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Upper Mother's Buttress
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Questions and Answers 

YDS: 5.10+ French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 20 British: E3 5b

   
Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 400', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Andy Petefish, et. al.
Page Views: 6,723
Submitted By: Matthew Seymour on Oct 28, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (29)
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Description 

This is one of the best climbs in the canyon. It is steep, sustained, and has excellent exposure.

Pitch 1: 5.8, 120 feet. Start with a short lie back in a right-facing corner and gain good hands in the chimney. Continue up double cracks in the chimney with great jamming until you can exit right to a large ledge and belay.

Pitch 2: 5.10, 150 feet. To the right of the belay is a beautiful, smooth wall with double thin cracks leading up to a roof. Traverse out onto the face and climb the twin cracks, great climbing and jamming, protects well with small wires and cams. Reach the roof and traverse right utilizing an excellent, horizontal, hand crack, passing a useless bolt at your feet (stepping on it is cheating). Pull around the roof to an optional belay. Continue up the crack above that leads to a right-facing corner and belay on a small ledge.

Pitch 3: 5.10, 150 feet. Climb the excellent crack up the dihedral in smooth dike rock, ring locks through hands. Gain a stance below a roof in the gray rock and pass it with hands. Continue to the top and belay.

Descend to the right down the gully with two double rope raps from chockstones. Or down Doppelgänger which is 60 feet up canyon from the top out of Questions and Answers at a prow, below a large dead pinyon pine.

Location 

This is one of the furthest routes to the right on Upper Mother's Buttress. Scramble a short distance up the drainage between Middle and Upper Mother's until you see a short, right-facing dihedral leading into a chimney with double hand cracks in the back.

Protection 

Double set of cams to hands, and nuts.


Photos of Questions and Answers Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 1.
Pitch 1.
Rock Climbing Photo: This is pitch #2....so good.
BETA PHOTO: This is pitch #2....so good.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up P2.
Looking up P2.
Rock Climbing Photo: Hanging Chad on P1.
Hanging Chad on P1.
Rock Climbing Photo: Panorama of pitch 1.
Panorama of pitch 1.
Rock Climbing Photo: Beta.
BETA PHOTO: Beta.

Comments on Questions and Answers Add Comment
Show which comments
By Jesse Bernier
From: Northern Tahoe
Sep 7, 2008
rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

This is by far one of the best routes in Unaweep Canyon. A must do to realize that Unaweep isn't complete choss. Long, sustained, and exposed on great rock. After today you can rap safely down the gully with one 60 meter rope. There are now good slings on the giant chock that you used to pass on the second rappel. 3 60 meter raps.
By John Peterson
Apr 26, 2009

The first pitch is the best 5.8 I've done in Unaweep. The anchor at the top is good and it's easy to get back down. A 70 reaches the ground from the ledge. We used some bigger camalots (a #4 and #5) - not required but makes it easier to protect. An excellent pitch for a 5.8 leader.
By Jesse Zacher
Administrator
From: Grand Junction, Co
Dec 6, 2010

There is a slightly harder variation to the first pitch. Climb original line for 20 feet than step right on the sloping ledge and climb up the slightly broken rock to a bolt and ledge. Then Climb the right dihedral and come up on the right side of the belay ledge.
By Ralph Swansen
From: Denver CO
Mar 12, 2013
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Great route!

Very sustained and pumpy.

First pitch is a solid 5.8+.

Second is the crux, approaching 10b/c, my second favorite pitch of the climb.

Third is the money pitch 10 a/b.

Just awesome.
By Mickey Guziak
From: Grand Junction
Oct 17, 2013

Just a note: After pitch one if you take the left way up the chimney, make sure to rap at the next belay (slings on a big boulder with quicklink, 2 60m ropes.) If you choose to summit, be aware that there is terrible choss on the final pitch. In the book this route is called "slip sliding away" and I'm pretty sure I now know why it was not posted on MP.
By clay meier
Sep 14, 2014

Call me a wuss, but I would rate the 2nd pitch as solid 5.11. Also, for first timers, bring 2 ropes for getting down. We didn't and we had to do a bunch of shenanigans to get down.
By Johann Aberger
Nov 8, 2014

One of the best in Unaweep - kudos to the FA team for their vision on P. 2.

A few thoughts:
Pitch 2 - this pitch would be a sandbag at 10d, but in keeping with the old-school nature of ratings in Unaweep, it fits. Gear is PG-13, small but adequate. The crack below the roof is not a "hand crack," unless you have tiny hands (purple-green Camalots). It is about 180 feet to an alcove belay that sets you up for a 160 foot 3rd pitch.
Pitch 3 - 10c. Outstanding.
We rapped Doppleganger with 2 60 meter ropes and no shenanigans.
By Michael Sweeney
Sep 2, 2015

Had to bail due to electric conditions in them clouds. We left a decent amount of gear behind. I'm going up tomorrow to retrieve it. If someone beats me to it, I'd love to get it back.

Edit: Got the gear back. Still have a rogue C4 0.3 out there somewhere. What a stout climb!
By Vic
Mar 21, 2016

As another descent option, it is also possible to rappel Scanners, which is a newer bolted slab route to the right of the old descent gully. This involves three straightforward, single rope rappels on bolted anchors (we had a 70m). From the P2 belay on Q&A, look toward the left shoulder of Middle Mothers, and locate the top anchor on Scanners (about 75-100 feet from the top of the formation). Getting to this anchor involves some exposed 3rd/4th class, but it is not bad.

Super classic line! One hard-ass 5.10 route!
By SummitSender
May 28, 2016

WARNING route beta ahead:

Climbing:
P1 easy 5.8 pitch nice warm up. Has some runouts without a #4 or larger, but it's easy climbing. Bolted anchor.

P2: leave belay right to a good flake (runners!!!). Transition into finger crack up and right. Continue up this crack most of the way to the roof. That's the crux. After the thin crack, hand traverse a ledge right to pull around the roof (0.5-0.75 crack). Continue through easy climbing, then stop at a ledge with a off finger crack in the back of a shallow squeeze chimney. Build anchor here (0.4-0.75).

P3: climb a shallow squeeze chimney with off fingers and ring locks. This turns into multiple cracks and is a huge open book under the roof. Rest under the roof plug some good gear way out, and turn the roof. Prepare for surprise after the roof! Belay off big tree on top (watch out for ants!!!).

Rap: with 1 70m, you can do 3 raps. 1st rap station is on the far side of the gully off a little tree. If you can, bring new webbing for the first anchor. The rope will leave you just 10 feet short of the next station. Easy non-exposed downclimb to next rap anchor (use caution). Stop at 2 new rap chains on the face to the right of the huge old chockstone that once was the final rap. 3rd rap from the rings on the face. You end just shy of your packs. Downclimb/ scramble easy 10 ft to packs.

The route gets sun at 11-4 or so.