Type: Trad, 350 ft, 4 pitches, Grade III
FA: Ellsworth, McQuarrie, and Wilson, 1964
Page Views: 5,281 total · 28/month
Shared By: John J. Glime on Aug 31, 2003
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


Only hard climbers will free this route completely. It does go really well at 5.8 C1 possibly C2.

The route starts at the same place as the standard thumb (lower left side of the face below a big, ugly chimney.)

Start your first pitch from the ground, or scramble up 5.3 cracks to your right to a sloping ledge.

Pitch one, 5.6: Climb up cracks to the tree choked gully and belay in the upper trees. You will notice Coyne Crack (5.11d) on your left.

Pitch two, 5.8: Work up the tiring chimney(for me)and exit up and left on top of a pillar. (Do not follow the chimney crack as it gets smaller and arches to the right.) It should be said that many people protect the chimney by first climbing the crack to its right, placing protection, downclimbing a bit, and then jumping into the chimney.

Pitch three, crux 5.12a or C1: You should see a bolt with a sling attached. Head towards it and take one of three variations to get up into the fantastic crack that moves up and right then back left. Aid or free climb up the crack to a blocky ledge above.

Pitch four, 5.8: Continue up and right liebacking/jamming the lower angle crack to reach an off-width groove, which is kind of awkward. I don't remember exactly, but some bigger cams might be helpful in the groove. The climb ends on lunch ledge.

Either continue up S-Direct or Standard Thumb, or rappel.

From lunch ledge you can make three double rope rappels to the base.

Aided at 5.8C1


Standard trad rack. Possibly the biggest big bros might protect the second pitch chimney.
Great route! Tricams are nice in the pods in the back of that 4th pitch -so are purple green camalots. You don't have to climb .12 to do it as its easy to aid the relatively short crux. Very clean fall too.

edited to reflect Crisco's comment just below about protecting that lower chimney. I've had several friends recently tell me the crux is getting into and out of the chimney and I agree. But once you're in there you aren't going to fall out - there are 5.8 jugs everywhere and you just stand and pull on them all the way. So, if you don't have a ton of big gear, you can protect to the side with your small stuff and get into the thing. I believe there is medium pro near the top - please correct me if I'm wrong because its been a while and I don't want to make stuff up.

Also, if you really do like this pitch I highly reccommend the Textbook Variation on Westwind Butress but you will actually need to bring your big stuff for that one. Worth checking out a new area if you haven't been up there. Nov 5, 2004
We used a Green C4 for the first chunk of the chimney and then big bro's afterwards Nov 27, 2008
Bobby Hanson
Spokane, WA
Bobby Hanson   Spokane, WA
Pitch 3: after the bolt, the crack is 5.11 thin hands. So you can do this pitch at 5.11 A0 also. Nov 15, 2009
Spencer Weiler
Salt Lake city
Spencer Weiler   Salt Lake city
Pitch 1- 5.6 hands that can easily be soloed if your solid. Belay on slung trees next to coyne crack or up through more bushes to base of chimney.
Pitch 2- although it isn't your standard chimney like you'd find in the desert, the only reasonable way to climb it is indeed chimney style. Bring your #6 camalot and walk it up the crack with you, using good edges along the way. Squeeze into the chimney when you reach the hero jugs, and climb easy face climbing to bolted anchor. (climbing the crack to the right is pansy style IMO) I did not find it hard to start the chimney. Back on one wall, knees on the other. Up you go. Awkward for sure due to the flare. I kept trying to OW the crack but that sucked.
pitch 3- Batman up the knotted fixed line past the .12 slab section, clip the bolt, then enjoy the beautiful thin hand to finger crack. Fixed nut at crux when we did it, and brand new 2 bolt anchor 15 feet above the difficulties. Felt mid .11, short crux but strenuous.
Pitch 4-got dark, need to go back and do it. Apr 26, 2013
Alec LaLonde  
Looks like Drew's bolts have been chopped on what was the 5.12 (albeit impossible-looking) slab leading to the S-Crack proper. Both times I have done it there was a fixed rope. It's a bit silly to be chopping bolts but leaving a couple 20-foot sections of rope, no? Don't get me wrong, we happily yarded up those ropes like everybody else, but there are certainly some stories there.
The 4th pitch is really good: long, fun, and in a superior position. It has cleaned up significantly such that there is ample gear the whole way.
You can rap down with a single 70m, albeit down what I believe is S-Matrix. 5 raps total I believe. Jun 24, 2018