Type: Trad, 5 pitches
FA: Wheeler, Shotwell, Lomme
Page Views: 2,335 total · 14/month
Shared By: J Brown on Dec 31, 2004
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures Details


Start 100' up the very left edge of Escape Buttress.

P1. Head towards the black roof 30'? up some 5.8 R peg, then 5.10 R(very bad to fall pulling the roof!) on the right and smallest side of the roof, then up to double bolt anchor.

P2. Climb up and right at 5.9 R to a bolt in peg, then climb 5.11 face past a fixed wire towards the last 15-20' of the vector traverse. Pull over the traverse to double bolt anchor. The topo is at the ranger station.

P3. Go up a 5.8 flake towards the huge roof, the traverse right underneath it at 5.9 until you pull the right side at .11+.

P4 or 5. Climb up to the lightning blot ledge.

P5 or 6. Move right around the corner from the crack to a bolt, then climb fingers to hands to the beginning of the slabbier exit pitches.


Cams: doubles 0.5-#2, 1-#3, 2 sets TCUs, nuts, RPs, and runners.


Chris Barlow
Chris Barlow  
First, I want to give a congrads to the FA party - this is a great line and a nice addition to the other routes on the buttress. I only gave it two stars simply because the route is short (6 pitches + 600 ft of low 5th to 3rd class scrambling) by Black Canyon standards, but it's certainly on par with Comic Relief as far as quality.

That said, I found the first pitch a pretty serious outing. I'm not sure if 5.10R really captures what is entailed in climbing it. Yes, it would be bad (very, very bad) to fall off the roof moves. The only gear I had that was high enough to prevent a groundfall was three small cams stuffed behind a large (large like a piano or two) flake that flexed and gonged. My partner thought the flake probably would have held a fall; he wasn't on lead. I'd give this pitch an R/X or X rating simply because a fall off the lip of the roof could likely kill the leader and even the belayer depending on where he or she is positioned. The only sure way to test the flake's integrity would be to take the winger from standing on the lip of the roof. Volunteers?

Also, due to my future-doctor partner's handwriting when copying down the topo, we had a little confusion between 'flake' and 'face' on the crux pitch. Please ignore the assinine chalk marks on the slab to the left of the very obviously and very 5.8 flakes below the roof. Jun 21, 2005
J Brown
J Brown  
I agree w/the R/X and should have put it in but didn't think I'd really die if I fell there. The scariest thing was pulling a huge horn off the lip and making it a harder high right knee-layed-out move. Then, standing up and all the crimps had to be uncovered 'cause they had a winter of moss on them, bad pro if any here! This route was soo clean after that though!!!! Jul 7, 2005
Joe Forrester
Palo Alto
Joe Forrester   Palo Alto
As the above mentioned "partner of Barlow", I remain strong in my assertion that the flake would have held. That gear is no worse than any of the gear used for anchors in the Fishers. Barlow, stop your quibbling. Apr 4, 2006
J. Thompson
denver, co
J. Thompson   denver, co
I did not do the entire route but I did do the first 2 pitches.

I thought pitch 1 was 5.10 and R but not X.

josh Oct 27, 2006
Yeah, I wouldn't want to fall on the first pitch roof, but just boulder out the moves past the little horn. The triangle roof is cool-save some juice for the finish. We did it without using the bolted belays in keeping with the style of the rest of this buttress, but I guess the FA party thought they were necessary. We started during the heat of the afternoon knowing we were gonna roast and we did, but it was fun anyway. Good route. -miles newby Sep 4, 2007
Regarding pitch one: don't pull the roof at all. Instead, traverse left under it with thin gear and wires. It will be 5.10+ PG/R. This is detailed in the Zeilman guide/topo. Done this way, overall the route is only really R rated on easy terrain. It has good clean climbing the whole way. I think it is higher quality to do the lightning bolt crack than dihedral. The route is in summer shade until about noon; comfortable climbing on a day that Montrose was forecast to be 90 degrees. Jun 24, 2017