Type: Trad, Alpine
FA: FA: Culbert, Cuthbert, Starr, Purdey ~1969. FFA: Don McPherson et al ~1992.
Page Views: 1,733 total · 21/month
Shared By: Hans Bauck on Sep 4, 2017 · Updates
Admins: Mark Roberts, Mauricio Herrera Cuadra, Kate Lynn, Braden Batsford

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The Route Suggest change

The Pup Buttress ascends the north face of Harvey's Pup, a detached pinnacle adjacent to Mount Harvey. The rock is dirty and loose, at times alarmingly so. Protection is at times limited. The descent is loose and heinous. Many of the rappel anchors are sketchy.

Still reading? Up for an adventure?

The approach is described on the Mount Harvey page. Gear up where the approach trail reaches the talus field, as the descent comes out here. Head towards the North Face Ramp and follow that for about 100-200 metres to reach a level portion at the base of a giant gully known as the gut. This gully separates Harvey's Pup from Mount Harvey itself. The Pup Buttress begins on top of a chockstone on the ramp, and heads towards a small bush visible on the right side of a roof.

Note that grades and pitch lengths are estimates, and variations in belay locations and route choice are possible, particularly near the top.

Pitch 1, 5.8 PG/R, 15m: Step right off the chockstone, and traverse up and right beneath a roof. Head towards a small bush. A few steep moves will bring you to a ledge beside the bush. Climb up and slightly right on some loose rock to a tree belay at the base of a chimney.

This pitch was rather heady and we were unable to find good gear until after reaching the small ledge with the bush. You may be more lucky.

Pitch 2, 5.8, 45m: Climb the chimney on good rock with good gear past a piton. A narrow section provides the crux. Belay at a small tree (fixed sling 2017) on a good ledge beneath a slabby wall.

Pitch 3, 5.8: Climb up and left on decent rock to the base of a dark head wall split by a left facing corner crack.

Pitch 4, 5.9, 20m: Climb the crack on good rock past 3 pitons and belay on a small ledge to the right of the crack (piton).

As of September 2017 there was a fixed red Black Diamond #1 Camalot just above this belay.

Pitch 5, 5.10a, 35m: Continue up the crack. A bulge at the beginning provides the crux. Pass a fixed piton anchor (left over from a winter attempt, optional belay) and belay at the top of the crack on a good ledge.

Note that it is possible to link pitch 4 and 5 and would probably make sense to do so. We didn't.

Pitch 6, 5.6, 55m: A short steep section provides the crux and leads to an easy low angle section which is followed straight up to a left facing corner at the base of a steeper headwall.

Pitch 7, 5.8: Climb up a corner then exit right on loose rock. Choose your own adventure, heading up and right on very loose and sparsely protected terrain.

Pitches 8-9: Climb up to the summit, slinging trees and bushes and doing your best to avoid the inevitable rope drag. Enjoy the spectacular summit views.

The Descent Suggest change

Continue over the summit heading east and locate a rappel anchor on a tree. Rappel 15 metres to a treed ledge. Note that it may be possible to avoid this rappel by downclimbing to skiers left.

Scramble down the treed ledge to locate another tree anchor. Rappel 35 metres into the notch between Harvey's Pup and Mount Harvey. Before reaching the base of the notch, locate a ledge system on the Mount Harvey side. Walk and scramble along this ledge for ~10 metres while still on rappel to reach the top of the actual descent gully.

Note that if you rappel directly into the notch you will have to scramble up and out. I'm not sure about the difficulty of this.

From the top of the actual descent gully, downclimb on loose rock, rappelling as necessary to avoid steeper sections. We made 6 rappels off of anchors that were at times quite dubious, and downclimbed several 4th class sections.

Eventually you will reach the approach trail at the point where it initially meets the talus slope. Reverse the approach back to the trailhead.

Gear and Beta Suggest change

We brought 10 long draws and a single rack with nuts and cams from black Alien to Black Diamond #4, doubling up on our favorite pieces. This seemed sufficient in that we always seemed to have the right size for the times when protection was available.

Don't underestimate how loose the rock is, particular the final few pitches. Choose your belay locations such as to protect the belayer.

Be prepared to back up the rappel anchors and leave behind carabiners, mallions, or rap rings.

The route is north facing and receives no sun until near the summit. I suspect it stays quite wet until late summer.

Consider pushing mountain bikes up the approach as far as you can. We pushed them almost to the talus field and saved ourselves lots of time and energy on the descent.

I really didn't know how to grade this route in terms of quality. On one hand, it was quite the adventure and a good bit of Type II fun, with some good climbing here and there, great exposure, and fantastic views. But on the other hand it is a dirty and chossy POS that is at times legitimately dangerous. Three stars? You decide. And please feel free to tell me what you think.