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Disappearing Buttress

Routes Sorted
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Haul for Nothing T 
Maraschino Crack T 
Missing Nothing T 
Ms. Management T 
No Country for Young Men T 
Pricks and Ticks T 
Prime Rib T 
Sunday Cruise T 
Vanishing Act T 

Disappearing Buttress Rock Climbing 

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Location: 36.00623, -115.46607 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Larry DeAngelo, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Andrew Carson on Sep 7, 2009
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BETA PHOTO: The Disappearing Buttress. The leftmost line is No...

RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone in Red Rocks is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. MORE INFO >>>


A small canyon cuts into the escarpment just north of the well known Illusion Crags. On the north side of this drainage, more or less at the entrance, is a 500' buttress which we called the Disappearing Buttress. Surely it's been visited by climbers over the years, and the January '09 parties found some old webbing at a rap station, but there's no record of these earlier groups.
There are already several enjoyable routes on good rock, with room for more. The area receives a long day of sun even in the dead of winter, since there isn't a massive formation to the south which would intercept the sun, something of an issue in other canyons. Although you can't escape the sound of traffic from the Pahrump Hwy, it still has a distinct feel of privacy and solitude, with little sign so far of previous passage. The descent is easy, the approach is neither long nor hard, and the area, particularly the upper tier of rock beneath which descending parties hike, offers a lot of room for future routes. This upper band is of especially attractive rock but is probably far enough away that it will be a while before routes are established.

Getting There 

Drive as for Illusion Crags (and on to Windy Peak) and park at any of several pullouts below the Illusion area. Hike across the desert and into the mouth of the canyon, and to the base of the buttress.

Although there are options, it is probably easiest to park at a small turnout a few hundred yards north of the normal parking spot for the Illusion Crags. Head across the desert following occasional trail fragments toward the cliff. The route goes generally up the small ridgelets in the area of the main wash. As you approach the mouth of the canyon, cross to the right and follow improving trails on the north side of the canyon. The route passes under a dark varnished wall on the hillside, detached from the bigger formation.


From the shoulder at the top of the buttress a long, spacious ledge system angles west beneath another tier of cliffs. Walk and scramble along this, crossing a couple of very minor ridges, to a wide slabby gully. Go down the gully to the slopes below. From this point it is probably easiest to pass right (south) of the small outcrop, then contour east toward the toe of the buttress.

Climbing Season

For the Southern Outcrops area.

Weather station 5.4 miles from here

9 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',4],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Disappearing Buttress

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Disappearing Buttress:
Sunday Cruise   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13     Trad, 3 pitches, 500'   
Prime Rib   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 4 pitches, 500'   
No Country for Young Men   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 3 pitches, 350'   
Vanishing Act   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Trad, 500'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Disappearing Buttress

Featured Route For Disappearing Buttress
Rock Climbing Photo: Bill Hotz arriving on top.

Vanishing Act 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c  Nevada : Red Rock : ... : Disappearing Buttress
Near the right side of the Disappearing Buttress south face are two attractive dihedrals. The route climbs the left one. Start from broken ledges below the two dihedrals. Climb an easy and slightly brushy pitch up to the ledge at the base of the corners. 100'. Climb a corner just left of the main leftmost dihedral for about 40', then step right into the dihedral as it widens into a chimney. Layback/chimney up the corner to the roof blocking progress and undercling/stem left to pass the roof. Continue...[more]   Browse More Classics in Nevada

Photos of Disappearing Buttress Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: A view of the Disappearing Buttress from the south...
A view of the Disappearing Buttress from the south...

Comments on Disappearing Buttress Add Comment
Show which comments
By Maurice Horn
From: Bozeman, MT
Dec 5, 2009
Gray and I climbed Prime Rib in November of 2009, my third ascent of the route. It is a superb winter climb because of the sunny exposure. We did it in 4 pitches. Both previous ascents were done in 5 pitches. Good luck finding your way across the desert. It’s well worth the effort.
Probably the North side of the canyon is a better approach than the Illusion Crag side. It is separate from the Illusion Crag and has a new name: Disappearing Buttress
It has three routes developed in 2009 and they were posted on MP. They are left-to-right: No Country For Young Men 5.8, Prime Rib 5.7 and Vanishing Act 5.9.
By cassondra long
Mar 15, 2010
Be sure to factor in enough time so you don't walk back in the dark. The walk off the top is not bad, but the hike from the base back to the parking area is not well defined due to lack of traffic. The sublte complexity of the terrain makes route-finding a challenge. The going is steep in places with a lot of loose rock and cactus (so much cactus,)and of course scruboak thickets (nothing like a little bush wrestling to end the day.)

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