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Routes in Frigid Air Buttress

Blue Bunny T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Burlesque T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Dear Diary T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Frigid Air Buttress T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Linda's Route T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Middle Earth T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Type: Trad, 400 ft, 4 pitches, Grade II
FA: Joe Herbst, Tom Kaufman. May 1979
Page Views: 3,654 total, 26/month
Shared By: John Hegyes on May 2, 2006
Admins: Larry DeAngelo, Justin Johnsen

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RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone in Red Rocks is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Details


Scramble up mossy ledges for about 150 feet to the base of the climb.

Pitch 1: Climb up the right leaning crack then straight up to a ledge with a tree. (80 feet, 5.7)

Pitch 2: Shoot up the hand crack in the left facing corner. Pass the rappel anchor, head left on a ledge to the base of the flake. Sling the flake (extra long runner) for an anchor. (160 feet, 5.8+)

Pitch 3: The main event. Climb the flake (offwidth or lieback) past a bolt and continue up behind the flake into a narrow(!) chimney. Scoot up a corner to a ledge. (160 feet, 5.9)

Pitch 4: Easy fourth class leads to the summit of the feature.

Rappel the route with two ropes.


Burlesque is located in the drainage that separates Necromancer from Frigid Air Buttress in Icebox Canyon. It is also the descent route for Frigid Air. The route is about 100 yards further upstream, to the left of Frigid Air. It is also about 50 yards downstream from the waterfall at the back of the drainage. The landmark feature is the giant flake that looks like a bomb bay roof on the third pitch.


Standard rack plus some wide gear. We used an old style #5 Camalot. Consider a #3 Big Bro.
Ian McEleney
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Ian McEleney   Mammoth Lakes, CA
Sherri's beta is good. Pitch 2 is fun and pitch 3 is great.

For the rack we brought a single #6, which worked fine in conjunction with the bolt. We didn't bring or need a #5 or #4.

On the descent, make a two rope rap from the bolts on the boulder to another bolted station up and slightly right of the tat station. It's a better anchor and a better stance. This is pretty much directly below the start of the flake on pitch 3. From here the rappel beta is the same. Apr 7, 2016
Sherri Lewis
Sequim, WA
Sherri Lewis   Sequim, WA
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves on this route today. Every pitch had something fun but of course the crux pitch is the show stopper.

For the approach, hike up the boulder gully (same as descent for Frigid Aire) to the waterfall. To avoid the worst of the boulder scrambling, about halfway up keep an eye out for a faint-looking trail that cuts out of the gully from skier's left. I usually catch this trail at one of the first large sandy clearings I encounter in the boulder gully. This trail skirts the gully all the way to the waterfall, though you may need to drop in and out of that left edge of the boulders a time or two where it chokes off with vegetation. The trail is easier to identify and follow on your way out.

We soloed the approach pitch to the big ledge (you'll see a small tree with rap slings on the left end of ledge. This will be your final single rope rap to the ground). We started P1 in the middle of this ledge by on a ramp/flake that leads into an easy corner though it looks like you could climb into the corner directly by starting further to the climber's right.

P2 was straightforward handcrack goodness. Climb to the ledge where the large flake starts. I think this pitch was closer to 100ft. Belay from the tatty rap station in the right corner on the ledge (this will be the station you head to from the double rope rap at the top of P4. A single rope rap from here gets you to the big bushy ledge at the base of P1) or continue left on the ledge and build gear belay below the flake. If you brought a #5, you can use it to belay at the base of the flake, but good options exist for small/med gear on the face to the right of the wide crack. We left our packs, etc, here and retrieved them on rappell.

P3 is AMAZING. The four of us did the offwidth entirely differently from each other (you can lieback, thrutch with left side in and use feet on the arete, chicken wing with right side in and use good edges on the face on the left, etc). Before and after the bolt, a new C4 #6 protects you for almost the entire length of the OW(probably could be done with one but having two is not a bad idea as you will be walking it a fair ways). You get a good rest before diving behind the flake for the squeeze finish. A #3 can be placed inside the chimney near the lip in a shallow pocket above your head on the right and/or supplemented with a red and/or yellow alien in the main wall toward the left edge of the flake. Two of us did the squeeze deep in the middle and two took the outer edge. Either way, you don't want to be wearing a helmet or a pack in there--it is as tight as can be. The good news is that it gets easier as you go up.

Best to belay on top of the flake.(More like a 100ft pitch than 160' as stated in guidebook). Handsize gear can be placed behind a boulder.

For P4, traverse to the far right side of the ledge and head up the fun chimney/stembox with good gear, pull up and over to exit onto the face and trend slightly right to go over the bulge on easy ground. We belayed from shrubbery here then unroped to scramble through the bushes to the bolted rappell station you can see on the boulder to your left. It looks like you could head directly across the varnished face to belay from the rappell station but I think rope drag would be an issue.

Gear: We had two #6's with us which worked perfectly for the offwidth(they can be walked a ways).
We never used the #5 anywhere on the climb and only placed the #4 once(I'd leave it behind next time or maybe take two #3's instead). Doubles of .5-#1 were helpful. Only placed one or two small/med nuts on P2 so it's probably not worth dragging a whole pile of them up the route. Found a few hex placements I couldn't pass up, though, but that's just me.

Descent: From the bolted station on the large boulder, one double rope rap diagonally across flake to climbers right to tat station just below where you belayed for P3. From here, one single rope gets you to bushy ledge where you started P1. One single rope rap from here gets you to the ground, where you will immediately begin making plans to do it again because you had a lot more fun than you thought you'd have on something so scary! May 4, 2014
I think Bill's describing Dear Diary. If you are a 5.8 leader, you have no business being on Burlesque anyway, but if you're getting on the top pitch of Dear Diary, consider that my partner leads 5.10 and was shaky as hell FOLLOWING the pitch. It's heads up and then some. Be safe. Jun 11, 2011
las vegas
billdlee   las vegas
There is a variation for the third pitch. I had to climb it to get my rope free when I tried to repel off of it after I did frigid air buttress.

The variation is to climb the dihedral just above the repel anchors in the far left corner (left assuming that you are facing Las Vegas with your back to the wall). Its on the same ledge as the offwidth. I'd rate it about 5.8, little run out in some places. Good protections. Actually a fun climb. There is an offwidth and a chimney in it. Just be careful of the face holds. Very tenuous and breakable. After you climb the pitch, you can set up an anchor at a small tree just after you finish the chimney.

The climb is about 40-45 meters, Singles except for green (.75) and red (1) Camelot. Double up on those. YOu will also need a long sling if you want to place gear in the small cave about 20 feet above the start. From the anchor at the top, you can traverse over to the rap anchor with the single bolt. May 7, 2009
J. Thompson
denver, co
J. Thompson   denver, co
The 3rd pitch chimney is very similiar to The narrows pitch on the Steck-Salathe', only shorter and not quite as hard!! Jun 4, 2006