Type: Trad, Aid, 1200 ft (364 m), 10 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Ken Trout, Scott Visscher, September, 1979
Page Views: 7,576 total · 47/month
Shared By: Ken Trout on Jan 16, 2011
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

You & This Route

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Introduction, Description, & Equipment Suggest change


For climbers who like long routes, wild places, good granite, and for whom a little A0+ is acceptable, this could be the best 5.9+/5.10- trad route in the San Juan Mountains.

On the other hand, none of the pitches are as beautiful as Honey Pot on Ophir Wall (or as hard). Even worse, the short stretch of A0+ on funky bolts is in serious need of re-drilling. Morning shade can make for a chilly start too.


The route climbs the left side of a Yosemite-style pinnacle on the central buttress. Above the block that forms the summit of the pinnacle, there is only a little A-zeroing needed to connect with the next crack. That bit should go free and will be much harder than the rest of the route.
Photo by Mountainproject contributor SamP.

This is a very rough route description. There are no fixed belays and no consensus yet on where to belay, so please be ready to make adjustments.

Pitch one: start a bit left of the toe of the buttress in a short chimney (5.7 or worse). There is a bigger chimney/crack to the left to avoid. The short chimney leads to face climbing past some horizontal seams. The pitch can be stretched with more crack climbing up to good ledges.

Pitch two: aim for the easiest way to connect with the left side of the pinnacle. A moderate pitch that can be ended before the climbing increases in difficulty (5.6?).

Pitch three: I trust Sam P's photo below more than my memory (5.8?).
Pitch three photo by Mountainproject contributor SamP.

Pitch four: a quality crack pitch that may not be obvious, aim left. It starts steep and beautiful and gains entry to the main corner (5.9).
Pitch four.

Pitch five: from the sloping stance, climb the excellent corner (5.9 or maybe 5.10). This pitch may stretch all the way to the belay below the A0 bolts (or not!).
Trout Man belays pitch five. Photo by Mountain Project contributor SamP.
The leader may be about where SamP took his downward shot of Trout Man.

Pitch six: continue up the corner and belay as close as you dare to the top of the pinnacle (5.9+). The best stance for good anchors may be uncomfortable.

Pitch seven balance up onto the top of the pinnacle and aid past two bolts. A hard moves off the high bolt gains a crack. At the top of the crack, a short traverse left ends on a ledge (5.9?, A0+).
Trout Man. By Mountainproject contributor SamP.

Pitch eight: an obvious crack leads to the big horizontal crack that cuts across the top left side of the Pope's Nose (5.7).

Pitch nine: a long crack that starts nice and then get wide at the top (maybe 5.7). The Pope's Nose page has some beta for the hideous descent.

1985 Route topo
Central Buttress.


I barely managed to drill the holes deep enough to hold body weight with our funky drill. Maybe bring the heavy tools until someone comments that better hardware is in place. Alpine aiders help a lot on the A0+. Bring full rack of gear up to a #5 Camalot, not more than doubles of each size for most of us.