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Iron Buttress

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Chocolate Bandit S 
Good Time To Be Pretty S 
Iron Maiden S 
Irony Man S 

Iron Buttress Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 6,800'
Location: 39.74006, -105.33914 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 1,785
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Monomaniac on Mar 10, 2016
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A remarkable shield of iron-hued stone looms sentinel-like above the eastern threshold of Clear Creek’s central narrows. This west-facing panel of stone is every bit as good as it looks, offering brilliant climbing on crisp edges and intriguing angular features. The stone is a bit unusual—perhaps even unique—for the canyon, with a rich chocolate-colored patina of rough texture that is incredibly enjoyable to climb. Unfortunately the wall is typically short, and the season is likewise brief. A mandatory river crossing (currently) rules out summer, when this side of the canyon is in high demand. Conversely, winter snow on the north-facing approach would likely make this crag difficult to reach near the winter solstice. Still, when river and snow conditions are right, intrepid climbers will find enough here for a great day of climbing in a spectacular, secluded setting.

Routes R --> L:
1. Chocolate Bandit, 10-, 1p, 5B to 2BA, 40’.
2. Good Time To Be Pretty, 12-, 1p, 5B to 2BA, 40’.
3. Iron Maiden, 12, 1p, 4B to 2BA, 35’.
4. Irony Man, 11-, 1p, 7B to 2BA, 50’.

Getting There 

Scout’s honor, the approach really isn’t as bad as it looks, with only an 8-minute, bushwhack-free hike, once you are across the river. Of course, crossing the river is not trivial. The best place to cross seems to be a few feet upstream of a freshly (still green) fallen pine tree that leans horizontally across the river, where a cheap pair of thigh-high waders will keep you dry in low water. Water levels are typically lowest from late September through late March (though conditions vary, check here for current Clear Creek flow rates, and see a summary of historic annual flow rates below:

Rock Climbing Photo: Clear Creek flow rate data. Note the orange curve,...
Clear Creek flow rate data. Note the orange curve, which is the 40-year average (the blue curve is 2015, but that was an odd year due to a historically wet spring).

See the approach topo for details. Park at the large pullout on the south side of the canyon just below the Sex Cave (this is a bit upstream from the crag). Once across the river, head back UPSTREAM to the first talus field. Climb this talus field to its top, then follow a cairned path up and right, under short cliffs, for 30-40 feet. Switchback left to the ledge system atop the first cliffs (and below another set of cliffs). Make an exposed step across a gully to gain another talus field. Traverse the bottom of the talus field, then head up along its left side for ~50’, exiting left at cairns. Switchback straight up the next narrow, wooded gully, heading east, passing several cairns. The gully broadens and ends at a ridge. Drop down the other side, at a large cairn, traversing the hillside for a few paces before dropping down 20’ to pass just behind a large pine tree. Climb back up along a broad ledge, passing a large boulder on your right, and then continue along the ledge, behind several pine trees, to another short talus field. Cross the talus field to reach the south end of the crag.

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.1 miles from here

4 Total Climbing Routes

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

Classic Climbing Routes in Iron Buttress

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Iron Buttress:
Chocolate Bandit   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   
Good Time To Be Pretty   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   
Iron Maiden   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 35'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Iron Buttress

Featured Route For Iron Buttress
Rock Climbing Photo: Enjoying gorgeous stone on Good Time To Be Pretty.

Good Time To Be Pretty 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a  Colorado : Golden : ... : Iron Buttress
This outstanding route is characterized by a series of thin cruxes split by good, active rests. The climbing is excellent and sustained throughout, on phenomenal stone.Hard, technical face climbing typical of the wall leads to the first bolt and a good shake at the obvious break. Relatively easier moves lead to the next break and a taxing rest before the route’s crux — a long reach past the third bolt. This problem can be surmounted with power or guile (or perhaps a huge wingspan), depending...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Iron Buttress Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Iron Buttress, with a climber on "Good Time T...
Iron Buttress, with a climber on "Good Time T...
Rock Climbing Photo: Another view of the Iron Buttress.
Another view of the Iron Buttress.
Rock Climbing Photo: Clear Creek flow rate data. Note the orange curve,...
BETA PHOTO: Clear Creek flow rate data. Note the orange curve,...
Rock Climbing Photo: Iron Buttress topo.
Iron Buttress topo.

Comments on Iron Buttress Add Comment
Show which comments
By Kevin Capps
From: Golden, CO
Sep 23, 2016
Stick clip very, very mandatory! If you don't want to die. Heinous approach!
By Geoff U
From: Centennial, CO
2 days ago
FYI that we checked out the crossing when the flow was ~230 cfs and that was way too high. I'll probably wait til the gage reads below 125 cfs before checking it out again.

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