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Routes in Buffalo Shoulder Buttress

Another One Bites the Dust T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Type: Trad, 600 ft, 5 pitches
FA: Reid Fink, Mat Trotter 2016
Page Views: 472 total, 35/month
Shared By: Reid Fink on Oct 13, 2016
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Description

Another One Bites the Dust 5.9 184m

Currently this route requires double ropes, a healthy rack, and a hot shower to return to. Despite its adventurous character, the anchors are all fixed (bolts, one tree) to simplify routefinding and descent. The routefinding is generally straightforward as it follows consecutive corner systems separated by two large, sloping ledges. The route is in an always picturesque and sometimes breathtaking setting. The name of the route came about as we watched Mat’s water bottle skip down the cliff and mentally recounted the casualty list of assorted gear that was lost on this route.

Recommended rack: Double ropes, cams to BD #4 (doubles of mid sizes are helpful), nuts, TCUs, cordalette for tree belay


Approach

From the parking area follow the well defined trail west beneath the wall as for Swiss Wall and Cranberry Canyon. Continue further along the trail until it begins to disappear, then angle upwards towards the boulder field (pink and orange flagging tape, 30 min). Follow cairns across the boulder field to the base of the wall (15 min), and continue briefly through the trees to a large right-facing corner with a small overhang at the bottom. Total approach: 45 min.

P1 5.7, 50m: This is an “approach” pitch and can be skipped by scrambling up 5th-class rock ledges beyond the corner on climber’s left. That said, it offers some fun and interesting climbing should you choose to partake. Step up into the corner and follow it up to the small alcove. Move out of the alcove and left over stepped ledges, passing left of a spruce. Gain the wide treed ledge and find twin aspens next to a large, flat platform rock. Belay off the aspens.

P2 5.8 38m: Directly above the belay on the left side of the juniper ledge is a short but sweet layback corner. Flow up this and move into the left-leaning corner system, passing two juniper bushes. Step right out of the corner onto a generous ledge with a two-bolt belay.

P3 5.6 38m: Move left into the corner and continue up past another small juniper bush and over slabby steps to gain the main gravelly ledge. The two-bolt belay is in a band of black rock to the left of the main left-facing dihedral about 5m above where it starts. Don’t forget to look up!

P4 5.9 38m: You guessed it – straight up the main corner. Move up into the corner and over a steep bulge. Continue up the corner towards the dominating horizontal roof. Take a second to soak in the view before plunging into the squeeze chimney right of the roof. Squirm up the chimney (large cams may be necessary). Wriggle out into the sunlight and continue up the crack a few metres to reach a diagonal ledge leading up and left and a two-bolt belay. Odds are you will gain a new appreciation for the route name.

P5 5.8 20m: Move right into the main left-facing corner and follow it up to a steep crack, where a ramp leads up and left. Take this ramp to a two-bolt belay beneath an overhang.

Descent

Rappel the route.

There is the possibility of a short section of interesting climbing above these anchors. The right-facing corner seems to offer little in the way of gear placements, as with the overlaps directly above the anchor. One might follow simple but unreliable rock in the main corner for about 70m in order to walk off the route. If you take this option, the best descent from the top of the buttress is flagged with pink tape and follows the narrowing ridgeline up into the gully climber’s right of the buttress. The gully is filled with loose and rolling talus.

Protection

Trad with fixed anchors.

Photos

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