Type: Trad, 900 ft (273 m), 10 pitches, Grade IV
FA: FA: Niels Tietze, Brandon Adams, Adam Ramsey; FFA: October, 2020 Eric Lynch, Nick Sullens
Page Views: 550 total · 222/month
Shared By: EricLynch on Feb 3, 2021 · Updates
Admins: Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Access Issue: Latest updates on Covid and falcon closures. Details


The Nexus, AKA The Niels Tietze Memorial Route, is the culmination of many different hands and visions to uncover another stellar free climb on the Fifi Buttress.  In 2017, Brandon Adams and Adam Ramsey established Make It So, an 8 pitch 5.8 A4 route just left of The Final Frontier.  Soon thereafter Niels vision led him to begin working on the route as a free climb.  Tragically Niels died in a rappelling accident while removing fixed lines from the route.  Niels was a wild man, I did not know him well, but his energy, vibrancy, and grasping towards living life to the fullest inspired everyone who knew him.  Niels was a renaissance man with a staggering variety of passions and maintained an open mind to everyone he interacted with.  He found value and meaning in places overlooked by most.  He is sorely missed in this community and in the world.

In the spring of 2020 Brandon Adams decided to resurrect the dream of freeing Make It So, and in August, Brandon openned the project to Nick Sullens and myself .  Any credit to freeing this route must be shared with all parties involved.  Brandon for so much work initially and this spring, Niels for the vision to work towards this free ascent, and lastly Nick and myself for putting it all together.

P1 10+ 30m

Starts approximately 50 feet left of Final Frontier.  Varied climbing up cracks. Begin up 4th class terrain, to a short chimney and a right facing corner.  Belay is on a pedestal at the apex of the belay ledge.   

Gear to #2 

P2 12b 35m

Climb the shallow right facing corner system above the belay.  Until 2 bolts appear to the right.   A big reach right past the first bolt accesses the lieback flake.  A tricky lieback boulder problem past the second bolt gains the perfect .5’s lieback.  Another crux guards the traverse right to the anchor.  

Gear: Doubles from blue totem to #1,  single #2, 2 bolts 

P3 11b 20m

Climb cracks and flakes through a wide lieback section to a chimney pod, placing gear in a small crack to the left.  Step right and pull a small roof to easier face climbing. Can be linked with the next pitch to avoid the hanging belay, or belay out left. 

Gear: Doubles in Finger size cams, single #3, Yellow DMM nut, 2 bolts, some quickdraws.

P4 13a 20m

Powerful liebacking up a cool rounded edge or technical stemming leads to a small roof.  Traverse right using underclings and bad feet to amazing diorite face features.  Technical climbing up diorite knobs gains the belay.  Amazing pitch!

Gear: 6 bolts (some extendable)

P5 12d 20m

Boulder problem pitch. Climb up and left off the belay to a large reinforced flake. Bouldery moves lead up then right. More tricky than hard, very fun technical climbing.  Possible to climb this pitch in a variety of ways.

Gear: 1 pin, 3 bolts

P6 13a/b 25m

Climb the technical corner above. Granite wizardry at its finest.  Stemming and laybacking lead past the first crux.  Sustained climbing leads to a second pumpy crux.  Amazing pitch. 

Gear: 4 bolts, purple totem, black totem, small nuts or small cams can be placed down low to supplement the bolts.

P7 11c 25m 

Stemming off the belay gains the crack systems above.  It is possible to climb in the right or left crack.  A bolt protects the crux lieback moves where the flakes are slightly hollow.  Continue up the corner to “The Bridge”.

Gear:  Doubles blue totem to #1, Singles small cams, #2, #3, 1 bolt.

P8 12c 30m 

Exit “The Bridge” to the right.  Face climbing leads first right then back left passing 4 bolts, and some supplemental gear, to the base of the roof.  Big moves gain the underclings below the roof and burly liebacking passes it on the right.  Place a critical #1 at the lip.  Continue up the crack to a bolt, where hard moves left on thin flakes gain the low angle corner above.  There are some slightly suspect holds on this pitch.  It is possible to traverse over to the upper pitches of FInal Frontier low on this pitch.

Gear:  5 bolts, Single black totem to #.75, Double #1.  Additional nuts, or finger sized cams can be placed.

P9 12d 35m

Climb easy terrain up the corner to a small cam placement.  Traverse right on face holds to gain the thin cracks.  Technical seam and face climbing leads up the diorite spotted face.  As the seams disappear, challenging moves left lead to pumpy face climbing on diorite knobs.  A final bulge guards the anchor.  An amazing pitch, sustained, technical, pumpy, what more can you ask for!

Gear: 4 bolts, fixed beak, Nuts, Single tips, Doubles blue totem to #.75 

P10 11b/c 30m

Niels equipped this pitch previously and we never lines fixed on this pitch.  As such, the final pitch is very dirty and lichenous.  We do not recommend climbing this pitch.  But if you do, climb up and left, passing 3 bolts to a shallow corner.  Bring small nuts for the corner.  Tricky moves lead to easier, albeit dirty terrain above.  Climb up and right to a large ledge.  Climb the face to the right, passing one bolt to the summit.

Gear:  4 bolts, single black totem to #3, nuts


Starts 50 feet to the left of The Final Frontier


70 m rope, doubles tips to #1, single #2 and #3, set of offsets nuts small to medium, 8 quickdraws, 4 alpine draws