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Back to Bucket Country 

YDS: 5.8- French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 14 British: VS 4c

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 90'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Zach Orenczak, Rachael Lynn
Page Views: 2,994
Submitted By: Arlo F Niederer on Apr 26, 2012

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Near the top.

Dirt roads reopened as of June 2014 MORE INFO >>>


This climb starts as a slab climb, crosses a left-facing dihedral, and goes up the steep but featured face.

The climb has two distinct cruxes at bulges at bolt six and bolt eight.


It is located where the approach trail meets the buttress, at a prominent, left-facing dihedral and broken area. Start on a slab just left of the dihedral for two bolts, then cross over the dihedral, and climb up the steep face just right of the dihedral.


9 or so bolts to two bolt anchor.

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Rock Climbing Photo: Back to Bucket Country route and bolt location.
Back to Bucket Country route and bolt location.

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By Gary Schmidt
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 8, 2013

One of the best sport 5.8s ever.
By Mat D.
Dec 12, 2014

One thing I love about this route is you can link it with 2-3 more pitches to get to the top of the Beehive. I don't have the guidebook, so I don’'t know about names/grades of the pitches, so I'll try to be descriptive.

Pitch 2: belay at the Bucket Country anchors. Scramble up 4th class/easy 5th class terrain to a short vertical wall (1 bolt, I usually skip it due to rope drag). Clip the first bolt on this wall, and then choose one of two bolt lines: go left for easier terrain (5.6?) or right for a more direct, more difficult (5.9+? crux to gain the slab) and more fun pitch. Both options bring you to a well-bolted, easy slab, which leads up to anchors on a ledge. I don't remember how many bolts there are, but if you brought enough draws for Back to Bucket Country, you have enough for all subsequent pitches. Total pitch length: ~60 ft.

Pitch 3: scramble/walk up maybe 6 feet of class 3 terrain to a wide grassy ledge below a short vertical wall. Climb ~20 feet on interesting face holds (5.8?, 2 bolts) to anchors. I recommend staying on the bolt line or just to the left of it; the terrain to the right is temptingly easy but leads you somewhat far to the right of the bolts, and the top-out to the anchors is harder this way: a fall there would likely result in a groundfall. The anchors are located on a well-featured slab just right of the bolt line. The belay is a somewhat awkward, semi-hanging belay because of where the anchors are located. There is another set of anchors to the left of the bolt line, but they seem a bit too far away to be practical, but I have never tried to use them, so I don't know for sure. This pitch could probably be linked with the previous pitch, but rope drag seems like it would be an issue.

Pitch 4: from the semi-hanging belay, bring the second up to and past the anchors onto a wide ledge. At this point, you can walk up above the anchors, unclip from them, and join your partner on the ledge. Gather up your rope, and walk left along the comfortable ledge, turn right around a corner (passing behind a small boulder) to another very wide ledge section. To your right is the bolt line for pitch 4. This pitch is the crux of the route (5.9?) unless you climbed the bolt line to the right on pitch two. Make a somewhat tricky first clip, and then climb up interestingly varied terrain. A word of warning: the third bolt (I think, it could be the second) has a spinning bolt hanger. Between this bolt and the next is a slightly tricky move that could result in a moderately long fall onto this spinning hanger. I always bring a #2 or #1 Camalot, because you can find a perfect placement in a horizontal crack that will protect this move. There's a small but very comfortable ledge to make the placement from. Follow the rest of the bolts to the anchors, where you can unrope and walk a short way to the summit. Total pitch length: ~50-60 feet.

Descent: I usually just make 4 rappels down using the same anchors I used to come up. You could probably rappel from the pitch 3 anchors to the pitch 1 anchors, but I never have because I'm not sure if the rope would get stuck. I hear there's also a walkoff from the summit, but it probably takes just as long as the rappels, and I've never used it.

EDIT 3/9/17: I've brought a few more people up this route and have a few new suggestions. Bring some hand sized cams (1 each of #1, #2, and #3 does the trick, but that general size range) and at the top of p3, climb past the bolt anchors and build a gear anchor in the horizontal crack between the ledge and the wall in front of you. Much more comfortable and convenient than the semi hanging belay.

I also agree with K. Gustafson (below) that a #3 protects the part of P4 above the spinning bolt hanger perfectly, much better than a #1 or #2.
By K Gustafson
Jun 25, 2016

The best part of this route is the multipitch.

Pitch 1 was fine.

Pitch 2 can be done easy (left) or harder (right; 5.9/5.10a crux?) and was pretty forgettable.

Pitch 3 climbs beautifully and would be the most sought after moderate at the crag if it was on the ground and longer. Definitely enjoyed this pitch the most.

Pitch 4 (5.9?) is the second best pitch and starts in a fun and awkward roof. The 3rd hanger is still loose (6/25/2016), if you have a tool to tighten it, bring it. The crux is right above that bolt. I placed a horrible small cam to instill some confidence before I went for bolt 4. Could have used a #3, or just a tighter bolt.

Rapping down was super easy with a 60m rope. 4 rappels.

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