Type: Trad, 600 ft, 5 pitches
FA: March 12th, 2019
Page Views: 223 total · 38/month
Shared By: .Alex. on May 21, 2019
Admins: Justin Johnsen

You & This Route

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In an attempt to find an "easier" route up the Lake Mead Buttress, a buddy and I went on quite the adventure up the dark seam left of the main prow.

Avoid all lines that look decent, and head into the dark shadowy feature on the left side. Approach as if for Lake Mead Buttress, up the rock-studded gully to climbers right of the prow. At the base of the main wall, move left until the rock falls away and the only option is up. This is the first pitch.

P1) 5.7 - Foreshadowing.
Short, easy, a warmup for what's to come
     Look up towards a ledge that stands between you and the massive gully you're heading towards. Climb up on rock that is super sharp, and not confidence inspiring. The rock is mostly solid, but some parts are suspiciously wiggly. Some would say this might be a sign to turn around. Keep going. Follow the largest seam to a roof. Pray to whatever gear you've plugged below you, and commit to the better rock left of the roof, pulling over the bulge onto a great ledge. Walk up and right for some good anchoring cracks in layered rock that is somehow solid.

P2) 5.5 - The Adventure Begins.
A scramble into the unknown.
     Walk into the giant gully left of the main prow. Reassure yourself that all those shadows mean easy climbing and great protection. Simulclimb through the first few hundred feet of class 3 and maybe 4, gently sloping upwards and following the massive gully. Push through the plant life that seems to wisely be trying stop you from climbing this. Remember to remind yourself that the questionable stemming moves straight up or mantle onto a crumbly plant-filled ledge was totally fun and not scary at all as the rock gets worse.

P3) 5.8 R - Lead Head
The rock gets worse, more vertical, and gear disappears
     After a few hundred feet of class 3 or 4 gully shenanigans, a point comes when the gully starts to get vertical and one really should be on belay. We broke this up into two or three mini-pitches of 40ft or so, but it could all be done as one pitch. Gear is sparse or non-existent, and does not inspire safety. Pitch finishes with a heady, shitty climb straight up out of the gully that's swaddled you this whole time, then moves right onto a surprisingly good ledge with minimal pro. A fall from any point would be ill-advised. Belay your partner up off a slung horn that looks sorta solid, maybe.

P4) 5.9+ X - The Ride
You better put on your big boy pants for this one.
     Look straight up from this ledge, and spot the giant overhanging chimney/offwidth. That's your goal for the start of pitch 5. It's also the start of the good rock. Between that big crack and you is an 80 or 90ft pitch straight up an overhanging choss fest. Actually, choss doesn't even begin to describe the complete and total lack of adhesion of the cracked and layered limestone / dolomite pile before you. At this point, a rap down is not feasible in the kitty litter you've surrounded yourself in, and the only way is up. Place pro as you slowly move up and the route crumbles around you, knowing fully in your heart that the 0.5 C3 you placed is only there to look pretty. Pulling off a bread loaf sized chunk and making use of the hole it left to move upwards is a valid strategy. Finish inside or just below the chimney, anchoring on cracks that are the best you've seen in the last 300 feet with some smaller nuts and cams. Hopefully by this point you've realized what it is like to truly want to get off this wild ride.

P5) 5.8 - The Exit Gate
Squeeze through and escape
     Using the power of friction and adrenaline left over from the near-death experience, squeeze straight up through about 10 feet of an overhanging, perfectly parallel chimney/offwidth. A number 5 shoved above you is really useful here if you need a rest once in awhile. Exit from the top, and follow the beautiful, hand-sized crack on solid, reliable limestone to a ledgy finish with plenty of cracks for an anchor. After the terrible rock below, the amazing moves on this bomber crack make it almost worth meeting your maker the pitch before. A hundred feet or so of class 4 scrambling after this pitch brings to you to top, and off of this wild ride.

But Mr. Bones isn't done with you yet. Don't forget that what goes up, must come down. Follow the descent directions for Lake Mead Buttress.


Approach base of the wall same as other climbs. Move around the prow, aiming for the deep, shadowed gully left of the prow. 


Wishes and dreams. If those fail, a standard rack of cams from 0.3 to #4, one #5 for the offwidth chimney, stoppers.