't have Aliens or similar small camming units, just below the pin takes two nuts (1 brass) fairly well. I equalized the nuts and felt pretty confident on those 2 pieces, and made my moves to the main crack. Jul 17, 2005
I thought this would be something special, but it really wasn't. It has a weird start then the finger locks are funky and off-finger sized. Plus, the approach is fairly long by LCC standards. It looks cool and it's easy, but it's really not what it's built up to be. I will say that it gets more fun towards the top and the traverse. Sorry to rain on this parade, but I would have liked to know ahead of time that there are people out there who aren't enamored by it. Sep 29, 2005
Dave Budge
North Slope of the Wrangells
Dave Budge   North Slope of the Wrangells
After reading the comments of "Anonymous Coward" I'm a bit surprised. Years ago I took a 5.13 sport climber up the Coffin and he didn't like it either. He tried to use opposing pressure to force his way through the crux, despite getting solid instruction on jamming. Other than that experience, AC's comments are the only negative words I've heard about the route. The Coffin would be a 3 star route if it was in the crack mecca of Yosemite Valley. Whining about the approach maybe tells the real story. Utterly fantastic this route is, don't miss it. Also, the surrounding routes above and to the side of the Coffin are all very good, most in the 3 stars range. One of the best chunks of rock in the Wasatch. Sep 30, 2005
Some folks just don't like a nice granite crack climb....but if you do....this route is a GREAT, MUST DO LCC classic. aproach keeps the lighweights out but is no big deal, or for a more varied outing do Cresent/final link to the Coffin...or better yet, lead the coffin and the second pitch corner all as one! great stuff! Sep 30, 2005
First of all, I wasn't whining about the approach, I just said it's long by LCC standards, which is true. Secondly, I know how to finger jam. Thirdly, you violated the only guideline to this site: don't be a jerk. Oct 1, 2005
Nathan Fisher
St George
Nathan Fisher   St George  
There is a second pitch, that I would not recommend. Climb the left-facing crack/seam left of the roof. Flaky rock, and two trees in the way. Also the protection isn't the greatest. There is a fun (too short) lieback section, then you turn the corner to some super easy, super flaky rock, a small varnished face and then, a set of anchors.

2 raps will get you down.

I did it to do it, but probably won't again. Oct 26, 2005
Did this route yesterday and thought that it was superb! traversing the roof at the top was enlightening. Oct 27, 2005
Mark Michaels
Draper, UT
Mark Michaels   Draper, UT
I have done this route a dozen or more times over the years. Oddly, never gone left under the roof. Will have to try that!

I almost always approach the Coffin by doing some variation of Crescent Crack. You should too.

Second pitch: If you belay at the right side anchor (atop The Viewing), then you can do the second pitch up the right side of the Coffin. I highly recommend this pitch! Nov 23, 2005
Erik Gillis
Erik Gillis  
This was an awsome route and should not be missed by the 5-9 leader. The 5-9 beginning is really fun and can acutally be protected really well with a blue metolis. The rest of the route has bomber pro. I did not go under the roof but it looked fun, going right is also really cool. The apporach is really not that long. Dec 25, 2005
Shaun Greene
Shaun Greene
The Second pitch right side variation is a very worthwile climb with some really cool moves and great protection. Definately do this second pitch. Features really cool dihedral climbing with a variety of techniques used. Rock is very good on the right side. Oct 22, 2007
Boissal .
Small Lake, UT
Boissal .   Small Lake, UT
The direct 5.9 start takes small nuts placed from good stances and is really safe. There's a fixed tricam on the left 5.8 start, it looks pretty old and manky now. Higher up large nuts and a couple of .5 and .75 will keep thing safe. #1 and #2 protect the top and the traverse to the right anchor for your second.
It's up there with Sasquatch as a contender for best moderate finger crack in Little, although the coffin is a bit wider with the occasional hand jam thrown in for good measure.

Also, to balance Andrew's comments, the 2nd pitch is highly recommended. The trees are gone, the rock isn't any worse than anywhere else in LCC and the climbing is engaging but less continuous than P1. Take smaller gear, nothing bigger than a .5. Jun 24, 2008
Salt Lake City, UT
Jhernand   Salt Lake City, UT
Tri cam has been removed Jul 9, 2009
Salt Lake
Miller   Salt Lake
traversing left is by far more enjoyable than going right, the undercling adds a lot to the route, but use a low profile beener if your going to use the first piton on the roof as a piece of pro.

also, does any one know a guy named steve who first climbed this route in the 70's, and was making his own friends back then, tell him I found one of his alpine draws?? Aug 12, 2009
Derek Newman
Holladay, UT
Derek Newman   Holladay, UT
It was pouring rain when we started. My friend and I are beginning on trad routes so we are very scared when it comes to climbs like these. We found out our car got robbed after we finished. And, despite all of these setbacks, I still had loads of fun. This climb is so beautiful. Sep 13, 2009
Finn The Human
The Land of Ooo
Finn The Human   The Land of Ooo
As Derek said, pretty new to trad. Got a handful of trad climbs under our belts, but MAN when that rain came whipping down, and my only option was to keep going up or leave 6 pieces on the wall... Not my idea of a good time.

