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(p) Spiderman Buttress
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Best Left to Obscurity T 
Captain Fingers T 
Cornerstone Variation T 
Explosive Energy Child T 
First Ascent Crack T 
In Harm's Way T 
Necromancer T 
Out of Harm's Way T,S 
Spiderman T 
Spiderman Variation T 
Squashed Spider S 
Stiff Little Fingers S 


YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 180'
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Steve Strauch, Danny Gates 1969
Season: Year Round
Page Views: 30,571
Submitted By: Karsten Duncan on Feb 2, 2006  with updates from Carl Schaefer

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (248)
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BETA PHOTO: 1st Pitch of Spiderman

Seasonal Raptor Closure MORE INFO >>>


Spiderman is one of the great moderate trad climbs at Smith. This crack on the tuft is surprisingly solid and has some surprisingly exciting moves for such an moderately graded climb.

Pitch 1: 5.6 Begin on the right side of a large ramp. climb up a right angling crack to a bolted anchor on the left. . . or continue on and link up pitch 2

Pitch 2: 5.7 Continue up the hand crack in the dihedral above. Belay at bolt anchors on the face.

Pitch 3: 5.7 From the belay move left into a seam that quickly opens into a fingercrack. Take this crack to the improbable roof. Pull the roof and continue up easy climbing to a chain anchor on top. Watch rope drag!

Alternate Pitch 3: This easier but less popular variation lacks the luster of the regular finish. From the belay you can take the crack heading up and left avoiding the roof.

Descent: You can rappel the route with two ropes but pulling the ropes can be nasty.

A walk off descent to climber's right requires a bit of scrambling but is easier.


Stand double cam rack to 3.5 inches w/ standard nuts selection

All anchors are bolted

Photos of Spiderman Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 1 of Spiderman
Pitch 1 of Spiderman
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down from top of second pitch.
Looking down from top of second pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Stepping into the finger crack of pitch 3.  Photo ...
Stepping into the finger crack of pitch 3. Photo ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Heading into the improbable roof.  photo by Andy P...
Heading into the improbable roof. photo by Andy P...
Rock Climbing Photo: Ryan, pulling the Improbable Roof
Ryan, pulling the Improbable Roof
Rock Climbing Photo: CJ heading to the first belay.
CJ heading to the first belay.
Rock Climbing Photo: Raluca Negru chills out at 2nd pitch anchors on Sp...
Raluca Negru chills out at 2nd pitch anchors on Sp...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jon Zweig moving up.
Jon Zweig moving up.
Rock Climbing Photo: First time on Spiderman.
First time on Spiderman.
Rock Climbing Photo: Nearing the top of pitch 2.  Photo by Andy Prahl.
Nearing the top of pitch 2. Photo by Andy Prahl.
Rock Climbing Photo: Start of pitch three (or pitch 2 if first belay wa...
Start of pitch three (or pitch 2 if first belay wa...
Rock Climbing Photo: A nice shot back in my helmet wearing days.  I'm l...
A nice shot back in my helmet wearing days. I'm l...

Comments on Spiderman Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 29, 2016
By Bryson Slothower
Mar 17, 2006

don't rap the route, it's not set up for it (last I saw).
By Karsten Duncan
From: Sacramento, CA
Mar 27, 2006

Aren't the first pitch anchors the fat Metolious bolts that you can rap from????
By Sam Jackson
Apr 4, 2006

Rapping from the top anchors to the first set will get your rope stuck, at least we did, our rope is still up there. It's best to do the walkoff that includes small raps and downclimbing.
By Karsten Duncan
From: Sacramento, CA
Jul 1, 2006

I hear you Sam. I would recommend the walk off also.
By dean rose
Feb 10, 2007

This is generally thought of as a two pitch route (skip the first anchors), it can also be done as one pitch with a 70 meter rope if you are comfortable at the grade. Last anchors are not set up for rappel so plan on walking off which requires some third class down climbing.
By Chris Duca
From: Havertown, PA
Sep 15, 2008
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Phenomenal route in the done as 2 pitches. And I'm not sure what all the talk about the top anchors not being set up for rappelling is all about--We rapped the route in two rappels this past Saturday easily with one 60m rope. No snags, no ropes in other parties faces...nothing.
By Gordon Keepers
May 13, 2009

Just did it on sunday. All three of us rapped it on double 60 meter ropes tied together. Rope was retrieved, just gotta make sure it will pull. Might have to pull hard but it'll come.
By Nate Ball
From: Portland, OR
Nov 7, 2010
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Climbed for the first time yesterday. Lead both pitches. Mostly easy climbing, except for the move to get up to the 1st belay, and getting around the roof. There is one final slightly-tricky move just at the end too.

