Type: Trad, Alpine, 1700 ft, 16 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Steve Arsenault-John Bouchard
Page Views: 1,121 total · 17/month
Shared By: stephen arsenault on Sep 13, 2013
Admins: Lauren Heerschap, Mike Snyder, Jake Dickerson, Taylor Spiegelberg

You & This Route


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Description

This is an old route, but I wanted to include it here, since it is one of the longest free climbs in the range.

Location

The obvious long buttress on Raid, looking up the valley from Ambush Peak. The route starts about 50 feet to the right, from the lowest point of the rock, near the lake.

Protection

When we did it back in 1972, there were long run-outs, but with modern cams, I've been told the pro. is adequate. No bolts were placed on the 1st ascent.

Photos

Mike McNeil
Spearfish, South Dakota
Mike McNeil   Spearfish, South Dakota
Awsome Steve I am still disappointed we did not try this route on our last day a couple of years ago. It looks as though you could probably go a lot of different ways as there are a lot of options. I will try to post up a photo if I can find them this afternoon. Did you guys do it this year? Sep 13, 2013
Beta from AAJ: "The climb starts 100 feet from the toe of the buttress. Three pitches led up an obvious ramp on the right side of the buttress. We continued up the middle, passing several large overhangs. A huge ledge was found in the area of the tenth pitch. We continued five pitches more to a block-covered ledge, where we sighted a golden eagle. The final pitch ascended an enjoyable face. From there it was third class to the summit."

We bailed after five pitches. We didn't find the routefinding above the ramp to be very obvious, and found significant runouts and a good bit of loose rock on the lower part of the route. I don't think the route is outrageously dangerous, but it was certainly outside my comfort zone. It started dumping hail on the way down, vindicating our decision. Nov 9, 2017
stephen arsenault  
  5.8
Hey James,
I just got an alert on my email that you made a comment. Sorry you didn't finish it, but it sounds like you made a good decision with the hail etc. As I mentioned in my brief description, there were very long run-outs on perhaps 5.6-.7 ground. I remember one pitch where I essentially had nothing in. Kelsey wrote in his new guidebook that with modern cams, the protection was better. I also remember that although you follow the buttress. the route finding was not all that obvious, due to the lack of a crack system. I was in there last September for a quick visit. Nov 9, 2017
Mike McMahon
Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT
5.9 R
Mike McMahon   Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT
5.9 R
Cool route. Even with small cams, our second pitch had some very serious runouts above non-trivial climbing. I thought the rest of the pitches were reasonably protected. Regarding route finding, we followed the ramp for three long pitches (~550'), passing an old bolt on the third pitch, ending directly beneath the first set of overhangs. We hand-traversed far right in a improbable-looking horizontal until we were beneath a clean dihedral on the right side of the face. We were able to follow this system in some capacity all the way to the "10th" pitch ledge (our 13th). One pitch in this system was akin to dancing through a minefield of loose blocks. That pitch withstanding, most of the route is solid. I thought our route was certainly harder than 5.8. I'll call it 5.9 R so I don't sound too soft.

I carried a double rack to 2" and single #3 camalot. I would have loved another larger cam. Sep 15, 2018
stephen arsenault  
  5.8
Mike, So glad you did the route- a rare event, since few climbers venture in there. On the 1st ascent, before cams, I remember little opportunity to place protection. I don't remember any loose rock, but great difficulty finding usable cracks, where pitons could be driven. Most of the cracks were too shallow. We didn't place any bolts. Do you remember seeing a fixed 2" angle up high, near a huge ledge, a few pitches from the top. I drove it in there for "posterity" to mark the route. Sep 15, 2018
Mike McMahon
Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT
5.9 R
Mike McMahon   Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT
5.9 R
Stephen-
If I thought some of the pitches were rowdy and run-out with a double set of cams, I can hardly imagine how puckering it must have been for you in 1972!! Solid work! We found some form of bail gear, sling, or prior climbing evidence on all of our first eight pitches. After that, I didn't see anything. I didn't find your angle, but did see old knifeblades on our second and third pitches. Sep 15, 2018
stephen arsenault  
  5.8
Mike,
One more comment. On the 1st ascent, we followed the rather narrow buttress ridge straight up, passing one bulge/overhang. I do not remember any loose rock, except high up, around the 12th pitch, on a big ledge, (where I left a bomber 2" angle, as I remember. We had to bivy high up, as we ran out of light, (no headlamps back then). You may have encountered harder climbing the way you went, but I'm sure there were run-out pitches, low down. These comments will probably discourage future ascents. Sep 20, 2018
Mike McMahon
Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT
5.9 R
Mike McMahon   Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT
5.9 R
Steve-
We also unexpectedly spent a very cold night on a rubble-strewn ledge (our 15th pitch)! We were carrying headlamps, but didn't really want to climb in the dark.

Kelsey lists an additional route in the 2013 edition of his guidebook as "Raid Peak: South Buttress Right" at (V 5.10), which begins on the same ramp system, and then works right to a series of dihedrals. I suspect we climbed a fair portion of this route. We encountered some great, sustained jamming in our dihedral of choice. It's a cool route that tackles a beautiful and striking mountain! Sep 28, 2018
JoeyJa  
We backed off doing this route in early season this year because it seemed like more than we could handle or wanted to handle but are looking at doing it next year.

Thanks for posting these comments Mike/Stephen! Nov 28, 2018
stephen arsenault  
  5.8
Hi JoeyJa,

Having done most of the long routes in there multiple times, I would recommend any of the routes on Ambush over this route on Raid. It's a nice line but much of the same type of climbing. Perhaps in the far future, if the area gets more traffic, climbers will head further right, where there is a good crack system. Wish I had followed that in 1972!
All the routes on Ambush protect well, but you need to move along, avoiding placing pro. every 30 ft; unless you want to break out the headlamps. I guess with modern gear, most of the pitches on Raid protect well. I do remember being pretty concerned leading one pitch, with no gear in,( pre cams).
Glad your getting in there! Nov 29, 2018