Type: Trad, 7 pitches, Grade III
FA: FA: Layton Kor and Jack Turner, 5.8 A3, 1962, FFA: Royal Robbins
Page Views: 20,478 total · 87/month
Shared By: Charles Vernon on May 11, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

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Access Issue: Season raptor closures Details
Access Issue: Sundance Buttress is seasonally closed for raptor nesting. Click for details. Details

Description

Although this route is rated (accurately, I think) 5.10a, it should not be thought of as an easy 5.10. The climbing is steep, physical, sustained, with wide cracks on both 5.10 pitches. The second 5.10 pitch has a very long strenuous, flared 5.9 chimney after the offwidth. The route was originally called the Kor-Turner; Royal Robbins renamed it after the first free ascent.

Another word of caution: the rock quality on this route is some of the worst at Lumpy Ridge (although the protection is for the most part excellent). So why does this route deserve three stars? All you have to do is look up at it from the base: it is perhaps the longest, steepest, most intimidating looking and most obvious line anywhere on the Ridge. The 5.10 pitches are pretty burly and the 5.9 pitches below are delightfully funky.

Hike out to Sundance. The Turnkorner Buttress is visible for most of the approach. As you hike up the approach path, the massive upper overhangs are visible. Turnkorner takes the continuous wide system on the left, where the overhang becomes three-tiered; another wide crack, Icarus, is visible to the right of it (5.11+). The route starts about 100 feet to the right of where the path reaches the cliff and is very easily identified by a right-facing corner between two prominent, ~50 foot high flakes that lean up against the cliff (the right flake being much larger, offering a cavernous shelter for many climbers in case of rain). From the start of the route, the OW through the upper overhangs is visible up to the left.

P1. Climb the corner and head slightly left at its top to a belay ledge.

P2. Take the left crack, and follow it and other cracks up and slightly left (5.9) to a narrow ledge composed of blocks, with an old bolt.

P3. Take the left of two left-facing corners (5.9) (again trending out left from the belay), and when it ends. traverse up and left to a scary semi-hanging belay beneath a roof (an old bolt and loads of birdshit). This can be combined with the next pitch.

P4. Take the obvious fist/OW crack over the roof, and head up to another hanging belay beneath the next roof, 5.10a.

P5. Grunt up past three offwidth roofs (first two are the hardest) at 5.10a, fortunately with rests in between, and continue up a flared 5.9 chimney (with a good crack in the back of the flare) to its end. Belay.

P6. Head straight up the easy slab, or take a 5.6 groove on the right up to a giant ledge.

P7. Walk left to another 5.6 groove near the left edge of the buttress, and climb it for a ropelength. From its top, climb easy rock to the summit of Turnkorner Buttress.

Carefully downclimb west to the descent gully. A direct finish takes a 5.8 fist crack off the giant ledge (directly above the P6 groove) and hand traverses up and left (5.9) after about 50 feet along a thinner crack.

Special considerations: pitches 3 and 4 are often combined; we combined 2 and 3 with a 60 meter rope, and that seemed reasonable as well. The crux on pitch 5 may be racking and placing your gear!

One final note: for the second roof on P5, there is a definite "trick", otherwise it may seem quite a bit harder (Royal Robbins reputedly fell several times here on the FFA). I won't give it away, but I'll throw out a hint-think of the name of the climb....

Protection

Rack to a #4 Camalot with doubles from number one up and optional larger cams depending on comfort level on wide cracks and/or desire for overhead protection through a couple of the cruxes.

Photos