Type: Trad, 250 ft, 5 pitches, Grade II
FA: Tom Nephew, Ron Burgner
Page Views: 19,740 total · 126/month
Shared By: Addict on Feb 2, 2006 with updates from skye h
Admins: Scott Coldiron, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick

You & This Route

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This is a high-quality climb up Index's Great Northern Slab area, with a wide variety of climbing styles, perfect protection, and gorgeous Index granite. Though it is commonly done in 5 pitches, all of the pitches are very short (some less than 30 feet). The original rating on this route was 5.8, but is now an Index 8+. In Leavenworth, this route would easily be rated 5.9+ or 5.10A.

To approach, just cross the tracks, go slightly uphill, and trend diagonally right to the closest wall. Look for the obvious fist-crack and start here.

Pitch #1 - 5.8 - Jamb up the hand-crack which turns into tough flared fists at the crux. Belay on the ledge. 25 feet

Move your belay over to the base of the finger-crack on the climber's right.

Pitch #2 - 5.8 - Jamb or lieback up the thin fingers to tips crack in the left facing corner. Scramble up to the base of the squeeze and belay at the fixed bong. 70 feet

Pitch #3 - 5.8+ - Wrestle and grunt your way up the vertical featureless superslick flared squeeze chimney. This pitch is often wet. Remember to remind yourself that it's only "5.8". Belay on the ledge above. 40 feet

Pitch #4 - 5.8 - Climb the crack up to the roof, then hand traverse to the left with beautiful exposure. Turn the corner then jamb the hand and fingercrack to the big anchor. 70 feet

Pitch #5 - 5.7 - There are 2 options for this pitch. Consider the left one, which is much better. Scramble up to the tree, then angle up and to the left towards the arete. Look for 2 bolts above you. Fun balancy slab moves bring you to the anchor at the top of the wall. 90 feet

Descent: Rap the Great Northern Slab route. Only 1 rope needed.


1 each cams smallest Alien to a 3 Camalot
Extras in thin hands to hands are nice for pitch #4
1 each small nuts
60 meter rope
A fun climb. Sep 13, 2006
Las Vegas
sqwirll   Las Vegas
The buttlips chimney is pretty burley for 5.8. I'd sure like to know the sequence to keep it under 5.10. Jul 9, 2007
Chris Duca
Downingtown, PA
Chris Duca   Downingtown, PA
Climbed the 2nd, 3rd and 4th pitches of this route today, and had a blast. We combined the 2nd and 3rd pitch into one pitch, and rapped from the anchors at the end of pitch 4. Our 1st pitch was the short 10c tips corner around to the left, which added a nice wake-up call for an end of day climb. Taken individually, each pitch was gem. Jul 9, 2008
Owen Darrow
Owen Darrow   Garmisch,
I think the second pitch is the funnest of them all. Nice finger crack with easy pro. I had a soloist climbing right next to me the whole pitch telling me the beta as we went, pretty funny. Jun 27, 2011
Portlandia, OR
SKI Ski   Portlandia, OR
Don't let the comments scare you. The chimney is not bad at all (when dry) and protects everywhere (crack in the back). Right side in, hit the jug, switch sides (left side in)and pull out. Jul 25, 2011
Phill T
Phill T  
if you dont want to grunt through the chimney, you can go left and up a little 5.6 groove and then traverse right on a slopey ledge with a finger crack in the back (protects with blue/purple metolious) to rejoin the route at the top of the chimney. fun route! Jul 27, 2012
Ethan Henderson
Silverdale, WA
Ethan Henderson   Silverdale, WA
I dont know why the chimney is so feared. I thought it was the easiest of all the pitches.

(Beta Alert)

Left side in the whole way, bridge your knee and your foot, pretty much no hands rest the whole way. Aug 18, 2012
This is a great climb even though the pitches are short.

The chimney is cool. I've done it enough times to say it's not 5.8. I'll give it a 5.9. Just think it was rated 5.6 originally. Do the chimney left side in. It seems weird at first but it turns out to be easier than right side in which is the more obvious way. Just a couple of knee bars and grunts and you're done. You can top rope yourself up this pitch.

The next pitch is really good. It's kind of spooky too. Don't try to protect the lip of the flake after the layback but climb a bit higher and put a piece in on the right side crack of the flake you've just climbed out from under. Or just skip it and run it out to the belay.

For the last pitch do the 5.7 bolted arette on the left of the slab. It's cool and just as good as the other pitches. Apr 2, 2013
Alex Mitchell
Phoenix, AZ
Alex Mitchell   Phoenix, AZ
THe fourth pitch is so awesome!! Pulling out from that chimney is great exposer and has great protection the whole way! Jun 8, 2013
Ian Z
Los Angeles, CA
Ian Z   Los Angeles, CA
You can easily link the first and second, and third and fourth pitches. Jul 10, 2013
Seattle, WA
rohanbk   Seattle, WA
The buttlips chimney is super sketchy if there is the tiniest amount of moisture on the rock. Thankfully, there is a pretty bomber rap station with a lot of slings at the base of the chimney; otherwise, there are other options to circumvent the chimney and continue upwards (see some of the comments above). May 2, 2014
(Slight) beta warning.

The P1 crux feels hard for the grade to me (I thought it was more difficult than any of the moves on Godzilla). Sews up great though.

P2 sews up great with nuts, 0.3 and 0.4 cams work too.

At the top of P2 you can move left along a large ledge to a large horn, then up an easy open book to the base of Pisces for an excellent easy-grade alternative to GNS. Aug 24, 2015
Carl Marrs 1  
My partner was pumped at the end of the day and didn't feel like climbing anymore, but I wanted to do this route so I decided to link all the first 4 pitches in one pitch. I would not recommend doing this. Mar 29, 2016
Christian Spencer
Bellingham, Wa
Christian Spencer   Bellingham, Wa
linked pitch 1 and 2 which wasn't too bad with extended slings May 24, 2017
Michael Nill
Seattle, WA
Michael Nill   Seattle, WA
If you want to skip the buttlips via the 5.6 seam to the left, bring a few micro cams (C3s, or .1/.2 X4s, or Totem/Alien equivalent). There's a slabby traverse that is easy, but the pro is tips. Would suck for a follower to blow it.

Skipping the buttlips instead of rapping if you get spooked is highly recommended, as the P4 hand traverse is RAD. Jul 12, 2017
Gabe O'Leary
Seattle, WA
Gabe O'Leary   Seattle, WA
The Butt Lips Chimney isn't as bad as people make it out to be. Stay out of the back and climb it like a chimney, not in the back like an off width. Not much point in continuing past p4, all the good climbing is done by then. Aug 26, 2017
Joe Petroske
North Bend, WA
Joe Petroske   North Bend, WA
p1 and p2 are linkable. when I climbed it I pushed a cam all the way up p1 and left it there to protect my follower. Put a sling on it and rope drag is not a problem at all. Because the pitches are so short, it kinda sucks to have to do 4 belays on this, and linking these pitches makes it a lot nicer. Mar 28, 2018
Jeff Edge  
Would definitely recommend doing in 2 pitches (Go from the ground to the base of the chimney (p1) and from the chimney to the anchor on GNS (p2) Jun 27, 2018
Connor Culver
Bellingham, WA
Connor Culver   Bellingham, WA
Fun series of pitches. The chimney is definitely the crux. I thought it was pretty burly for a 5.8. I went right side in and just inched my way up. I followed on this pitch and it was still really tough to get through. The money pitch is definitely the 4th pitch. Really fun traverse. It was tough getting through the wide section on the starting crack. Look for a solid fist jams to get through it. I even got an arm bar in. Jul 8, 2018