Type: Trad, Aid, 400 ft (121 m), 3 pitches, Grade II
FA: James Garrett and Patrick Maloney, 21 September 2007
Page Views: 1,029 total · 5/month
Shared By: James Garrett on Sep 21, 2007
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, GRK, DCrane

You & This Route

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


This is the obvious and prominent ridgeline/arete to the right or north of the Butterface Buttress begging to be climbed. Super fun!

Pitch #1: From the huge boulder in the gully, scramble to the bottom of the arete where you will find a fixed ring piton on a loose scree slope above a small bush. Carefully climb this loose section up a ramp toward the first steep step of the arete. Look for an aesthetic looking overhanging finger crack. Belay at a bolt on a ledge. 4th class to 5.5, loose.

Pitch #2: Climb the steep crack which gobbles up medium size nuts and micro-camalots to some overlaps. Easier going right on the top of the ridge passing 3 bolts takes the climber past the Butterface belay (far off to the left and below) and onto another steep face/step. Here, you may encounter a fixed butterknife like piton sticking way out of the rock. This antique relic was left for humor value by Patrique while cleaning the pitch more than as fixed protection. Tap it out and put it on your wall if you want! Very fun climbing leads to a ledge and 3 bolt belay ledge. 5.11+, A1, 40m.

Pitch #3: Continue straight up the arete passing more bolts and an occasional fixed piton to a down ramp that passes a chain anchor (2nd pitch of Butterface?) traversing left continuously staying on the arete to a overhanging slot. A bolt at the roof protects the leader to the final moves on the patina covered arete to the Buttress Summit on a great ledge with a belay anchor. 5.10 or 5.9, A0.

Rappel from the top anchors in 1 x 2 rope rappel....almost the best part of the adventure! Very airy! Sport rappelling, anyone?


Butterknife is the right skyline arete of Butterface Buttress. The only intersection with that route is the traverse on pitch #3 passing the pitch #2 anchors of The Butterface. Butterknife is neither a variation nor an extension. It is entirely independent.


QDs, Shoulder length slings. Camalots Micro to #2. Set of medium Nuts. This climb was climbed traditionally from the ground up without fixing ropes in one afternoon. It climbs to the top of the Buttress and provides great views. Some fixed pitons will be found, but it is totally appropriate to carry a hammer with a small selection of KB-LA. Patrique cleaned most of those placed while following. Also, feel free to clean the Butterknife piton high on Pitch #2, Definitely don't trust it!

No chains or webbing was left at the Pitch #1 or #2 anchors. The very top rappel anchors may need future webbing or chain replacement.


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