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Routes in Thunder Buttress

Backlash S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Beast in Me, The T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Concertina S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Gun Club S 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
L.S.D. T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Let's Make A Deal S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Loud Noise S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Momma's Squeeze Box T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Mushrooms T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Right Son of Thunder T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Screamer Crack T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Super Crack T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Transcendence S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Type: Sport, 80 ft
FA: Brooke Sandahl, April 1989
Page Views: 3,095 total · 52/month
Shared By: Joseph DeGaetano on Mar 20, 2013
Admins: Pnelson, Ladd, Vicki Schwantes, Jake Jones, Shawn Heath

You & This Route

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This long face climb climbs a super prominent buttress overlooking the New River Gorge, with the classic Supercrack (5.9) to its right and the new school trad headpoint Gun Control (13c) to the left. The only thing that mars Gun Club is that many folks consider its aggrevating crux– with delicate feet and sequential holds– to be the least pleasant part of the climb. It is also possible (if you wish to be subjected to justifiable ridicule) to take the "Gun Show Loophole" and traverse over to Supercrack, avoiding the entire crux. Above the crux is glorious 11+ climbing that will keep you pumped and thinking.

On a historical side note, Dan Osman soloed this route in 1991. The story goes that Dan worked the crux on a short leash never really dialing in the sequence perfectly. The next day, with friends and video cameras in tow, he set out to solo the climb. Maybe the sun drenched wall, maybe his nerves, or perhaps the reality and severity of such a serious solo got the best of him, and he began to verbally doubt himself, telling his buddies that he wasn't sure he wanted to go through with it. The crazy thing is that he was doing this while on the climb just below the crux, where a fall could be fatal. His friends not wanting to see Dan die, told him to not worry about it and come down. Dan kept hemming and hawing up there until he cut loose and hiked it to the top.


Thunder Buttress, just left of Super Crack.


10 bolts. Good options for cams to keep the runouts a bit more tame. Bolted anchor.


Jake Jones
Richmond, VA
Jake Jones   Richmond, VA  
Must be raining in Fayetteville. Nov 17, 2015
Chris Whisenhunt
Fayetteville, WV
Chris Whisenhunt   Fayetteville, WV  
Shut up Darlene. The only thing that takes away from this route is the fact that I just rap-freed it. Get on those dancing shoe and get on my level! Nov 16, 2015

Yeah, the only thing that really draws away from this climb is the fact that you can traverse over to supercrack, and then back left to Gun Club as a way of completely avoiding the crux. Nov 16, 2015
Joseph DeGaetano
Fayetteville, WV
Joseph DeGaetano   Fayetteville, WV
Nah, you guys are crazy. 12-/V4 crux move to a bunch of 12- continuous climbing. The crux requires very little power. Get your skin to bite on those razors trust some non existent feet and pull up. Done deal. Yosemite 12- at best. Hell probably Yosemite 11+. The rest of the climbing is beautiful and the real highlight of the route. "It's not that bad." Nov 13, 2015
The route runs very close to the supercrack corner up to the crux. Climbing the crack puts you a bit further from the bolts than you'd want to be, so I wouldn't really call it an eliminate.
You can lead supercrack and easily drop your draws on the face while lowering, if that answers your question. Nov 12, 2015
Drew Hayes
Charlotte, NC
Drew Hayes   Charlotte, NC
This is a route I've been wanting to get on sometime soon. So what's the deal with the line? Is it an eliminate? Or are there natural straight up features to climb? Can you clip the bolts from supercrack? Nov 12, 2015
Agreed. The crux on this climb is so far from 12a, it's not even funny. If you take the route directly (stay out of supercrack), the crux is a slabby v5 or harder move. However, if you choose to bypass the crux by cheating out right, the original description is correct - no individual moves are harder than 12-. Nov 12, 2015

I personally think that the crux of this climb is quite a bit harder than a 12a move; definitely on par with about any other Endless Wall 5.12c crux. There are several good recovery spots, but this climb packs a bit more of a pump than a lot of others, too.

Some of the draws are hard to hang, and there is a pretty spicy runout one bolt above the crux that you can mellow out with a finger-sized cam. This is also really easy to TR or hang draws upon after doing Supercrack. Nov 12, 2015

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