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Routes in 07: Brinton's Buttress

Berkeley T,TR 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Brinton's Corner T,TR 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Brinton's Crack T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Brinton's Direct T,TR 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Cheap Thrills T,TR 5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b R
Chiaroscuro TR 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Chiaroscuro Direct (aka The H) TR 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Chicago T,TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
Evanston Township T,TR 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Evanston Township Direct T,TR 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Golf Road TR 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Puff N' Grunt Chimney T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Rococo Variations T,TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Rubberman TR 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Sheep Thrills T,TR 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
South Side T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R
Stool Pigeon T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R
Order Wrong? Sort Routes
Type: Trad, 120 ft
FA: FTR: Ralph Schmidt, FL: Jon Bernhard, First clean lead Gorny
Page Views: 3,771 total · 31/month
Shared By: Kris Gorny on Oct 20, 2008
Admins: Burton Lindquist, Doug Hemken, James Schroeder, Chris treggE

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Stool Pidgeon climbs the face just to the left of the buttress corner. Initial unprotected 20 feet of 5.9 (bad fall potential) leads to a crack system with very cool and varied 5.8 climbing. Stuff pro in the last horizontal seam and commit to a 5.11 face with tricky moves and a 30 foot fall potential. Long and airy route.

The 2nd edition of Swartling's "Climber's guide to Devil's Lake" rates the route 5.11b, which I think is correct. The latest 3rd edition rates it 5.10b, which is probably a typo 'cause the crux face is harder than Thoroughfare.


The route starts to the right of Berkeley and few feet left of the buttress corner, underneath the flake-crack system.


Cams up to BD #2, set of nuts. The horizontal below the crux section takes several small Aliens and slider nuts. The fall from the crux, although potentially long, can be quite safe. The most iffy section is the bottom.
Steve Sangdahl
eldo sprngs,co
Steve Sangdahl   eldo sprngs,co
Yo,Nice photo and a nice send too,Kris.
The route name Stool Pidgeon conjures up images of the Uber Giant,Ralph Schimdt?....I sure thats who did the first t.r.
as for the coveted first lead,looks like Kris G. wins the prize. peace and f-nes Oct 28, 2008
Kris Gorny

Kris Gorny    
Much obliged for the info Steve! Peace and f-nes :) Oct 28, 2008
Madison, WI
  5.11b R
Remo   Madison, WI
  5.11b R
Got on this yesterday, super fun route. Good lead Kris. Mar 5, 2009
Burton Lindquist
Madison, WI
Burton Lindquist   Madison, WI  
Finally started suss'n the moves on this "Stool Pidgeon" this weekend. That's definitely a typo on the difficulty rating of this climb in the newest guidebook addition and makes the lead by Kris all the more impressive. The moves felt as hard as "Gill's Nose" to me and harder the "T-Fare" as mentioned. There is a super tricky sequence at the crux with minimal feet... get established at spot with only side pull for left and side pull for right (arete), step onto small 2 pad niche with outside of left foot (weird move) and throw for good sized crimp on face with left (right would work- but even more awkward?), then finally smear the feet on whatever to move up from there... hard and tricky... Mar 23, 2009
  5.10d R
  5.10d R
Very good route. The bottom isn't very well protected for the start but fairly easy. Soaks up good gear up to that last horizontal and then there is a healthy run out. There might be a nice micro cam in the middle of the crux but probably not worth placing because you're so close to the finish jug. I wouldn't want to take that fall.
I thought it was more like 10d, I didn't think it was harder than "T-Fare".
There was a nice left foot heel hook in that crux that helped me do it smoothly. Aug 29, 2009
Burton Lindquist
Madison, WI
Burton Lindquist   Madison, WI  
Ball'zeee. Heel hook'n on pretty run-out 5.10+ (um.. er... maybe harder?). Way to hang it out Nick! Aug 31, 2009
Boulder, CO
  5.11 R
A B   Boulder, CO
  5.11 R
Led this badboy today. I'm with Rhoads on the heel. Felt like mid 5.11-harder than T-Fare for me. Probably broken ankles if you fell off the top of the crux as there is a rail right where you would land. Also, the no hands kneebar at the top is amazing-a great way to finish off such a freaky route. As far as gear, I used a yellow alien, (overcammed) #3 c4, #6 BD stopper, and red/grey/yellow aliens (in the horizontal) in that order. Oct 18, 2009
jon bernhard
grand junction, co
jon bernhard   grand junction, co
First lead was in 1989. I hand placed some pins near the crux.

Top roped it some then went back to lead it. First time up some folks were all critical because I was going to place pins in the horizontals near the top.
Robert Drysdale and I went back the next evening after the crowds had thinned out some.
Used my old framing hammer to pound in the pins and many a beer later.

DLFA, Jan 14, 2011
Andy Hansen
Longmont, CO
  5.11b R
Andy Hansen   Longmont, CO
  5.11b R
Rhoads you sandbagger! 5.10d?! You're out of your mind. Jun 19, 2011
Michael Sullivan
Seattle, WA
Michael Sullivan   Seattle, WA  
Was trying to follow Brinton's Corner, and found myself doing this route instead. Was pulling hard on a side-pull crimp with my left hand to get a high right foot, and ripped the thing off along with a hand sized flake of rock. Don't know if this will have consequences for Stool Pidgeon or not but figured I'd mention it. Also, Brinton's Corner and Stool Pidgeon seem to share a heck of a lot of holds, not sure what the difference is. Mar 29, 2012
Burton Lindquist
Madison, WI
Burton Lindquist   Madison, WI  
Ha! Way to go "Heeman" climber..

Actually- according to your recent comment under the route "Brinton's Corner" (of which I agree with you... it's pretty hard) it sounds like you didn't pull off the key hold on "Stool Pidgeon" because that hold is up high in the upper 3rd of that route.

Sorry about you pull'n that hold off... I hate it when I forget my own strength and accidentally do that... Mar 29, 2012
Toby Wehler
Indianapolis, IN
Toby Wehler   Indianapolis, IN
Happy to see this one listed as an 11 on here...after I fell for the second time (TR of course) at the crux, I was cursing what I thought was a classic DL sandbag. Cool and fun route. Impressive leads! Nov 30, 2012
jon jugenheimer
Madison, WI
jon jugenheimer   Madison, WI  
On TR, I always agreed with Rhoads, easier than 11b. Maybe not 10d, but for sure not quite 11b. Just lead it the other day and on the sharp end, I believe the 11b grade is quite accurate! The crux moves are solid 11b, harder than any single move on Tfare. Oct 13, 2014
Madison, WI
  5.11b R
Remo   Madison, WI
  5.11b R
This is a great lead! The lack of gear for the start was scarier than the top crux. Mar 30, 2015
Joel Allen
La Crosse, WI
Joel Allen   La Crosse, WI
I'm surprised there isn't more toprope action on this!! Where is the psych?!?!? This is one of the most fun routes I have tried at the lake, get over there and do it!!!! Oct 3, 2016
mr. poultry  
The story I heard from Bob Williams (he goes WAY back) was that whoever first worked this route in the 70’s had a shot of pigeon guano land in his chalk bag. Tho I never led it, it’s 5.11a for sure. For me, the first step off the Rococco Variations pedestal onto the tip-toe lie-back is the first crux. Jul 31, 2018

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