Type: Trad, 110 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Les Ellison, Kurt Ottman 1976
Page Views: 2,058 total · 14/month
Shared By: Nathan Fisher on Aug 30, 2006
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Gate Buttress Area Recreational Lease: Climbs on Church Buttress above vault remain closed Details


A surprisingly nice climb. Judging by what the book said (nothing), I was planning on merely climbing a tick to get to the Burner Buttress. Surprise, surprise, a nice route. It could use a little more traffic to clean some of the grit off the lower face, and the very top had some grit. It starts by climbing a right-angling flared offwidth. It can protect in a couple spots only. After this offwidth ends on a ledge, the route traverses left along a thin flared crack, that again doesn't take gear readily. Place plenty of gear and lose your holds or protect sparingly and have something to hold onto. Traverse this crack until it ends and make a very committing slab move that is very reachy and very hard for what the book calls a 5.8 climb (Notice, I rated it 5.10a). Make the move and get to the ledge. Belay at the sling at the base of the chimney or run it together as one long pitch (our choice). This next sequence of climbing also felt harder than 5.8 (I would say 5.9+). Jam, or lieback or bear hug your way up the twin cracks, never minding the increasing amount of blood showing up on your now scarred legs. Finally, after you attain the next stance with a sling on a horn, prep youself for the finishing chimney. This felt like 5.8. Work the chimney, and exit out right to the chains.

Again, the book stated 5.8 no stars. This is well worth a trip up, but is no 5.8.


Left of Bong-Eater, down low one will see a vertical wide crack and right-slanting offwidth on it's right. This climbs the offwidth. Look for the thin traversing crack that ends on a slab to a tree.


I used a 1 inch cam in the initial crack, along with a larger one higher up. A couple of small nuts for the beginning of the traverse, and runners for the tree branch (It will hold a fall). The second pitch requires large cams. I used my partners #3,4,5 Camalot, I think. And, I walked the #5 up. Some small cams and medium nuts help protect the finish. Plenty of runners were useful. There is a chain anchor at the top (Life on your Feet's).


Ryan Brough
Arvada, Colorado
  5.10a PG13
Ryan Brough   Arvada, Colorado
  5.10a PG13
Great description! An easier variation MAY exist by traversing left on the lower crack instead of the upper crack that terminates in the 5.10a slab/reach move (I have a long arm span for 5'8" and could baaaarely reach). However, you'd have to climb straight through the tree.
I think this climb warrants the PG-13 for two reasons:
1. At the crux, you choose between holds or pro (the tree held me, but I'm a mere buck-thirty).
2. The stances on the chimney aren't super for placing pro, the placements are semi-blind and unless you haul up a ton of HUGE cams, you'll walk your widest cam up the crack just like Nathan.
Aug 30, 2006
Surprisingly fun - did TR solo so I can't comment on gear. Hiked up around the right of bongeater, slung a few big rocks for an anchor. The final chimney sems to have two finishes - either move right to a hand jam/easy slab/jug, or finish the featureless section of hte squeeze chimney. I did one then the other. Pretty similar difficulty, but of course the squeeze was a little more insecure. Feb 12, 2012