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Routes in Nez Perce Spire

A Modern Home Environment T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b A3 PG13
South West Buttress T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
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Type: Trad, 800 ft, 8 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Greg and Barry Lee, October 1973
Page Views: 1,309 total · 21/month
Shared By: Mackenzie Moore on Oct 6, 2013
Admins: grk10vq, Zach Wahrer

You & This Route


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Description

If you are looking for a moderately hard, exposed, adventure route, look no further. The route does have it's share of loose rock but it should not deter you. It's pitches range from fingers, hands, to the crux squeeze chimney on pitch 7. This route is not only aesthetically pleasing but also has some spectacular climbing. Go do it!

Location

Follow the upper ramp, past some junipers and a pine tree, all the way to the end of the ramp where you will find a sandy ledge. The route begins here.
Pitch 1. 5.9R Begin climbing straight up past a small tree, trend right on face and thin cracks into a left facing dihedral to an obvious belay.
Pitch 2. 5.8 Climb straight up through cracks and face climbing. To another obvious belay.
Pitch 3. 5.7PG13 The route does not head up steep "column" cracks. Traverse out left of the belay, rounding the arĂȘte, to the west face. From here, climb cracks, large hollow sounding flakes and face to a large ledge with a tree for the belay. Rope drag can be very bad on this pitch so extend placements.
Pitch 4. 5.10a This is a long one. Start up easy crack and face climbing. Climbing becomes harder as you go higher. Make a semi hanging belay off a suspended block, and an old button head this belay may need a new bolt in the future.
Pitch 5. 5.10c Crux pitch. Climb thin cracks to the L shaped roof. Crank through the roof, and make sure you get a good piece in before entering the runout 30ft squeeze chimney (super exposed!). If the follower is carrying a pack, have them tag it behind them. Once you emerge from the chimney climb up and left to two left facing dihedrals. Do not climb the first of the two, traverse to the second dihedral and climb to a belay stance.
Pitch 6. 5.9+ Pull through roof (watch for loose rock) and climb up toward a wonderful right facing dihedral. Stem and jam up to good face holds, and up to a belay ledge.
Pitch 7. 4th/5th class climbing to summit.

Decent: once at the summit walk 50 yards northeast until you reach the start of the large slab/bowl. You can either walk down or rap. There is webbing on a few trees to make a double rope rap to the bottom of the slab. From the bottom of the slab wind your way down talus and slab to the eastern slabs of Nez Perce. In the dark it is extremely difficult to get down the way you came up. If you descend to far left of the initial talus field you will end up crossing the creek into lodge pole dead fall and the same thing will happen if you trend to far right. So try and descend directly under Blackfoot dome. Best of luck on this descent.

Protection

Bring a standard double rack of cams to 3", stoppers, you may want to bring a 00 or two for the scary first pitch.

The route has a good amount of fixed gear. A few belays are supplemented with old buttonheads and LAs. These belays probably should be spruced up, so it wouldn't be a bad idea to bring along a drilling kit.

Bring two 60s

Photos

Keatan
MT
  5.10b PG13
Keatan   MT
  5.10b PG13
My experience on this route:

Approach- traverse the highest ledge along the base to the exact SW buttress. A small tree (often with tat) will be ~30ft directly above you. Leave packs back in the talus field before starting your traverse so they're easier to grab on your way out. You'll come down between Nez Perce and Blackfoot.

P1 (5.9 PG-13) You want to trend left, not right! Left passed the tree, left passed a roof, then another step left before the belay. Lots of small nut placements made it feel much more PG-13 than R. Belay is a rusty bolt and a .2-.3 sized crack.
P2 (5.9) Pitches 2-3 can be easily linked into one. Straight up off the belay and on to the East face. Heading up the steep "column" cracks is enjoyable and felt 5.8. Belay on big ledge with a tree. ~60M pitch this way.
P3 (5.8) Head mostly straight up into right facing corners to the left of a splitter crack. Finish in a wide crack and step out right to a small belay with a fixed pin and buttonhead that can be backed up.
P4(5.10b) Straight up through thin cracks and over a roof (crux) then through the 5.9 squeeze "Birth Canal" which has a slung chockstone in the middle for pro. A few belay options above. The higher you go, the more likely you will be able to top out on the next pitch.
P5 (5.9+) Another long one that wanders quite a bit. Aim for ending just right of the big triangular point you can see above. Go left at the first fixed pin and up the corner above the second.

If you can climb this route you can probably downclimb the slab where the rappel is but rappelling is probably faster. Two 60s will get you all the way down, a 70 will get you most of the way with an easy scramble down. Aug 19, 2018

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