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Whitney Portal Buttress
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Beckey-Callis T 
Gangway T 
Ghostrider T,S 
Mean Streak T 
Nimbus T 
No Country For Old Men T 
Tanager (aka "5.11 Crack") T 
Trivial Pursuit T 


YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b PG13

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 400', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b PG13 [details]
Season: March-October
Page Views: 1,747
Submitted By: Darshan Ahluwalia on Mar 16, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (12)
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Rob Beno checking out the big exposure on P3 of Ni...

Portal Road Closure MORE INFO >>>


This route follows the obvious arete and crack system located on the right-most end of Whitney Portal Buttress. The route can be seen from afar. Look for the clean left-curving crack halfway up the wall and you've found the crux second pitch.

P1: 5.9 PG-13 face climbing, 4 bolts and a couple horns for protection. Climb an easy fourth-class ramp to the left to meet the Buttress. Here there is a good stance to place your first pieces of protection in the right-leaning hand crack. Climb up the knobby face, clipping 4 bolts and slinging a couple horns for pro. The last move to the belay involves a balancy no-hands step onto a knob. This pitch is slightly run-out warranting a PG-13 rating.

P2: The good one. Lots of 5.10 crack climbing. Layback/jam the obvious left leaning crack for 15 or so feet. This is the crux. As you go, the wide crack thins to fingers and becomes more vertical. Climb straight up the 5.10 finger crack or look left for a perfect-handcrack, which is significantly easier. This is pumpy!

P3: 5.8. Layback the super thin flake. Climb up an easy blocky ramp. After about 50 feet you can either end the pitch at the rap anchors or continue up the bolted slab, which climbs a few inches to the very edge of the arete. The bolts are widely spaced on this upper part of the pitch. Exciting!


Approach this route as for Ghostrider or Gangway. Continue heading East, towards the right end of the Buttress. The route is located on the right most end of the Whitney Buttress. Go as far as you can until the Buttress ends and you are on the right side of the arete. Look up towards the arete to spot the first bolt.

Descent: Rappel the route with the two 60 meter ropes.


A few long slings for slinging horns on the first pitch; a couple regular slings for the left-leaning crack on the second pitch.

Regular rack including doubles of finger and hand-sized gear. Bring some small nuts (useful for second pitch).

Photos of Nimbus Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Rob Beno high on P1 of Nimbus 5.10c
Rob Beno high on P1 of Nimbus 5.10c
Rock Climbing Photo: Claudio on the airy ridge of the last pitch
Claudio on the airy ridge of the last pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Claudio's photo of me in the 2nd pitch
Claudio's photo of me in the 2nd pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 2 of Nimbus, past the pumpy layback section.
Pitch 2 of Nimbus, past the pumpy layback section.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch one of Nimbus climbs up the easy 4th class r...
Pitch one of Nimbus climbs up the easy 4th class r...

Comments on Nimbus Add Comment
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By Bryan G
From: Yosemite
May 26, 2009

I only recall 3 bolts on the first pitch - 2 on the knobby dike and 1 just before the anchors. The 2nd pitch is committing if you lie it back, but also much easier than 10c. Placing gear from the lieback would be strenuous and impossible to see, but if you don't mind getting a bit above your gear on what feels more like 5.9 moves, you'll cruise on through it. Jamming it would make placing gear much easier but it's also probably much harder climbing. Pitch 3 is an awesome arete that's just as classic as pitch 2.

Bring 2 ropes to rap. We only had one 70 because the Croft/Lewis guide incorrectly states that it's three 35M rappels to the ground. If you only have one rope you can rap from P3 Bolted Anchor -> P2 Bolted Anchor -> slings on a flake off to the right -> P1 Bolted Anchor -> single lead bolt on P1 -> ground.
By Russ Walling
Sep 10, 2009
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13

I thought this route was kinda hunky. The rock is not very good (grainy) and the location and moves are just not that memorable. Very average to poor outing. There are much better routes to do in the Portal. I would not do it again.

That being said:
First pitch does have only 3 bolts. You can sling a flake or two, one at the start, and one just below the last bolt. Anchor is at two Mussy Hooks on a good stance. There are a couple of ankle breaker boulder problems mid pitch, so don't fall.
Second pitch takes a couple thin pieces to start and then awkward moves along the layback flake with crumbly feet is your reward. Run this pitch all the way up to another good ledge to a Mussy Hook anchor.
Third pitch is some easy slab on an arete with 3 bolts. This pitch is real short, like maybe 35 or 40 feet to another set of Mussy Hooks.

Watch out when you rap. Not only do you need two ropes (60m) but when you pull the cords from the top of pitch 2, there is a big flake out left that will eat your rope.
By susan peplow
From: Joshua Tree
Sep 10, 2009
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13

What do the kids say these days????? Suck it?

The route is not worth the hike. Crumbly rock, mediocre climbing and considering your feet could cut loose at any time you'll be paying attention to the fall factor.

Second pitch is kinda cool when you go from the lie back to the jamming and calling it any less than 10c would be a sandbag. The gear is good but difficult to get in and again, with the crumbly feet you'd better have your game on.

Lewis messed up the rap lengths as previously reported. Thankfully he told us as much so we were prepared. (2) 60m ropes will do ya.

The good news??? It's off my tick list & will likely not be repeated.

By Tom Baerfuss
From: Switzerland
Jun 9, 2010
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

very cool route
By jfailing
From: Portland, OR
May 6, 2012

First pitch spooked me a bit, but was doable. An offset cam can be plugged just before the last bolt.

Second pitch was awkward - the arching crack (called 10c in the Lewis/Croft guidebook) was weird but doable with some delicate footwork on small greasy edges, and sometimes a foot in the crack. The finger crack after this section was pretty good (thought this was the crux).

The final third pitch was the most memorable of the climb - 5.8 slab with some cool movement and less than obvious feet. Looking over the arete onto the green face beyond was pretty rad.

Indeed the guidebook is wrong (wished we'd knew that) about the raps, but the route is rappable with a 70m rope, if you're willing to rap off some tat and have a bear of a time pulling your ropes.

Overall, like previous folks have said, there are much better routes in the Portal - don't know why this one gets 5 stars...
By Richard Shore
May 6, 2012

I'm surprised by all the negative comments here. This route kicks ass. P2 is the goods, and ~55m long to the chains. The "awkward" lieback/jam section was thoughtful and fun, and based on posts above, I assume the feet have cleaned up. Not brittle or grainy. We thought this section was actually a bit soft for .10c, and the fingers above is the crux. P3 is very short and sorta silly, but in a wondrous position.
By erik rieger
From: Ridgway, CO
Nov 8, 2013

Worthwhile, but not mega compared to other nearby routes. Definitely some grainy rock on the second pitch.

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