Type: Trad, Alpine, 1900 ft, 12 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Dean Hobbs, Gary Slate - July 1987
Page Views: 798 total · 16/month
Shared By: Preston Rhea on Jul 12, 2015
Admins: Chris Owen, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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The North Face Direct climbs steep faces and corners until gaining the upper pitches on the North Buttress. From the top of the North Buttress route, it continues on for two more pitches to the true top of the north buttress. The lower pitches on route are clean, committing, and often deceptively hard. The climbing itself on these lower pitches is aesthetic, adventurous, and some of the most memorable on the face. Higher up, the route becomes looser but much easier as it joins the north buttress.

Pitch 1 - Climb up the large red ramp below the north face. Find a place to belay below a large dihedral with a huge yellow spot a couple hundred feet up the face. The first pitch starts from here and climbs up the remaining red rock and transitions on to clean grey rock. When possible, traverse left onto a welcome ledge. This is the crux pitch of the route and the most run-out as well. It is a very serious and committing lead. It would be difficult to safely lower off once committed to the grey rock.

Pitch 2 - Run out slab leading up and right off the belay leads to a series of dihedrals. Climb around a corner into the one on the right which looks substantially easier than the others. Belay at the top of the dihedral on a small ledge below a short chimney.

Pitch 3 - A short chimney leads to a traverse left into the large dihedral with the huge yellow spot that is visible from the start of the route. Climb this a short ways before traversing left on an exposed slab out of the dihedral towards a ledge for the belay.

Pitch 4 - Continue left over large loose blocks to a short fun hand crack. Broken climbing from here for a full pitch leads to a ledge just right of a gully of red and yellow rock.

Pitch 5 - Continue straight up the arete immediately right of the north buttress from the ledge. If comfortable, it is advisable to simul-climb from the start of this pitch to the start of pitch 8.

Pitch 6 - More broken climbing up the arete.

Pitch 7 - More broken climbing up the arete joins up with the north buttress.

Pitch 8 - Steep and exciting climbing up the right side of a reddish dihedral leads to another large ledge.

Pitch 9 - Easy climbing up another headwall towards the obvious red chimney. Belay just before the chimney to avoid rockfall on the next pitch.

Pitch 10 - Follow the red chimney to the notch on top. This pitch has a lot of large dangerous blocks. Caution is required.

Pitch 11 - From the top of the red chimney, climb a fun crack up the right face. Pass the large flake on the left into a an easy wide crack. Belay on ledge.

Pitch 12 - A short very easy pitch leads to the top of the buttress proper and probably one of the best "summits" on Morrison. By stretching a 60m rope to its very end, it is almost possible to link pitches 11 and 12. The result of linking them is finishing this pitch just short of the top and leaves a bit of exposed and loose 3rd class to go to where you can start to descend.

From the top of the buttress a short rappel or 4th class downclimbing leads to easier scrambling for 300' to the summit.


The route starts 300' up and right of the toe of the north buttress where the red and grey rock meet. Scramble up ramps in the red rock to below the large yellow spot three pitches up.

Descend via the east slopes from the summit. During the 3rd class scramble to the true summit from the top of the route, do not try to contour left towards the east slope until no more than 100' from the true summit. It crosses many ridges and does not save time or make things any easier.


The rack should consist of doubles in cams from .3-#2, single #3, and a set of micro nuts. One or two large beaks are very useful for hand placing in thin cracks.