Type: Trad, 500 ft, 4 pitches
FA: Dick long, Al Steck, 1965
Page Views: 30,842 total · 196/month
Shared By: Salamanizer suchoski on Apr 4, 2006 with updates from Brice Pollock
Admins: Aron Quiter, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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The crux of this route is the notorious offwidth second pitch. It can be well protected with a #4 Camalot placed deep in the crack. Most parties prefer two #4s though I have led it safely with one #3.

The first pitch starts down on the Tombstone ledge and is a 5.7 serrated crack that has a short flaring 5.8 crux up high. Careful on the crux, it comes just above an ankle crushing ledge.

The second pitches O.W. is rewarded by one of the best hand cracks at the Leap.

The third pitch climbs a rapidly steepening face to a fixed pin and then rounds a very windy and exposed arete, across an exposed ledge and up to two fixed pins that can be backed up with a .75" piece.

The rest of the route is a classic 4th-class to easy-5th-class dike hike that climbs up the face to the top. Not much harder than climbing a ladder.


Start on the Tombstone ledge and follow a serrated crack just to the right of Boot hill. Or you can skip the first pitch (not recommended) and start at the offwidth second pitch just around the corner from Corrugation Corner. If you skip the first pitch, sorry, "you have not climbed Travelers Buttress" only part of it.

To reach Tombstone Ledge, follow the approach trail up and left to the base of a smaller wall (lower buttress) below the main ledge which hosts the obvious features of broken flakes sticking up out of the ground like giant tombstones. The start of Travelers buttress is the obviously well worn, serrated crack system just left of the sport route "Boot Hill" and just right of the left facing corner crack that is "The Tombstone".


Cams, .5" - 4"; Nuts, 1 set.


Oakland CA
caughtinside   Oakland CA
I think the first pitch (below main ledge) is a sandbag at 5.8. More like 5.9...+? May 29, 2007
Karsten Duncan
Sacramento, CA
Karsten Duncan   Sacramento, CA
A great route with some very classic climbing. Not sure if it warrants the "fifty classics" title but it is got some great rock and moves.

As caughtinside stated I felt that the upper moves on the 1st pitch were the most insecure of the route but the OW will be the crux for most people. It is just a few moves of thrutching and then turns into a spectacularly fun handcrack. Jun 15, 2009
Vienna, Austria
scalparm   Vienna, Austria
I totally agree with both comments. The first pitch crux is easily 5.9. The 2nd pitch OW is brutal! Though there is some pro to be found and it's over quickly enough once you commit to it. I'd have to climb the other so-called 50 classics to determine if it's worthy of the title. Good climb though. Aug 2, 2009
Fat Dad
Los Angeles, CA
Fat Dad   Los Angeles, CA
If you're second is adverse to (or just really bad at) offwidth, the follower on the party in front of us was able to stem up using the thin crack to the left with his left hand and the edge of the o/w with his right. If you're leading, the o/w is just, well, o/w. The worst part about it is that it's greasy as all get out but it is just 5.9, and not very hard 5.9 at that.

Certainly not 50 Classics material but you have to do it if you're in the area. Dec 14, 2009
Los Alamos, NM
Aerili   Los Alamos, NM
I have composed the Traveler Buttress rap song (to be sung to Ludacris' "My Chick Bad"):

My crack hard
My crack slick
My crack spit you out like you really wish it di'int

My crack hard, harder harder than yers
My crack do stuff that I can't even put in words
Its polish don't stop
Its scuffle don't quit
So, fool, pipe down - you ain't talkin' bout sh*t

My crack hard, tell me if you seen her
She always bring the brutal like Venus and Serena
All white rock, all wide route
and all wide jams, crack lookin' like stout
No time for games, she's full grown
My crack hard, tell your crack to go home Oct 12, 2010
Sacramento, CA
coreylee   Sacramento, CA
Fun route, got me psyched on the leap. Question, pitch three, if you follow the seam up to the right, as opposed to the arete on the letft, how hard. We did this today but it felt hard. Rad little seam none the less! Aug 20, 2011
Ryan Williams
London (sort of)
Ryan Williams   London (sort of)
This was a really fun route. I chose the 5.10 finger crack variation on P2 and thought it was very hard for 10b (I think that's what someone told us it was). We also did it in four pitches... two long ones after the crux pitch. Oct 13, 2011
Patrick M.
Patrick M.   Vancouver
Just did this fantastic climb yesterday. Even the last two "ladder" pitches are a lot of fun.

With regards to the crux, I did it protecting in the thin crack. However I guess I was pretty exposed. The OW is very positive as long as you are confident with that technique. As soon as you move up, you will find some positive hand holds. In any case, it is a committing move. Apr 23, 2012
Reno, Nv
mac345   Reno, Nv
yes heed wylies' warning there is a pissed raptor out there who doesn't like the human intervention on its territory. It came at me after turning the arete(pitch 3) and making the traverse to the pancakeie flake thing, which was an awesome move by the way, anyways scared the piss out of me. you can here it coming though so be wary, and like many routes at the leap a good set of nuts is very useful. O and the offwidth sucks for about 10 to 15 feet and then becomes more "enjoyable" all and all a very sweet route. May 25, 2013
Rude Boy
San Francisco, CA
Rude Boy   San Francisco, CA
I would agree that the top of pitch 1, the wide flaring and bulging crack, felt like 5.9. Really awkward moves. For me it was easier to lead the OW. The OW is solid 5.9, not any easier but not any harder. I put in one #4 at the start, a #5 in the middle and another #4 at the top. This protected it well. On the third pitch I didn't stop to belay at the two pins around the corner. I did see them but continued up about another 60 feet to a nice horizontal crack to belay off of. Solid anchor off of #1 and #0.75 cams. The crux arete move on pitch 3 felt like easy 5.8 to me. The exposure is awesome! Jun 11, 2013
Kevin Dahlstrom
Boulder, CO
Kevin Dahlstrom   Boulder, CO
I hate to say it, but I don't think this route is all that great by today's standards. In an area with lots of super-classic moderate routes, I don't think Traveler Buttress makes the top 10. The only fantastic climbing on the route is the 60 foot hand crack after the offwidth on P2. The rest is either a jug haul, awkward (top of P1), or heinous (the offwidth). The upper part of the route has nice exposure but the climbing itself isn't interesting.

