Avg: 2.8 from 34 votes
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 1500 ft, 7 pitches, Grade III|
|FA:||Buckingham, Brook, Catwood and Cox, 1958|
|Page Views:||14,475 total, 104/month|
|Shared By:||Eli Helmuth on Jul 4, 2006|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac|
DescriptionThis overlooked classic takes a dramatic line up the center of the north face of the very aesthetic Pagoda Mountain. Although the route is a bit "raw/dirty" at the moment, only due to a lack of visitors, the rock quality, route quality, position and big summit make this a moderate classic which compares easily to the nearby North Ridge of Spearhead - arguably, it is an even more aesthetic and inspiring route.
LocationThe North Buttress is very obvious to see from below when standing in the meadows just east of Spearhead. Approach the route up this valley aiming for the col between Pagoda and the West Ridge of Long's (Keyboard to the Winds). There is an obvious, horizontal, dark band of rock which bisects the bottom of the route, about 400' above the base of the first slabs at the bottom of the face. Approach a grassy ledge system from the left (east) side of the buttress and make an easy but exposed traverse into the base of the route which is easily identified by the 3 left-facing, corner systems rising up on the left side of the buttress crest.
Taking advantage of nice but mostly small belay ledges, we did a 8 pitches consisting of:
P1. Climb 40m up left-facing corners to belay on top of a flake (exposed 5.5).
P2. Go 55m up more left-facing corners to a small ledge (halfway) where one traverses left to climb a short unprotected slab (5.5) up to another splitter crack system which leads via more discontinuous cracks to the top of the 1st ridgecrest (5.7).
P3. Go 45m up and left on slab (5.4) to large grassy ledge directly below and left of a vertical prow.
P4. Climb 50m up an almost vertical section of juggy climbing (30' left of prow) aiming for chimney system which contains a fair bit of loose rock (be careful here) (5.7)- belay at nice stance in chimney.
P5. Go 50m up a chimney then a face to top of ridge crest (5.5).
P6. Continue up ridgecrest (airy 4th class) or step down to the west side of the ridge and walk through talus to base of 50m slab below and just right of crest (5.3).
P7. Do a 40m pitch up featured slabby terrain to just below summit. Scramble or rope another 20m pitch to the top (5.3).
Descend down the mellow (2nd) class East Ridge of Pagoda and then down from the col between the "Sievers' Tower" and Pagoda. It is an easy walk down, stay north to avoid short cliff bands.