Cathedral Buttress Rock Climbing
Cathedral Buttress, Death Canyon, Tetons.
Cathedral Buttress offers an experience different from most Teton routes. Probably the highest concentration of pure non-summit rock climbs in the Park. Many high-quality classics, including The Snaz
, Aerial Boundaries
and Caveat Emptor
. The lower elevation and south-facing nature makes many routes early-season endeavors. There is enough alpine weather and routefinding, however, to remind you you're in the Tetons.
Cathedral Rock is an awesome playground, one of the best for stacked pitches at a harder level in the Tetons. I've spent a lot of time up there. Here are some notes on various linkups and some descent beta.
Two really fun linkups to mix things up a bit:
1) Climb the first two difficult pitches of Caveat and traverse over to the base of The Snaz's crux pitch. Rap here or continue up Cousin Leroy. You can also do a double rope rap from the anchor at the base of The Snaz's 5th pitch and climb The Snazette crack, but this adds on a good bit of time.
2) Climb the Snazette variation to the Snaz and continue up the upper two difficult pitches of Caveat. The Caveatte linkup! You do cut off the classic 2nd hard pitch of Caveat, but the Snazette is a very worthy and beautiful crack
Descent: I have rapped the Snaz rap route with 70M double-rope (described in in Andy's comment to Caveat's). It is certainly nice, but both times I've managed to get my rope stuck in flakes during the rap that begins at the top of the Snaz's 5.9 wide pitch. I think the best option might be to just use the bolt anchor at the base of the 5.9 wide pitch instead of skipping it.
Directly across from the Moose Visitor Center, make a left onto Moose-Wilson road. Make a right onto a dirt road after about 10 minutes. Follow this road to the Death Canyon trailhead. From the trailhead, hike past Phelps Lake and into the canyon. After about 3 miles, reach a section of switchbacks that come extremely close to the creek.
For The Snaz
and Caveat Emptor
, instead of turning back west after the sixth switchback, continue straight, scrambling up to a large ledge. If the trail begins to level out an enter a big valley, you've gone too far! Follow this ledge to a slab with a large tree that leads to a broad ledge above. This is the approach pitch for the Snaz and Caveat Emptor.
For Aerial Boundaries
and Escape from Death
, continue past all the switchbacks until the trail just begins to level out. See that route description for additional info.
Weather station 5.7 miles from here
7 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in Cathedral Buttress
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Cathedral Buttress
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Cathedral Buttress:
The Snaz 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, Alpine, Grade IV
Caveat Emptor 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches, 1000'
Featured Route For Cathedral Buttress
The Snaz 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a WY
: Grand Teton National Park
: ... : Cathedral Buttress
A Teton classic. Classic crack climbing with lots of variety. The technical crux is a roof pull on pitch 4, while the physical lies in the consistent flake and wide crack movement of pitch 3. There are some notable variations: at the belay for pitch 3, move left for a 5.10 finger crack. At the top of pitch six, you can move 100' right for two more 5.9 pitches, Cousin Leroy. At the top of pitch 7, climb a three-tiered roof at 10+ instead of the .7 chimney. Also very good. ...[more] Browse More Classics in WY
Cathedral Buttress in April 2007.
The Snaz follows the obvious corner system.
By david goldstein
Jul 22, 2006
This wall is in the sun almost all day. Subtract two stars for any route done without water on a hot day.
By Andy Laakmann
From: Bend, OR
Jul 22, 2006
The first 5 pitches of the Snaz stay shady until around noon, but Caveats does roast all day.
By Nick Stayner
From: Billings, MT
Jul 23, 2006
Aerial Boundaries has a more western exposure & stays in the shade a bit longer. Sunshine Daydream is also tilted slightly to the west and holds shade a little bit longer than the Snaz.