Type: Trad, Alpine, 1700 ft (515 m), 12 pitches, Grade III
FA: Alpine Monkeys
Page Views: 6,708 total · 68/month
Shared By: Joshua Reinig on Aug 8, 2015 · Updates
Admins: C Miller, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer Ski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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The Altar Buttress

The Altar Buttress is the longest moderate route in Idyllwild's Backcountry. Not only is it an Ultra classic full value adventure route, it also takes you to panoramic views of a beautiful alpine cirque.

Put on your all day shoes, buckle your chin straps and launch off on this magical 1700' ever narrowing and very exposed ridge of a buttress.

The Altar Buttress can be broken down into several obvious sections, the Mystery Notch Tower, the Black Tower, the Step Around Tower, The War Bonnet ect. Although pitching it out can be done in a number of ways generally just stay as true to the ridge as possible the entire climb. Traverse (right) around each tower encountered, immediately re-gaining the ridge.


"Start as low and direct at the obvious toe of this giant elegant buttress via a super clean 5.4 finger crack. Throughout the entirety of this route bailing is fairly easy usually only requiring one -two rappels off the east side of the buttress. If you do make it to the summit, (Yes it has a bitchen technical summit) a single 30m rappel is required off the east side."


Standard traditional rack gear to 3", 5" if you want to fire the direct 10a variation to the Black Tower Pitch!