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Talk Buttress
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Baby Talk T 
Direct North Ridge T 
Empty Rhetoric T 
Hyperbole S 
Look Who's Talking T 
Notalotatalk T 
Over Easy T 
Talkin' Smack S 
Talking Tough T 

Empty Rhetoric 

YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b R

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 50'
Original:  YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b R [details]
FA: Bret and Stuart Ruckman, 1990
Page Views: 33
Submitted By: John Steiger on Aug 7, 2013

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This is the right-leaning Lost Arrow-size crack rising out of the bottom of the dark gully/wide chimney left of Look Who'’s Talking. If you like placing tiny gear in spicy situations, Empty Rhetoric is the route for you. It actually climbs well (the Ruckmans gave it one out of three starts in their guide) and with patience and the right gear, you can sew it up. But because the route leans to the right as does the ground, and there is a wall a body length behind you, as well as a ledge that could flip you over half-way, the R rating is probably warranted.

Battle up the LA crack to a horizontal break (avoid the urge to clip the fourth bolt of Hyperbole), move right to catch another, slightly thinner crack, and continue battling to its top. Do not be dismayed by the occasional patch of lichen or nice garden feature at the break; they are inconsequential.


Empty Rhetoric can be accessed by downclimbing the wide chimney/gully left of Look Who’s Talking. However, a far superior way to reach the base of Empty Rhetoric is to follow the description for the Direct North Ridge, but continue up the gully/wide chimney until the route becomes apparent, just past the bolted line of Hyperbole.


The smallest brass/steel (offsets useful) and up, the smallest cams to maybe one-inch, and a gold Camalot or its equivalent for a pod near the top. Might want a helmet. Empty Rhetoric ends at a large sloping ledge at a two bolt stance. Continue on DNR, Hypebole, or Look Who’s Talking, or figure a way down.

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