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Routes in Cathedral Buttress

Aerial Boundaries T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Caveat Emptor T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Escape from Death T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Fountainhead T 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a PG13
Freedom Fighter T 5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c
Snaz, The T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Sunshine Daydream T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
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Type: Trad, Alpine, 600 ft, 5 pitches, Grade III
FA: Greg Miles and Mike Fisher
Page Views: 4,244 total · 27/month
Shared By: Nick Stayner on Mar 6, 2006
Admins: Mike Snyder, Jake Dickerson, Taylor Spiegelberg

You & This Route

20 Opinions

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5 pitches, 4 of which are 5.9 and above (a rarity for Teton routes). Step off the ground right into a .10a undercling/lb. The second crux is on pitch 3, a very physical wide crack/roof combo that requires a variety of crack technique. In general, this is a sustained, physical route of very high quality.


Continue past the Snaz/Caveat approach on the Death Canyon trail to a meadow just before the patrol cabin. A trail up through the talus will appear to your right. The start is an obvious, L-shaped undercling/lieback flake.
For descent, check the book. There are walkoff and rappel options. You can rap after the third pitch if desired.


Protects great! Bring a fair selection of Camalots in the .75-3 size. You can probably use a #4 Camalot.


Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
Classic climb on great rock with a short approach.

Most parties can hike to the base of the climb in about an hour and half... with only a couple thousand feet of elevation gain. That's cragging by Teton standards.

This climb is only a little bit further up the trail than the Snaz, so if you hiked up to do the Snaz and it is crowded, keep going a little further and you'll be rewarded with this climb.

This climb protects really well (with the exception of an easy, but exciting, 40 foot traverse on pitch 4). Bring nuts including small ones, one set of aliens or tcus, doubles of #0.5-#3 Camalots, and one each #3.5 and #4 (or two #4s). Bring LOTS and LOTS of long runners - the climb wanders a bunch.

Pitch 1 (10-) : Sustained underclinging and laybacking to the left. When you hit the first big ledge after 20m or so (off to the right), keep going around to the left to get to the belay ledge with a bunch of fixed slings.

Pitch 2 (7) : This quick and easy pitch diagonals up and left to a belay at the base of a broken rock. There were some fixed slings at this belay when we climbed it (June, 2006). One awkward move will be encountered towards the end of this pitch.

Pitch 3 (10) : Some broken rock begins this pitch, and then fun hands brings you to the base of the route's crux - about 30 feet of wide 5.9 jamming and underclinging, and then 20-30 feet of way steep, awkward 5.10 thrutching. This pitch ends on a huge, dirty ramp. I recommend saving two #1 Camalots for the final steep crack portion.... they fit perfectly and without them you'll get pumped pretty fast searching for other options. A surprisingly steep and challenging pitch! 5.10b for sure, possibly 5.10c?

You can descend here by downclimbing the ramp to the climber's left until you hit a tree with slings. One short rappel, and 2 x 30m rappels will get you to the bottom. You can skip the first short rappel by downclimbing a little further (40 feet). Note - a 60m rope will NOT make it from the top tree to the bottom tree, you either need to downclimb to the 2nd tree or do a short rappel. If you do all the rappels or downclimb the top bit, one 60m rope is all that is required.

If you want to keep going, move the belay up and left about 100 feet to just below a very obvious layback/undercling roof (detect a theme?)

Pitch 4 (9) - More underclinging and laybacking takes you up and left around the big roof. There are good feet here that make this easier than it appears. You then get about 40 feet of sustained 5.8/5.9 fingerjamming, laybacking, and stemming. The crack abruptly ends and you're forced into about 40 feet of unprotected slab walking (first go right on a edge system about 30 feet below the roof, and then up) until you can gain the big roof crack. I placed a #3 Camalot here and then continued 30 feet right to the belay. This belay appeared marginal at first, but I managed to get a small nut, #1 Camalot, and #3.5 Camalot. Great position!

Pitch 5 (9) - Bust an awkward 5.9 move right off the belay, into some steep jamming, and finally broken rock to the top. Lots of loose rock on this pitch, so be careful and have the belayer stay in tight under the roof.

To descend from here, head climbers right until you can make your way down to the top of the ramp above pitch #3 (below a big, overhanging yellow wall). Some steep 4th class downclimbing is required towards the beginning of the ramp. Continue down the ramp quite ways until you can get to the rappels mentioned above. This descent looks intimitading at first, but it all goes and there are only 1 or 2 exposed moves. Jun 13, 2006
Sam Lightner, Jr.
Lander, WY
Sam Lightner, Jr.   Lander, WY
Hey ANdy... I get no credit for the F.A. on this thing... though I'd like to. I did it after it had been established with Newc. I think Greg put this up with Mike Fisher. Jun 24, 2008
Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
Fixed Sam, thanks.

Climbed it today again. GREAT route. Solid rock with engaging climbing the whole way. The upper two pitches are well worth the extra effort on the descent.

The belay on the last pitch is better than I remember. This time we placed a #1, #3, and #3.5 camalot. The move off the belay is cruxy and awkward... but a #4 camalot protected it nicely.

More info on the descent from the top...

  • Head climbers right for about 100', descending below a yellow overhanging wall.
  • Keep working down and climbers right (descenders left!) until things start to look steep.
  • A traverse on steep blocks leads climbers left (descenders right!) under a big climb of bushes until a steep move of 5th class down is required to gain a steep gully. A little incut edge hidden under the bushes makes this move less scary, but when the edge blows.... beware.
  • After about 100' of steep 4th classing down the gully the terrain starts directing you in the right direction and eventually you'll be on the ledge between the 3rd and 4th pitches.
  • Continue working down and across the ledge system much further than you think until eventually you hit the rap anchors.

The total descent took about an hour or so. Jun 30, 2008
I felt the crux of the route is the first pitch. It is bouldery and pumpy liebacking around the flake. The move also felt height dependent. It is difficult reaching the undercling flake to put gear in if you are 5'7 or under. The 3rd pitch which is supposed to be the crux felt easier than the first and protected well. The wide part on pitch 3 protects well with a 4 friend and 4 (0ld style)camalot. The route would be difficult to find if it were not for the picture detailing the start of the route listed in the description. Good route. Aug 16, 2008

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