Type: Trad, 500 ft (152 m), 4 pitches, Grade III
FA: FA George Lowe and Bill Conrod, 1966FFA Lance Bateman and Ben Folsom, 2008
Page Views: 3,830 total · 24/month
Shared By: tenesmus on Nov 15, 2008
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, GRK, DCrane

You & This Route

9 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


Classic crack and face route on the fin. 5.12a/b or 5.10 C2/3

P1: Rope up at the base of the Dorsal Fin and traverse around and right on easy ground (5.6?) to a 2-bolt anchor.
P2: Three options - the first is to climb the steep bulge crack at .11d - tape up. The second is aid climbing that crack which we did not do. Third, traverse 50 or so feet (5.easy)around right to a cool, juggy and blocky crack system (5.9?)up and then traverse left to a gear belay that takes a wide variety of gear.
P3: 5.10 or aid climbing a dihedral up to a roof with a spicy handjam mantle, step left and into a ramp system that moves up and right to a two bolt belay (Formerly, this pitch ended at a stance with a piton and 2 buttonhead/rusty old leeper hanger belay that you could backup with small pro). Thanks to Ben and Lance for replacing this belay.
P4: C2/3, R It helps to bring a small rack of pins with a selection of angles, baby angles kb's and LA's. Step up and right of the belay over to a piton that can be supplemented with gear, then straight up into a dihedral. Historical note, my partner says when he first did this (um... 30 years ago) there was a drilled hole that took a hook for the next move. The broken copperhead was cleaned and hole filled by a subsequent party. There is a fixed nut hammered into the crack then two brand spanking new bolts (used to be 30-year-old buttonhead bolts) with aid between and above each.
P5: There used to be a hanging belay at a tree that has since disappeared. We just kept going, but the climbing changes from aid to a really great .10 finger and hand crack. Imagine Green A only its vertical and with sinker fingers instead of tips. Its pretty cool. This pitch ends up at a gear belay in some small trees and a #2 camalot is very useful.

We ended up running the last two pitches together like the topo in the guidebook. However that topo is inaccurate in several ways so be ready. If you have the time, it would be cool to rig a way for the second to jug and clean the aid and then TR the final crack

Descent: Traverse left (5.4) 30 feet and then down to the desecent anchors for the Dorsal Fin/Fin Arete. Its exposed but easy.


Start at the base of the Dorsal fin, traversing down and a little right, then back up and into the dihedral.


Two sets of cams, small nuts, rp's, kb's, angles, baby angles, LA's and camhooks. We only had a few pins and camhooks, making it probably a bit harder than it needed to be.