Type: Trad, Alpine, 2600 ft (788 m), 15 pitches, Grade III
FA: Albi Sole & Don Vockeroth. Aug. 1983
Page Views: 1,074 total · 27/month
Shared By: J J on Aug 5, 2018
Admins: Dave Rone, Tom Gnyra

You & This Route

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This long, Flying buttress of rock in the sky, separated from the main body of the mountain by the North Glacier, is composed of quartzite, limestone and dolomite, all with varying degrees of rock quality. The buttress is easy to find from any angle while in the valley, and is one of the most striking, obvious lines to climb in the region as well. 

-Start far left of the North Glacier on a small tongue of snow that usually lasts all summer long. From the right side of the tongue, climb up two pitches (wet, scree covered ledges) of quartzite to gain the ledges above.  ~90 meters total.
-Scramble up a few rope lengths of scree and ledges up a right trending ramp to the headwall above.
-Traverse left (south) along the base of the headwall until an extremely loose limestone chimney is found.  Climb for one long pitch, breaking out right before the final large chockstone.  Belayer take cover around the corner!
-Scramble up and right to the base of the main flying buttress to the top of the large ledges that make up the lower black tower. ~5 pitches
-Climb one more rope length to below a quartzite headwall on the ridge.  Note, you may find perfect quartz crystals at this belay. Super cool!
-Climb two pitches, both with a 5.7 crux on good quartzite along the ridge. First is a crack/chimney above a block on right, the second is a corner pitch on dark colored rock.
-One more scrambling pitch? brings you to the crux of the route, a "5.7" squeeze chimney on "ok" rock.  
-Climb the chimney (crux) and set a belay on top. 30-40 meters. Rated 5.7, I believe it is only slightly sandbaged, and a bit runout.  Heads up climbing, but it is all there and be careful pulling the lip, as the rocks are all loose on the ledge.
-(Memory not 100% here)Climb one or two pitches of loose, limestone with hard to find gear, but the climbing is easier.
-Climb a section of gray colored rock, where the bedding plans all dip towards you, thus finding good edges is not possible at first.  Clip a fixed pin (only fix gear on the route) and continue up a crack/grove at protectable (but slightly loose) 5.8 climbing.
-Climb another 100-150 meters of scrambling low 5th class with the occasional 5.5 move right of the ridge line.
-Continue up and then back onto the ridge proper (bivy spots possible here) and belay in front of a broken headwall.
-Traverse right (25-30 Meters)into a slot (possible snow) and then head up again on broken terrain 5.5-5.7 moves.  
-Climb the remaining 100-200 meters of the ridge to gain the mountain proper. 

Three possible ways
1. Traverse around the backside of Tuzo and Allen and to descend the Schiesser Route back to Moraine Lake.
2. Head down the backside glacier and weave your way down around the cliff bands to the lake (Kaufmann?) below on the backside and out the Tokumn Creek "Trail" Note:  This is LONG (20-25km) and the trail is not maintained the whole way.
3. Summit Deltaform and then reverse the NW ridge route to the summit of Neptuak Peak and then down the NW ridge to the pass below. Fixed 30 meter raps and lots of exposed downclimbing the whole way.

We did option three for a 19.5 hour day.


Starting from almost the center of the face of Deltaform Mountain, the buttress starts just left of the North Glacier.  Do not start near the glacier, but rather much further left (south) around the lower black buttress (that you do not actually climb on, complete crap rock) and start on orange colored quartzite in a corner above a snow apron.


Standard Rockies Trad rack plus one or two KBs.  Crampons and a tool depending on time of year, decent options, ect.  They are not needed for the route though.