Type: Trad, 3 pitches, Grade II Fixed Hardware (7)
FA: Layton Kor
Page Views: 23,364 total · 92/month
Shared By: Charles Vernon on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

You & This Route

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West Buttress is one of the best 5.9 routes in the canyon, with varied and funky climbing. Scramble up below the west wall of the Bastille a little ways to a level section below a large block. The bolts on Hair City should be directly above.

P1. Place pro, and traverse 10 feet straight left above a bulging wall (this bulging wall is the direct 5.9+ start, protected by a bolt, not to be confused with the direct variation above) to a thin crack with a couple of pitons. Climb it for about 10 feet (the crux, sandbag), make a confusing traverse left to a stance, and then continue up easier but steep and runout rock to the belay anchor.

Direct start: begin below a slab with a lone bolt that's visible where the wall turns vertical; the pitons on the regular start are more or less directly above. The slab is a little spicy but not too hard; the move by the bolt has been upgraded to 10b in the Levin guidebook, and I would concur, and it would be even harder if you're short. Above the bolt is some airy climbing with one thank-God placement before you merge with the regular route at the end of the traverse.

Direct finish: instead of traversing above the pitons, you can continue "straight up the crack at 5.10", but this is hard to initiate unless you step left first and then back right to the crack, and done that way the crack itself is easier than the move by the pitons. Either way, this variation is awesome and takes good pro once you engage the crack. (120 feet).

You can't really go wrong with any of the pitch one variations but the double-direct is probably the best quality climbing overall (and certainly the most, er, direct), in my opinion.

P2. Head up and right to the crack formed by a large detached flake/pillar. Climb that (5.9 at a bolt) as it widens to a chimney and belay on top at more bolts. A variation traverses right from the bolt to the outside of the pillar to merge with the top of Hair City's P1 at 8+ (bad fall potential). 

P3. Head up and left to a shallow chimney that offers a 5.7 passage through a roof band. Belay on the next ledge or continue easily to the top of the Bastille. The preferred alternative is to tackle the overhang directly by continuing on Hair City.


A standard rack to a #3 Camalot.