Adventure Projects is hiring a web engineer to join us in Boulder, CO
Mountain Project Logo

Routes in The Pawn

Direct South Face T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a C1
Earth , Wind and Fire Dihedral T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a C1 Easy Snow R
En Passant T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Path of the Argonian T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Order Wrong? Sort Routes
Type: Trad, 800 ft, 7 pitches, Grade II
FA: Jonathan & Brian Smoot 2009
Page Views: 489 total · 28/month
Shared By: bsmoot on Jun 14, 2017
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route

4 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick
Access Issue: Gate Buttress Area Recreational Lease: Climbs on Church Buttress above vault remain closed Details


1. Scramble up easy lower angle slab to belay at two bolts.
2. Climb to base of steep corners to the right of large overhang. Follow corners (5.9) protected by several pins and make a rightward traverse past a bolt to a wide crack. Follow this to a ledge.
3. From belay ledge, move left and up to a bush, then traverse left across lower angle slab to a bolt. Climb up to a short crack and go left to an optional belay ledge or continue up bolt-protected face to good belay ledge.
4. Traverse left from the belay ledge to a bolt. Continue up to black knobs and a pin, or traverse left into a large shallow groove and corner. Belay at a large pine tree at the top of the shallow corner.
5. At the left end of the large ledge, traverse left past two bolts to the base of a wide flake that is best protected by a #4 cam. Continue up the flake and corner past a bolt to a two-bolt belay ledge.
6. Climb over a small roof to a knobby slab protected by 4 bolts. Traverse left to a belay at a large pine tree.
7. Follow rightward leaning corner and wide crack, then climb up and left on easier rotten rock to ridge top with large sandy ledge and belay at a large boulder. Descend ridge or climb to Quantum Perplexas to summit of Pawn Buttress. Descend down the ridge by an 80 foot rappel on bolts and down climb the north side of the ridge and hike a short distance to the saddle—between the Pawn and the West Pawn Buttress. Then hike down the gulley to the base of the climb.
8. From the belay at the boulder, hike up the ridge by easy, but rotten rock to a some pine trees. Just past these, follow the ridge crest past 3 bolts to a belay ledge with bolts.
9. Avoid the crack directly above by moving left. Continue up gritty rock on the last pitch of Quantum Perplexas for 190 feet on an exposed narrow ridge protected by 3 bolts to the highest summit of the Pawn, a spectacular location...great views...The elevation here is 8,900' Either down climb to the east end of the ridge or make 1-2 single rope rappels off the north side from two bolts at the summit. Hike East to a pass and scramble down the east side of the Pawn.


From the trail scramble down to the lowest point of the buttress. See topo


One set of cams to 3". 4.5" optional


Rich Connors
Salt Lake City, UT
Rich Connors   Salt Lake City, UT
Climbed En Passant linked with Quantum Perplexus on 10/17/2017 in eight pitches. 10 hours car to car. The rock is kitty litter after pitch 6, but otherwise is similar to the rest of LCC. I'd recommend staying on En Passant to hit the ridge lower, then ride the ridge up to the summit in order to avoid some of the rotten rock. We rappelled off the summit anchors to the north, then hiked up to the notch on the EAST side of the Pawn, then descended through the trees along the east side of the formation and back to our packs. It was unclear if you could rappel with a single 70m rope. Singles of small cams to BD #4 and a pile of slings for the rack. Be prepared to sling some trees and bushes too. Oct 17, 2017
Sam Cannon
Salt Lake City, UT
Sam Cannon   Salt Lake City, UT
The approach is not that bad. Once you're out of the gully W of Black Peeler and below E Gate Buttress the trail is pretty well defined. In fact someone has done a tremendous amount of work, and cut logs, stumps, and tree branches are pretty clear indicators that you're going the right way. The trail has some switch backs to keep the pitch mellow, and a party in good shape could probably complete the approach in an hour 30 or less. There are a few spots of scrambling but nothing too bad. And the views from the hike alone make the tramp up there worth it. As of early 2018 there is almost no bushwhacking whatsoever.

You won't see any bolts to mark the start of P1. I'll upload a shot of my partner standing at the base of the route to give you an idea of what to look for, but just start out from somewhere along the toe (climber's left of where the trail will end) and get up and over the first overlap and you will see two pins with rings and two bolts right of that. You can rap this route with a single 70 m rope from the top of P7 if you use the last bolt on the pitch to rap (bomber, but make your own calls). Tie knots in the rope ends as most raps were close to 35 m. We rapped as the standard descent was covered in snow. It would take a 70 m to bail from most places on the route if you don't finish it, so I would recommend one.

Small gear and nuts were definitely useful, and I used pretty much everything up to #3. Didn't take a 4, didn't miss it. Because the route is sparsely bolted sometimes it can be hard to figure out where to go. The pitch by pitch description is pretty good and so is the topo, take them with you!

The book gives this route 3 stars. While I think that is very very generous in terms of the actual climbing, the position, length of approach, length of route, and views of the canyon and greater peaks made this an absolutely fantastic and memorable day out. For those qualities alone I highly recommend it, though be prepared for an adventure. Jan 15, 2018
Kudos on the trail making. Views and position like this reminds us so immediately of what we love about the Wasatch. First Winter Ascent :)? Jan 15, 2018

More About En Passant