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Northeast Buttress 

YDS: 5.4 French: 4a Ewbanks: 12 UIAA: IV ZA: 10 British: VD 3c

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 1000', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.4 French: 4a Ewbanks: 12 UIAA: IV ZA: 10 British: VD 3c [details]
FA: John Climaco, Chris Breemer - 11.7.1992
Page Views: 310
Submitted By: Preston Rhea on Jun 30, 2015  with updates from Ben Garland

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The knife-edge ridge of pitches three and four. Re...


The Northeast Buttress is the original route on Torre de Mierda. It takes a fine line right up a buttress splitting the north face.

The first four pitches are straightforward and very fun. The rock is more solid here than elsewhere on the peak and in the area and the protection generally better as well. That said, as with all routes in the area: caution must be exercised. The route stays on the crest of the buttress, occasionally dipping slightly to one side or the other.

Pitches three and four are on a spectacular knife-edge arete with great exposure to either side. What is more unusual is the easiest climbing is on positive incut holds along the very crest.

After the knife-edge arete, the climbing drops into third class scrambling to the summit. Depending on where the belays are, it takes between four and five pitches to complete the technical climbing.


The route starts atop a white slab of chossy rock.

To descend, third class downclimbing to the south into the notch brings you to an easy gully. Follow this down to the west off the peak.


The rack should consist of doubles in cams from .4-#2, with a single #3.

Photos of Northeast Buttress Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The Northeast Buttress.
BETA PHOTO: The Northeast Buttress.

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By Ben Garland
Sep 10, 2015
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

This is NOT a 5.4 -- we followed the route exactly, and it is more like a 5.7, maybe even a 5.8. A 5.4 suggests the route should be easy and quick, basically a scramble to the top, and this was anything but. It took us 7 pitches with a 60 m rope and about 8 hours to get to the top which is ridiculous. Granted, we aren't the most experienced climbers in the world, but we have done 5.8 and 5.9 multipitch in other locations at a much faster pace. Also, due to the instability of the rock and the lack of good cracks, it was very time consuming to even find suitable locations to place solid pro -- especially after we got past the first 2 pitches.

As it was, we ended up spending the night (unprepared) at the top because the sun was going down shortly after we summited. The climb down is as described, you go through the gully to the west which looks treacherous until you actually start to get down in it, then the climb down is a fairly simple traverse of some big slabby benches until you see a way to safely get into the center of the gully after which you basically just walk down a narrow field of broken rocks. As the gully widens towards the base, you can cut right to end up back at the start of the climb to retrieve any gear you may have left at the bottom.

The approach is also a pain in the butt. Plan on about 90 minutes from the trailhead parking to the base of the climb, and try not to twist your ankle on all of the moraine.

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