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East Buttress T 
East couloir 

East Buttress 

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

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, 13 pitches, 2000', Grade V
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Bill Stronge & Arold Greene, 9/4-5/1971
Page Views: 1,084
Submitted By: Richard Shore on Sep 8, 2014

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Johnny K stemming the upper part of P9.

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Description 

A big climb and a good exercise in route finding. The FA party graded the route III 5.7, but the subsequent second ascent team had a conflicting report. The first ascentionists were apparently known for serious sandbagging (two-day ascent = grade III?!). Described as a 17 pitch route elsewhere, we found 13 long pitches (~55 meter average) up the buttress to gain the final easy ridgeline to the summit. I've stuck with the grade listed in the Secor guidebook, but by modern standards this route is probably more like a long IV 5.9+/10a. Expect blocky climbing with short cruxy steps on a ledge-y buttress. Care must be taken not to knock rocks down on your rope and belayer. Many faded generations of bail slings can be found along the route - try to use these as a source of inspiration rather than fear, or else add to the tat-pile.

Start climbing up a recessed chimney system just right of the toe of the buttress. The P1 belay is marked by a butterknife sticking out of a crack in an alcove. P2 climbs airy face out right towards the arete and then back left into the chimney. Follow crack systems up and slightly left onto the buttress, generally bypassing towers on the right. No memorable landmarks through this bit - many cracks and variations are possible. Choose your own adventure. At the top of our 8th pitch, we encountered a steep wall with a fixed pin and stopper, setup for rappel. Rappel ~40' down to the right onto a sloping ledge system. This is where the route has changed from previous descriptions - the "bowling pin-like blade of rock" at the corner of the ledge appears to have departed from the mountain, evidenced by the lighter colored rock scar behind where it once sat. This flake was reportedly ascended at 5.7-5.8. In it's absence, one may climb the thin corner behind where it once sat (5.10+?), or climb the face/thin crack at the far right side of the sloping ledge (5.9+/10a). Work your way up and right into a corner/stembox. P11 was the best pitch of the route - a clean splitter on the sidewall of an acute dihedral, leading into a beautiful section of clean layback fingercrack. Two more pitches land you on top of the nearly flat, narrow summit ridge. Unrope or simulclimb here. Mostly 3rd class along the ridge with a short section of easy 5th up to the top of the first false summit. A long walk leads to the summit proper.

Location 

For the descent, two options exist - the North Chute (loose, dirty and steep, probably best when filled with snow) or the East Chute (easy sand to big talus boulders).

Protection 

A single rack from small to #3 camalot, set of stoppers. We took doubles in 0.75, 1 and 2. Many long slings. Some throw-away cord to backup the rappel station atop P8.


Photos of East Buttress Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: East buttress P11 corner
East buttress P11 corner
Rock Climbing Photo: East Buttress Richard shore on Pitch cruise contro...
East Buttress Richard shore on Pitch cruise contro...
Rock Climbing Photo: East BUTTERtress  P1 belay
East BUTTERtress P1 belay
Rock Climbing Photo: The final summit ridge, with Lone Pine Peak in the...
The final summit ridge, with Lone Pine Peak in the...
Rock Climbing Photo: East Buttress
East Buttress
Rock Climbing Photo: Mt Irvine's East Buttress
Mt Irvine's East Buttress
Rock Climbing Photo: Richard Shore leading the crux P9. Photo by Johnny...
Richard Shore leading the crux P9. Photo by Johnny...
Rock Climbing Photo: Richard Shore leading P1 of the East Buttress V 5....
Richard Shore leading P1 of the East Buttress V 5....
Rock Climbing Photo: Johnny K leading a 5.10+ thin fingers variation on...
Johnny K leading a 5.10+ thin fingers variation on...
Rock Climbing Photo: Richard Shore leading the stellar P11. Photo by Jo...
Richard Shore leading the stellar P11. Photo by Jo...
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunrise on the East Buttress of Irvine, with Meysa...
Sunrise on the East Buttress of Irvine, with Meysa...

Comments on East Buttress Add Comment
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By Burcheydawwwwwwg
Feb 25, 2015

Thanks for posting this up, Tanner and I got shut down on this last summer. After we wore ourselves out on harder, false starts to the crux pitch, we realized we didn't have the juice or the time to get it done. The bowling pin is actually just below the fixed pin rappel on that steep wall. I believe you guys downclimbed it, as you hit the ledge, it's what you're holding onto.

This:

Rock Climbing Photo: not the start.  Thin moves low
not the start. Thin moves low


...is what we threw ourselves at, wanting it to go because it looked so nice. It was maybe 15-20 feet from the bowling pin, just before and around the corner from the real start, and protected low with micronuts. Yikes! We were not strong enough, and turned to the rest of the right-trending ledge. I think you guys took the crack (based on the picture) at the far right end of the ledge, right before it dropped off. We toyed with that as well. The actual start (I think) is between these two, in a corner. Starts off with crack climbing, ends up with right-trending face climbing. This pic shows part of that face (if I'm correct)

Rock Climbing Photo: looking up from the corner start
looking up from the corner start



Either way, nice work getting up it - the way you went was most likely harder, and it looks like we missed out on some SWEET climbing above that. Next time!

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