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Dreamscape Buttress 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, 5 pitches, 600'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Dave DesChamps & ? 1996
Page Views: 4,605
Submitted By: BenJamN on Mar 5, 2009

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BETA PHOTO: The route goes up the right side of the left most ...


Climbs the less often visited East side of the Westworld Dome.
See Bob Kerry description here =>
All bolts have hangers. 5th pitch not as dicey as description says nor is the route necky by modern standards. Fun route with easy approach and fantastic views. Finding the descent route can be a bit frustrating. Look far over the east edge on the summit to spy the hanging belay bolts which facilitate 140' rap to tree (another 140' to ground from tree). Two ropes.


The approach is way easier than described in Kerry's book. Walk up dry wash that leads to squaretop. Less than 5min you see a rock cairn which marks a side trail out of the wash along the northeast (hikers left) side. Follow climber trail along flat ground until in turns into drainage which leads to east buttress route. Occasionally marked with cairns and well-traveled; easy to see in most places following line of least resistance.


Gear to 3", pitch one has a bolt, pitch two has three bolts... all pitches protect well with cracks and/or slung chickenheads/chickenwings.

Photos of Dreamscape Buttress Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: just lassoed the "huge solitary chickenhead,&...
just lassoed the "huge solitary chickenhead,&...
Rock Climbing Photo: The start of the route next to 25' tree as describ...
BETA PHOTO: The start of the route next to 25' tree as describ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Here's Charles Vernon's photo with the belays mark...
BETA PHOTO: Here's Charles Vernon's photo with the belays mark...
Rock Climbing Photo: This is Dreamscape Buttress as seen from Squaretop...
BETA PHOTO: This is Dreamscape Buttress as seen from Squaretop...
Rock Climbing Photo: Very cool slab climbing
Very cool slab climbing
Rock Climbing Photo: Stu exiting the crux crack on pitch 4 while Jeff l...
Stu exiting the crux crack on pitch 4 while Jeff l...
Rock Climbing Photo: Stu leading pitch 5
Stu leading pitch 5

Comments on Dreamscape Buttress Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Feb 6, 2017
By Braxtron
From: ...
Mar 10, 2009

Excellent beta. Thanks!
By M. Hesse
Nov 22, 2009

Say what? The description as stated is inaccurate. In respect to the approach the access trail(s) are not well-established, and the route, as Kerry accurate describes, is runout and not to be taken casually. There are two significant runouts: pitch 1 (or pitch 2 depending on if you break up the pitch- which is advisable), and the final pitch, where my partner lassoed the chicken-head before making the move. The rap anchors are hidden from view and you need to climb down a ways to find them. Despite needing 2 more bolts, it's a great route and a great adventure.
By BenJamN
From: Washington State
Nov 30, 2009

Hmmm, well my team did not have trouble finding the trail.
M.H. is right there is not a well worn trough to the climb, but one doesn't have to battle cacti either...

Not sure about breaking up first pitch, its a long pitch as described in Kerry.
Pitch 2 as Kerry describes has three bolts and then good gear.
Pitch 3 as Kerry describes is crux and has a bolt near top of pitch.
4th pitch has lots of gear potential.
On last pitch, the leader can put in a bomber cam prior to committing to climbing up to chickenhead.

I created the Dreamscape page link, as my partner and I felt this was a fun adventure worth climbing again.
Perhaps I shouldn't have down-played the boldness, but we both felt no more sacred than any other day out in the mountains... climbing is dangerous.
Regardless, it appears the route is getting some ascents!
By climber
Jan 24, 2010

Regarding “Dreamscape Buttress” in the West Stronghold:
It appears that Mountain Project obtained your info from Bob’s guide which is not an accurate source. Dave Des Champs did the FA of this route in the early 1990’s. Joe Astier was not involved in the ascent.
By BenJamN
From: Washington State
Feb 3, 2010

For the record- who was DDC's partner ??
By Larry
From: SoAZ
Mar 22, 2010

There is some really fun climbing on this route, but I wouldn't recommend it to just anyone. You want to be ready for it. It is runout by modern standards.
By Robert B. McLeod
Dec 13, 2010

Some impartial observations. First of all, the approach is neither short nor easy. It's long and in terrible condition: lots of loose rocks and soil. Second, the climb does not always protect well. There is injury potential on the first pitch if you do not place gear off route and then back clean it. On the fourth pitch if you stray right, there is no pro for at least 60 feet before you top out on a ledge. This ledge is good for escape from the wind, but is off route. If you have more than two people, you might want to go here to have a comfortable belay. To get back on route, simply traverse left about 30 feet and start straight up toward the famous chickenhead. This is definitely R rated. Wind and communication are often problems, so radios can be good. The last pitch is some of the most fun, exposed climbing in the Stronghold. The climb is highly recommended, with these few reservations. I'd like to get permission to put some pink hangers on the ledge variation, as it would constitute a safer alternative for larger parties or those climbing on windy days.
By Hendrixson
From: Tucson, AZ
Feb 20, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13

There are now two bolts right of the runout chickenhead section of pitch 5. These bolts provide a safer, more moderate variation to the route.

I feel a bit robbed having not experienced the move that makes the climb. That said nothing is stopping me from returning and climbing it in the original manner.
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Feb 20, 2011

How close? Did you realize you were off-route when you clipped them?
By Hendrixson
From: Tucson, AZ
Feb 20, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13

The bolts create a distinct line perhaps 20 feet right of the original route. I was pretty sure they were off route but it wasn't my lead.
By Hendrixson
From: Tucson, AZ
Feb 21, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13

The bolts were recently drilled as there was fresh rock dust. I do not know whether they were new or replacement hardware.

If recollection serves it was on moderate face (5.7?); no hand crack in sight. I believe we were on route until after we veered right to protect in the horizontal crack. Rather than returning left to the huge solitary chickenhead, we went further right encountering the bolts.
By Kevin Lee
Apr 22, 2011

Everyone should be aware that Dave is putting up new routes on that Buttress. Specifically, you will see three new bolts near pitch 5 of Dreamscape. That is actually the 5th pitch of a seperate route. If you chose that variation is as about 5.8.
By arjunmh
From: Phoenix & Prescott, AZ
Oct 6, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Straightforward to get there if you know roughly what the buttress looks like -- easiest to think of it as being between Square Top and Moby Dick, read the directions here or in Kerry (both are fine), and don't expect a trail. It's a long slog up a small drainage, but it's hard to go wrong as it's just the single drainage. Look at the pic of the 1st pitch as it'll help you locate. I would definitely not recommend this for you if you're uncomfortable with runout climbing and aren't at ease with 5.10 leading. Sure, it's about a 9, but would likely be heady and potentially dangerous if you're not totally secure. Fun jaunt.
By Ethan S.
Apr 12, 2015
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a


If you are planning on doing this route in the very near future...

Unfortunately my rope got snagged on the first rappel, luckily my partner and I were able to retrieve one rope, fix it, and rappel off. That being said... both ropes are still hanging off that cliff.

My partner may make it out sooner and be able to get them, but I am unsure when I will be able to make it out there again.

If you do these rappels and are able to retrieve these ropes, We would both be VERY VERY grateful.
By rpc
Feb 6, 2017

Very fun route with the last pitch (the original, chicken-head slinging one) being the highlight.

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