Type: Trad, 650 ft (197 m), 7 pitches, Grade II
FA: Clay Watson & Brian Smoot, July 2008
Page Views: 6,358 total · 40/month
Shared By: bsmoot on Aug 10, 2008
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, GRK, DCrane

You & This Route

37 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick
Access Issue: Gate Buttress Area Recreational Lease: Climbs on Church Buttress above vault remain closed Details
Access Issue: Do not cross the pipe by the pumphouse. Details


House of Cards climbs the clean, airy slabs above the big overhangs on the North Face of the Coalpit Buttress. The line stays left of the crack system that possibly was followed by the DNF route. We originally climbed 7 pitches, but decided to add 2 more approach pitches of lesser quality to avoid the hike around by the Triangle wall gully. All of the pitches were done in traditional ground up style. The climbing on this route is somewhat continuous.

Sadly, recent rockfall has changed the Tree Route, which we followed for 35'. Most of the tree was knocked off when a 15' x 35' section of rock slid off. Since the tree is only 10' tall now, the additional climbing to pass this section is now 5.11. Higher above the tree, the climbing is now easier and safer.

P1 - (begins at traverse ledge above direct start) Climb a clean arete to where you can traverse left and up to a belay.
P2 - Climb a short roof to a finger hidden crack. Follow this up to a great ledge with a broken pine tree.
P3 - Climb tree and either free or aid past fixed gear (5.9 A0 or 5.11) to some stacked blocks. Above here is a section of new rock that is protected by some bolts. Originally, this pitch made an improbable, heads-up traverse right along a prominent spike of rock. Belay 30' below the big roof above.
P4 - Take care climbing past the flake above. Clip a pin on the right, Climb over the roofs and slab above. There are 2 sets of anchors here, either one will work for the belay, but make sure and use the lower one for the descent.

P5 - 7 Ascend the excellent slab above for 3 pitches.

UPDATE: The Guillotine is now gone!

Descent You can now rap the route with just one 70m rope. The first rap is short as you must go to the top of pitch 6, the 2nd rap goes to a pine tree on the west. From here you can rap anchor to anchor the rest of the way.

Gregg Kirchhoff, Jonathan Smoot & Dallen Ward also helped out.


See photo


One set of cams to a #2 Camalot, also see topo.