I guess you have to do this route once since it's a 50 Classic but I don't see myself doing it again. For a 5.9 climber, a route like Scimitar is far more satisfying.

By the way, my partner seconded the offwidth by stemming between the thin crack on the left and the wide crack and said it felt about 5.8. Aug 3, 2014
calder davey
calder davey   Bishop
Top of the first pitch is the crux for me for sure. Get's spicy up there! Jul 1, 2015
1st pitch: Might be 5.9 if you get tunnel vision. 5.8 is accurate, I think. This pitch has so many large features that falling isn't really an option, even though pro is everywhere. Not for a novice or 10a gym climber.

2nd pitch: The crux is a combination of face climbing, squeeze technique, hand and fist jams--all in a very short length before it lets up. Indeed, you only need one #4. One #3 works, too, but might get in your way if you are not many levels above this route, as admin is. 2nd #4 was simply convenient and allowed less messing around to the left. Stellar pitch, finishes traversing right under the roof to a bolt, shut and pin.

3rd pitch: Climb about 30' straight up the face in front of you to the sort of apex of the arete slightly to your upper left. Clip a pin and turn the arete in a delicate move. Now you will be traversing on a slight angle up and left to the belay, 2 pins and a #0.75, as described. Fairly short pitch, amazing.

4th pitch: As we climbed it, a 60m rope left us with one more belay, maybe 50' below the top. The climbing is super easy through this whole section but watch for dangling gear and dikes that catch stuff. Like an idiot, I actually got a gobie on the back of my hand whacking a dike as I move my hand past.

5th pitch: See above. A short section of maybe 5.5

Jun 27, 2016
Colin Szehner
Oakland, Ca
Colin Szehner   Oakland, Ca
Third pitch is great, exposure is great, feels like a pg version of North Overhang on Intersection Rock Aug 27, 2016
Michael Dom  
Great climb. I hopped on this again and tried the thin variation for the 2nd pitch. Overall taking that was much more pleasant than the off width. When it come to the third pitch you can use the piton belay but I thought that a much better belay was about 30 feet above. Otherwise you will be at your rope's end when you hit the top. Sep 8, 2016
Nick Tripp
San Diego, CA
  5.9 PG13
Nick Tripp   San Diego, CA
  5.9 PG13
An awesome classic with diverse kinds of climbing!

Had to really fight the 1st pitch with desperate fistjams, felt like an old school 5.8+/5.9. The OW immediately following on pitch 2 was scrappy as well before mellowing out to a sweet handcrack, if you have enough energy left to enjoy it! 3rd and 4th pitch were wildly exposed for a good finale! Jul 17, 2017
Tom Georgevits
Oakland, CA
Tom Georgevits   Oakland, CA
While I wouldn't say it's my favorite route at the Leap (probably the Line) this was awesome.

Like Nick, I thought the first pitch was somewhat insecure at spots and in the spirit of old school grades, felt 5.8++. The guidebook calls it a "thought provoking flared jamming crux."
As for pitch 2, if the guidebook's description of a, "smooth and holdless 5.9 offwidth" doesn't get you to half mast, I recommend bringing a #5 cam. With it, I was able to keep myself on TR for nearly the entire OW section. That, plus the #2 and #3 I placed near the bottom and middle of the offwidth kept me pretty happy as I groveled my way up.
In my opinion, pitch 3 is why this is a 50 Classic. If you can steal that lead from your partner, do it. Jul 2, 2018
If you’re not into off-widths, do not get intimidated by the wide crack on P2. It’s easier and less effort to not to sink into it but use it together with the other crack on the left and climb the face. Jul 4, 2018
Great route. P1 is stout for the grade. P2 can be quite hard if you have little o/w experience, which was the case for me. The exposure on P3 is fabulous.

One request I have for other climbers is -- please think hard before taking beginners on this route, especially in a 3-person group on weekends. Given the popularity of this route, it's very likely to turn into a cluster. There are other excellent alternatives at the leap. Oct 31, 2018
Leliko Mana
SF Bay Area, CA
Leliko Mana   SF Bay Area, CA
My leader and I had a wonderful - scary wonderful - time on this classic route yesterday. I'm just beginning to trad but it will be looooooong time till I dare to lead something like this, if only for its exposure (third pitch was scary for me) and run-out fourth pitch (hey, I'm still learning!). He had little hard time climbing crack on second pitch without OW cam but he loved the challenge. Overall, great day, and I'm glad we ended up doing Traveler Buttress even though originally we planned to do Corrugation Corner which was very crowded. If you are enamored by multi-pitch climbing in beautiful Lover's Leap like I am, following this route with a stellar leader is very enjoyable. Nov 5, 2018