That aside, it was great watching Derek climb before the rain started, and I can appreciate the appeal of the climb. Just don't do it in the rain! Sep 13, 2009
This was the site of my first lead fall. It was a 20 footer, at the crux. I had to change my Depends after that. I love this route!! Awesome finger crack! Awesome finish--one hell of a layback! Dec 9, 2009
What layback? Dec 9, 2009
Tyler King
Salt Lake, UT
Tyler King   Salt Lake, UT
The layback on the main beta photo duh! ;) Feb 22, 2010
You call that a layback? Learn how to jam gumby. Feb 23, 2010
Tyler King
Salt Lake, UT
Tyler King   Salt Lake, UT
Exactly. Apr 13, 2010
Brian G
Brian G  
Fantastic route! I agree with Boissal that you can get a really good small stopper at a good stance on the lower 5.9 section along with a blue alien for good measure. That pin is accient and probably wouldn't hold a fall so why bother with the traverse in? Just go straight up it...and I'm not sure it's 5.9, probably more like 5.8.

I didn't place anything bigger than a .5 Aug 2, 2010
steven sadler
steven sadler   SLC, UT
I didn't think the first part was run out at all. i got .5 camalot, if i remember right, in there at the beggining. Make sure to protect the second on the traverse. The girl I was with got way sketched out and took a pretty big pendulum. Mar 6, 2011
Jaren   NC
I am definitely not a crack climber and find any opportunity possible to layback but even I know to stay in this crack. Nov 4, 2011
Andrewprime1 Arredondo
Salt Lake City, UT
Andrewprime1 Arredondo   Salt Lake City, UT
Climbed this route today with my buddy. Gotta say, it was totally awesome. Did the link up from Crescent Crack, which I highly recomend for a day of fun trad climbing. I climbed off to the anchors on the right because I ran mostly out of gear, but next time I would like to go up and around the big roof and top out and go check out Bang Bang Fire Cracker on The Sail Wall.

Spring climbing is here! Just stick to the sunny walls. Mar 10, 2012
Alex Quitiquit
Salt Lake City
Alex Quitiquit   Salt Lake City
Bottom seemed a little funky to protect, bring a tcu or two and small nuts. The Splitter will make your day... Mar 11, 2012
Fantastic!! The start is a little heady for people breaking into the grade or maybe it's just the fall potential. I blew a piece about 20 feet up and ended up falling on a 0 TCU (holding thankfully). Some helpful beta: I thought the lower portion of the finger crack protected way better with nuts it wasn't until halfway up where I was into cam territory. Also if you are a noob like me, bring lots of .5's. I couldn't really find many places to place a .75 until the top. Now go out and do it. Oct 29, 2012
Josh Allred
Salt Lake City, UT
Josh Allred   Salt Lake City, UT
The climbing is safer and more straight forward to go up the crack rather than traverse in. You can get a small nut (dmm silver peenut) in below the pin, equalize with it if you want (rope drag didnt feel like an issue), then down climb a move to start the crack. There is a great open hand jam to work your feet up high where you can place a bomber gold dmm offset nut up high to the right of pin scars. Put on your man pants make a couple moves until you can place another nut (green bd nut) behind a small jug. Dont waste your time like I did trying to to get a tipped out cam in. Unless you have offset cams I wouldn't bother.

Took a standard rack of Friends with 2 extra .5 C4s, DMM Peenuts, DMM Offsets and set of BD nuts. One of the best 5.9s in the Wasatch. Jun 1, 2014
Oakridge, OR
Ball   Oakridge, OR
I did the "5.9" start. Maybe easy for small fingers? Oct 23, 2014
Left a pair of sunglasses up here 7/23 or 7/24. Let me know if you found them. 5742749160 Jul 28, 2016
Grady Mellin
Henniker, NH
Grady Mellin   Henniker, NH
Bring ALL of the cams you can in .4 to .75 and save a .5 and a .75 for the last bit! I took a standard rack from .3 to 3 with doubles in .5 and .75 and used those two sizes up pretty early and was forced to run out 2 sections about 20 feet with a single 2 placement in between them it was pretty scary! If I had the option I would bring a full rack of only .5's and feel perfectly comfortable! Without a doubt one of the best climbs of any grade in the canyon!! Jun 1, 2017
Ever hear of nuts? Jun 1, 2017
Tofu Brain
Tofu Brain   Denver
Zoso, be nice, gradymellin is still waiting for them to drop, undescended testicles is no laughing matter. Jun 2, 2017

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