Type: Trad, Alpine, 800 ft, 9 pitches, Grade III
FA: Larry Hamilton and Dakers Gowans, August 1974
Page Views: 1,835 total · 10/month
Shared By: L. Hamilton on Apr 8, 2003
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details


This long route offers good rock and several excellent pitches. It climbs near the center of the deceptively large triangular buttress that dominates McHenry's northeast face. A good corner pitch low on the route leads to an easier midsection. At 2/3 height another steep corner breaks through to the upper wall. Variations are possible near the top; the original line ends right at the apex of the buttress.

The FA took place during the dog days of summer, which were once believed to be so hot because the dog star Sirius was reinforcing the sun.


A standard traditional rack provides fine protection.


L. Hamilton
L. Hamilton  
Justin Dubois deserves credit for the fine photo of McHenrys, above. Apr 8, 2003
OK route with some interesting pitches. Won't be waiting in line for this one. Oh, and Larry, I went to your website and thought it was really cool. Your accomplishments are impressive and your understated way of sharing them is great. Aug 18, 2004
L. Hamilton
L. Hamilton  
Glad you had a good time -- like Snark and Warhead, this is one I thought might get popular someday, but it sounds like it's still rarely done. Aug 19, 2004
Some years back, we tried to do this line and got off route somewhere up on the wall.We cleaned moss out of some cracks and continued on, and did a couple of 5.10 pitches on the way up.

The stone was good and it made for a pretty nice alpine outing - a long hike in and a full day of climbing. I really recommend McHenry's for some adventure climbing and the opportunity to do first ascents on some pitches (whether you want to or not). Aug 19, 2004
L. Hamilton
L. Hamilton  
As for finding the original (5.8) line, it's hard to pick out in a photo but seemed clear enough from the base on the first ascent: Near the prow of the buttress, we aimed for 2 prominent inside corners -- the first about 1/3 height, and the second about 2/3, going through the steep band. Both were nice pitches, no cleaning required at the time. The rest of the route was 5.7 or easier, but also good rock. Aug 20, 2004
justin dubois
Estes Park
justin dubois   Estes Park
We cast off yesterday, aiming somewhat for Dogstar.
Starting in the very prominent WIDE corner a little left of center.
I never really knew where we were on the huge face, and just resolved to find A WAY up..
This buttress holds plenty of adventure for those who enjoy somthing off the beaten track. Theres also plenty of plantlife.
At one point I wished I had brought my Steaknives and Golfshoes!
No crowds, killer rock, and amazing views.
Just don't bring a topo and expect to follow it...

We did 7 long pitches, some must have been Dogstar, some definitely were not.
I wouldn't say this is as classic as the nearby Warhead..but a worthy climb anyways! Jul 20, 2009
Greg Sievers
Bozeman, MT
Greg Sievers   Bozeman, MT
Scott Kimball (his highness) and I had a bit better luck than JD. Aug 2-09) the second dihedral right made a fitting 5.8 start. up and right was the general trend of the day. I skipped the "roof capped corner" mentioned in the description and jumped on a killer 5.9 LFD just left of it. Yes, seven long and very enjoyable pitches. Aug 7, 2009
L. Hamilton
L. Hamilton  
Greg, that "killer LFD" you jumped on might have been our original FA line. I recall two crux pitches (we called both 5.8) in fairly obvious dihedrals, the first about pitch 2 and the second through the steep section at mid-height. Both were clean and fun, if I remember right. Since Dog Star was the FA of that whole buttress, not just a new route, we tried to take it from the lowest point to highest point of the wall. Quite the cruise -- wish I'd shot more photos. Aug 19, 2009