Type: Trad, 400 ft (121 m), 3 pitches, Grade II
FA: Smoot & Smoot '78
Page Views: 12,950 total · 59/month
Shared By: Peter Gram on Mar 18, 2005
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, GRK, D C

You & This Route

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


The Fin Arete is a beautiful slab climb, with many good-sized runouts. At the base of The Fin, The Fin Arete starts on the left side. Scramble up a broken ramp to find a suitable belay stance.

P1 (5.10b) Climb through six bolts of rather runout friction climbing. A small leftward traverse is found at the fourth bolt, and is also the crux of the climb. Belay at a fixed anchor, bolts.

P2 (5.9) There are two ways to go on this pitch. We did the Dark Horse variation, so I can't vouch for the original route. Dark Horse is awesome—highly recommended. To do it, climb slightly right from the belay to a bolt. Another bolt is usable to the left a ways, and then do a big runout up through a small roof. One more bolt leads to an intermediate anchor. Continue up the exciting prow (one bolt, runout) to another bolt anchor in a dish.

Original route: Climb straight up from the anchor to a hard-to-see bolt a bit below the left side of the roof. Get over the left side of the roof into a leftward-trending flared crack. Follow this crack until it ends, and then follow another, rightward-trending flared crack that starts up and right a bit from the end of the previous crack. After the crack ends, spy a rusty bolt up and to the right a bit (1/4" with Leeper hanger). Climb past the bolt and up to an excellent stance with a single-bolt plus chickenhead belay.

P3 (5.7) Continue up the prow: thin and runout. Pass one bolt, then the climbing eases to 5.5 for a long run up to the anchors (this pitch is almost 200 feet). The anchors are to the left of the arete, and a bit hidden.


Slings for bolts, small nuts, and small though medium cams, but this climb is mostly widely-spaced bolt-protected slab climbing.


We had a 70m rope, but the rap should be possible with a 60m. Rap down to the left of The Fin to a sloping ledge system. Easily downclimb the ledge to another dropoff. There are some hidden anchors next to a tree. Rap one more time to the main gully between The Fin and Church Buttress. It is a hike out from here.

The rap puts you at the base of the Intensive Care Slab and Gargoyle Wall.