Type: Trad, Alpine, 700 ft, 7 pitches, Grade III
FA: Darin Berdinka and Rad Roberts
Page Views: 6,017 total · 219/month
Shared By: Nick Drake on Mar 15, 2017
Admins: Scott Coldiron, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick

You & This Route

38 Opinions

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Yet another great route in the Vesper Peak area, it's impossible not to stop and stare at this buttress when you're coming back from Vesper. Great aesthetic position and fun movement. Technically it is not on Morning Start Peak, but slightly south. It sits at exactly one mile high.

Note that while the route is fully bolted this is still an alpine climb. As such there are some ledgey portions, while being very well bolted I would not say this is a good area to push the grade for the leader or follower. Also as the ascent and rap route share anchors please be respectful to other parties and have your multi pitch skills dialed. If coming early in the season be prepared to inspect for any loose rocks and bolts due to freeze/thaws over the winter.

There is a nice register at the summit, please respect the FA wishes and don't post photos of it online.

Pitch 1: Hero climbing up and left on steep jugs leads to a beautiful face and arête. 115 feet, 5.10a.

Pitch 2: Continue up the featured face to a belay on the crest. 70 feet, 5.9.

Pitch 3: Cross a large ledge and ascend a 30 foot headwall with some cracks and good holds. Easier climbing leads to the base of the next headwall. Note that an intermediate anchor about 15 feet right of the climbing line and 10 feet above the lip of the lower headwall is used on the descent. 150 feet, 5.9.

Pitch 4: Step right and climb a clean face to the base of a dihedral. 70 feet, 5.10a.

Pitch 5: *money pitch* Climb the stunning dihedral and exit up and right to an airy belay. 80 feet, 5.10a.

Pitch 6: Head up the lower arête, balance on top of a large flake, and climb a beautiful face to a spectacular arête. 115 feet, 5.10a.

Pitch 7: Make a tricky move or two on a vertical face, cross ledges to the final headwall, and follow a clean ramp to the summit. 100 feet, 5.8

Rappel the route. Keep the following in mind;
Avoid a pendulum on the Pitch 7 rap by lowering down to the large flake before walking left to the belay. Use the pitch 3 intermediate anchor (or you will have to pull the rope and make an unprotected scramble, clip the P2 anchor at your feet. You can't skip that intermediate station with a 70, doing this is NOT recommended).
The starting ledge is several hundred feet above the ground and rather exposed. Climbers might want to traverse back to the starting bolt before unroping. It's possible to pull the rope on the final rappel from that position.

Note that as you will rap the route this can jam up on weekends. If you arrive early be prepared to deal with other parties on your rap. If you arrive late maybe bring a rack and just go get on one of the fun routes at Vesper.

FA write up:

Great write up from Steph Abegg with more photos:

Arguments about bolts:


Follow the Sunrise Mine trail approximately two and a half miles to the last major switchback (~4300 foot elevation) before the trail begins zig zagging up to Headlee Pass. Leave the trail and begin a surprisingly easy traverse northeast across talus toward the Mile High buttress. Cairns mark the way well enough. Pass just above a large flat-topped boulder near the first set of trees. Follow a natural passage through the small stand of trees to a second open talus field. Continue across open heather and talus, cross a strip of trees near a rocky bluff, and ascend to the obvious red gully right of the Mile High Buttress. A convenient seep just before the Mile High gully provides water through mid-season and for a few days after rain. Scramble up and left on rubble-strewn ledges to a lone fir tree. Pass the tree on a ledge to a single belay bolt at the beginning of the route.


Draws and a 70m rope. Some alpine draws are nice to cut back on drag.