Type: Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches, Grade III
FA: Layton Kor, Tex Bossier c. 1960 of free line, Jeff Lowe, mid-90s
Page Views: 5,247 total · 20/month
Shared By: Charles Vernon on Jun 14, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Closures Details


This is one of the Park's hidden gems--it never sees any traffic, but I thought it was as good as the classic, well-traveled Culp-Bossier route. Expect a bit more loose stuff, though. Perhaps the crowds are also scared away by the 5.10a rating in all the guides--don't be. The crux pitch is clearly easier (all 3 other people I know who've done the route think it is 5.9 at most, and the line we did exactly matched that of the guidebooks), and on average, with the exception of P1, all the pitches feel about a grade easier than the guidebooks' ratings. Overall it feels a tiny bit harder than Culp-Bossier. The protection is good but not great; practically all the crux sections are pro-at-your-feet affairs. The upper pitches have wonderfully exposed and juggy 5.8 climbing.

Several features should point one in the desired direction to find the start of the route, which is probably the trickiest route-finding of the day. Hike past the start to Culp-Bossier and Jackson-Johnson, to a huge, long, right-facing corner. Several smaller corners exist to the right of this; the route begins in the third corner (all smaller) to the right of this feature. Right of this lies a large white spot in a smooth shield of rock (not to be confused with the much larger site of recent rockfall on the Third Buttress). From here it is quite difficult to tell where the crux pitch goes, but step back well away from the cliff until fixed slings are visible above the P1 corner's top. The crux pitch begins just left of these.

Scramble up to a steep slope below and left of the intial corner and set the belay as high as possible on third class ground.

P1 - climb up rightwards into the corner and follow it, but branch right into another corner(5.8) when possible and continue up nebulous terrain above to the ledge with fixed slings, or just below it (full rope-length or possibly longer).

P2 - moving the belay to the base of the crux corner (past the fixed slings) is highly recommended. The pitch starts up a shallow, RF and right-arching corner, traverses right past a pin (just above a hollow flake) to another shallow, indistinct RF corner, and ascends this, eventually gaining a large, sloping ledge. The ledge lacks good anchors and it is best to continue into the next pitch with a 60-meter rope to find a better belay. Another option is to set a hanging belay below the sloping ledge where the crux crack dies out.

P3 - climb nebulous, somewhat dicey 5.6 corners up and slightly right to another ledge (as noted above, best to stretch the crux lead to here). Traverse right along this ledge and set a belay after a long pitch (about 100 feet or so right of a huge, right-facing corner, with a wide crack, that marks the right edge of the huge pillar on Jackson-Johnson).

P4 - traverse up into a right-facing, left-leaning 5.5 corner, and climb that to a belay near its top (above a prominent hollow flake on the right, but still below the top of the J-J pillar to the left)--another long pitch.

P5 - traverse right (somewhat loose) to a roof, and follow the obvious juggy weakness through and up to a belay ledge (100 feet, 5.8).

P6 - nice 5.8 leads straight up before the crack system jogs considerably right to a belay on a large sloping ledge, fantastic exposure the whole way.

P7 - continue up the right-leaning system, 5.7 or 5.8, for a long but not sustained pitch ending in a broken area on the very edge of the Second Buttress (good views of the Slit).

P8 - cut sharply back left on easy but loose ground and finish with neat climbing through an obvious 5.6 notch (the left and larger of two). Belay from boulders on the summit ridge.

Head up the ridge a short ways to find the descent gully.


Bring a standard Hallett rack, meaning an emphasis on small gear. A #3.5 Friend seems sufficient for the largest piece. WARNING: the belay atop P2 as described in the guidebooks is completely inadequate; see the description below for further details.