Type: Trad, 825 ft (250 m), 8 pitches
FA: Tom Dickey, Ralph Munn. may 1980 FFA Brad White, Ian Cruickshank. August 1991 (variation on pitch 8) FFA full route (including original pitch 8) Steve
Page Views: 1,604 total · 55/month
Shared By: Andrew Bock on Jul 10, 2019
Admins: Jay Knower, M Sprague, Lee Hansche, Jeffrey LeCours, Jonathan Steitzer, Robert Hall

You & This Route

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Throwing this on Mountain Project because I was shocked to see such a classic wasn't already on here. I would argue Primal Scream is in contention as one the great long 5.10 multipitch climbs of the east, rivaling VMC DD and Fastest Gun.

The route tackles the foreboding right side of the Pinnacle buttress. It involves some incredibly steep rock, some tricky traverses, thin cracks, lovely dihedrals, and at least one spicy runout. A guaranteed adventure for the confident 5.10 leader. The route has a nice safety net since you can escape onto the northeast ridge fairly easily at any point before pitch 5.

P1: short 5.8 face that leads to steep notch in an overhang 25 feet off the ground. Pull some hard layback moves with good gear (10d) to gain the face. Follow the face straight up to some grassy ledges. Choose one to belay from. 150' 5.10d

P2: Depending on where you set the anchor  for pitch 1, either traverse right, or climb up and right toward the obvious twin cracks. Enjoy a short section of 5.9 crack climbing before finishing on top of this block 50-70' 5.9

P3: From the belay move directly right onto a short, well protected 10c finger traverse. Make some airy moves to pull onto the next green face. Climb the picturesque 5.9 thin finger crack on the slabby face up to a left facing corner. Climb the corner through a notch to a good slanting ledge. 110' 10c

P4: Now for the mental crux. Place a couple small pieces as you traverse directly right on some good feet. The gear disappears quickly, but the moves are no harder than 5.6. slot a small nut into a constriction on the arete (offset might be nice) Climb up on some good edges on the arete until it is possible to move onto the next green face out right. When I got here and looked at the next traverse I thought, F no, this is messed up I'm not climbing any further above this nut. But the crimps are there, and so are the feet. A fall would be really bad here, but the climbing is more secure than it looks. The book gives it 10a, but I pulled off a small flake revealing a nice edge that makes it a little easier. I would argue no moves are harder than 5.9. Traverse 12 feet right into a flared chimney, with great relief, place gear, and climb straight up the corner under a huge roof. The book recommends belaying under the roof, but I recommend continuing another 10 feet on a finger / hand traverse out right to a nice ledge on the next arete. This gives the belayer a good view of the previous pitch, and the next. 80' 10a R

P5: Traverse directly right on a crack reminiscent of the Fairy Tale Traverse. Belay at the obvious ledge 50' 5.8

P6: Downclimb the face below and to the right keeping just above the overhang. Move right to the base of a nice, obvious finger crack. 50' 5.8

P7: Climb the finger crack up and right until it starts to break up. Climb the broken cracks staying just left of a dirty groove. Climb over a small bulge at a curved flake. Belay at the base of a corner with small roof at the top of it. (the last crux of the route) 120' 5.9

P8: Climb the corner up to the roof. Surmount the right side of the roof (10b) then climb up and right choosing the path of least resistance on the final face of the buttress. Finish at the lip. 100' 5.10b

Descent: Follow the ridge, hike 200 yards up the loose talus to the alpine garden trail. Descend either the Huntington ravine trail, or lions head trail.


The route begins 30 feet to the right of the Northeast ridge route. Below an obvious notch in a steep headwall 25 feet off the ground.


Everything from 0.2-3 Camelot with an emphasis on nuts and the 0.4 - 1 range.