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0. Henderson's Buttress
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Henderson 

YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a PG13

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches, 550', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a PG13 [details]
FA: Henry Baldwin, Robert Bates, Robert Bishop, Kenneth Henderson, William House, Betty Woolsey, September 1940
Page Views: 556
Submitted By: bradley white on Aug 30, 2012

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G. Malone "On Belay"- Henderson, Nov 196...

Description 

On the left side of the buttress face, I moved diagonally up on easy face climbing (5.2). This is a variation way up instead of the large right facing corner. I traversed under a undesirable to climb bulge and went right of it up broken cliff. Here is the standard belay 150 feet. Lots of loose rock potential on this pitch anyway up. Climb up left to large ledge 50 feet and this is the second standard belay. Traverse south on this ledge until it stops to belay 100 feet. Look at the short head wall and be perplexed (where is it (5.5?). Commit to a move left on shallow holds that does the crux. Easier than it looks. Continue up wide dike gully thing of lower angle rock and little pro 100 feet? Belay at a tree of choice. This next pitch is really weird. The arches are upside down in this section. Climb sloping friction for feet and handholds on the arches edges (5.2 and trees for pro), 130 feet or finish route up cracked outcrop 20-30 feet right. Belay at Pine spruce and Fir trees. Wander through the forest to W.G.T. I free soloed it on sight in 1986, after drinking a bottle of plum wine. Its the traditional way. That bulge of rotten rock on the first pitch, midway up the second pitch I sent a three axle truck size rock off the cliff and that removed that undesirable rock bulge. Such fun! Sobered up quick on the shallow hand hold crux. Presently below this cliff section it is very overgrown. There used to be a trail. This trail is mostly gone. The bushwhack from W.G.R. trail to Henderson's Buttress can be heinous. It is a alpine classic climb though. Some loose rocks, perplexing route finding problems and mostly trees for protection. For the few who would appreciate a life threatening easy climbing challenge. Henderson's sees many retreats. If you find your way to the fourth pitch, its a meat grinder fall down those upside down arches. Besides such things the climb is easy climbing most of the way.

Location 

Furthest buttress south on Cannon. Move around the the large right facing corner to the opposite side before the rotten left facing corner and start anywhere the holds are nearest to the ground. Henderson and companions created a cairn marked trail that starts directly below the buttress. The trail through the scree is solid and decent until near the crash zone from 'Omega' ice route. To get to the base of the scree field on this side is way to complicated to describe in detail. It is how they went up.
To Simply state how to get there... Traverse south as soon as able. Then a alpine tree and berry garden is reached (at its base is a perfect, flat rock, Large enough for a two person tent, allowable because cannon scree is N.F.S.).
The area is traversed on the rocks only, leave no trace if camping and has some easy boulder moves to get up into the garden. When the garden ends hop from one foot rock to another until at the base of a 20ft boulder. This is where the cairn trail directly goes up.
Another trail diagonal's south and up. I made it and it has cairn. Went there to check out the furthest south side. It is a dangerous trail where it terminates, a long hike, gain in height and little to no quality rock climbing.
There also is an alternative trail I made up to the W.G.R.. It begins just before the alpine garden, goes up on solid scree much of the way. It has short switch backs, all rock, is cairn marked, until it moves left near to the W.G.R. because there is loose scree to avoid. Comes out at the base of 'Ambrosia'.

Protection 

Small trad rack and tree slings. Rabbit's foot. Walk off. Rappel the rope will probably get hung up on the cliff somewhere pulling it down to retrieve it.


Photos of Henderson Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Gerry Malone tops out on the Henderson, Nov 1967 (...
Gerry Malone tops out on the Henderson, Nov 1967 (...

Comments on Henderson Add Comment
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By Robert Hall
Administrator
From: North Conway, NH
Sep 24, 2013

I did it a zillion years ago on a Nov 11th (forget the year, probably '66 or '67) and from Brad's description....maybe it goes better frozen or semi-frozen! Memories remain of Powder snow on the last friction exit move. Other than that....less scary than the Muir.

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