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South Buttress 

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

   
Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 300', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a X [details]
FA: Bruce Watson, Brian Watson, Charles Cuningham, 1970
Page Views: 885
Submitted By: ferrells on Nov 16, 2008

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Description 

Deep in the Marsupials, this route deserves more attention than it receives. The first pitch, beginning at the Juniper snag, is mostly low angle face climbing that meanders up the back side of the buttress. Follow the line of weakness, and you'll be fine. Expect no protection.
The route angle will flatten out, and you will find yourself at the bottom of a short section of exposed vertical rock.
With your left leg hanging over the abyss, find the solution jug, and mantle your way to another flat section, which seems to pass over a tunnel through the rock (though it's hard to tell from the top). [Note: this is not mentioned in the Watts book- there is probably an easier line, but this way looked really nice].
From there, follow the line of least resistance to the awesome spire summit, where you will find rap anchors.
For me, the first pitch was reminiscent of the final pitch of the Traveller's Buttress at Lover's Leap: long, exposed, with solid knobs and edges. Pass through or over tunnels, around corners, and enjoy the creative routefinding in truly three dimensional terrain on both this and the adjacent Cave Route (South Buttress is much better, I think).
Most pleasant is the varied, somewhat athletic approach, incredible views of the sisters, broken top, and bachelor, an awesome summit, and all with no one around. Dreamy.


Location 

Take a right after the bridge at the bottom of the approach hill, and follow the river around the bend. Pass the Monument, the miraculous The Product (except for the excessive sika, for shame!), a cool sculpted trail in a suspended rock slide, and the old climber's camp on your right. At a stretcher and sign postings, head uphill (two ways, left is easier), and make your way up onto the closed dirt road. Emerge slowly onto the road, taking care not to surprise the rattlers, or the horses (sorry, ma'am). Make your way uphill on the road, and pass the Koala (climb Round River to warm up). Chimney your way through the pass on the downhill side of Brogan Spire, descend a short slab, and hike up hill until you find a "burnt out Juniper snag"(Watts). The route begins here on the vertical stuff, and becomes low angle within twenty feet.

The easiest way to get down seems to be to rappel the Cave Route. A sixty meter rope should make the belays, though I used a forty five, and down-climbed a fifteen foot section of dirty rock (not recommended).

Protection 

I'd bring a set of nuts and a couple of slings. Don't bog yourself down, you won't be able to place any of it anyway. Sixty meter rope.


Comments on South Buttress Add Comment
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By JGHarrison harrison
From: Reno, NV
Oct 23, 2011

The protections is so bad on this climb it is just a formality. Rope drag can be terrible. When I got to the top of the first pitch the bolts were chopped. I think its actually safer to solo this for the leader because rope drag can be very bad. Very cool climbing, but know what you are getting into.
By ferrells
Jan 1, 2013

Wow. Someone chopped the anchor? Why?

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