You should definitely skip the first set of anchors. The first bit of climbing is super easy and there is pretty much no rope drag to the second anchor. Besides, one of the anchors is setup for the sport route up the face, and the other (with the rap rings) is in a position where you can't stand up while clipped in unless you have a very long runner/daisy chain/whatever.

Will second the usefulness of a #4 BD. Used it on the first pitch, above the first set of anchors.

Not sure where the established trail leads, but there is an exposed easy-5th-class boulder descent of about 20 feet to bring you down at the top of the gully above and to the right of where you start the route.

The route is ABSOLUTELY set up for rappelling: simple, safe, and easy. Just rap from the top anchors to the top of the buttress (that anchor you skipped earlier). A single 60m rope will get you there with some feet to spare (knot your ends!). I clipped into the sport anchor so I could stand up comfortably while I waited for my friend to rap. Rope did jam a little bit on the first tug, but with a little flicking came free. Pulled the rope, got showered with some small rocks (it's quite dirty at the top), then rappelled to the ground.

By Jason D
Mar 13, 2012

Ran into some angry bats in the hand crack on pitch two.
By Floyd Hayes
Jul 18, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Forget the nuts--I didn't use a single one. The cracks eat up medium to big cams--taking two sets would be useful. Where was the class 4 walkoff? We wound up descending the last 10' by hand on an old fixed rope with knots.
By Ray Pinpillage
From: West Egg
Oct 6, 2012

I've seen ropes get stuck rapping the line. Just walk off. There is an easy 5th decent in the ledges/gully climbers right of the buttress. There is also a fixed line down through a flake to the left of the decent gully. Walking down is faster and easier than rapping.
By hotlum
From: Bend, Oregon
Oct 7, 2012

4 stars
By another Chad
Dec 1, 2012

I agree with what Ray said above. Consider walking off, it's safe, easy, quick and you won't be getting in the way of any following parties. Walk climber's right from Spiderman to the obvious descent.

Regarding the top-out: please be extra careful, there's quite a bit of loose rock up there and people tend to congregate at the base of this route.

By Richard Shore
Apr 22, 2013

This route is not listed in the Raptor Closures for 2013, but there are a pair of nesting hawks with 4 eggs in the crack before the second set of bolted anchors as of April. Please stay off the route so as not to disturb them further.
By Dance Party
From: Seattle, Wa
Oct 16, 2013
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Climbed it this past weekend. Didn't take anything bigger than a #3 Camalot. Linked the first two pitches. Walked off the back. It looks possible to rap back down to the other side of the wall. I'm not sure what the route is, but i saw some rap bolts up top and while looking at them i could see Karate Crack to skiers right. Super fun climb. Be sure to extend the anchor at the top of pitch 2 to take advantage of the awesome belay seat right on the edge of the arete.
By Obi
From: Portland, OR
Sep 23, 2014
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

The walk off was very doable, though perhaps a bit exposed for novice climbers. The fixed rope is manky - held in place by a knot in a crack above the chimney / gulley and is part way worn through. This being said, I downclimbed the short chimney just fine.

Fantastic climb and a must-do for any trad leader of this grade.
By Richard Denker
From: Portland OR
Feb 28, 2015

There is fun 3rd finish to Spiderman. Instead of heading left for the thin crack go up and right until you get to the left corner of the roof. Traverse under the roof until you get to the amazing 5.7 airy move around the right side of the roof. Bring an extra 3" cams for the traverse.
I alternated between this variation and the jam crack for decades (since the 80s). I had found this variation more fun and slightly easier (maybe 5.6) then the thin 5.7 crack.
By Nick Sweeney
From: Spokane, WA
May 7, 2015
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Awesome route!! Easy, fun, low-stress and high-enjoyment climbing. We rapped the route with no issues at all...

I've got no idea why you would do this in any more than two pitches, and I'm no badass. If you did it in three (as described), you would have three extremely short pitches.
By another Chad
Sep 18, 2015

Nick, I totally agree that climbing Spiderman in two pitches is the way to go. I think the confusion lies in having the Squashed Spider anchor in the middle of the first pitch. People see it and assume they need to stop.

By Ashort
From: Tacoma, WA
Oct 13, 2015

The walk off is easy, do it if the base is busy. The rap can be done, but you will likely knock rocks off on climbers below, as was the case this past weekend.
By Joe "Big Boi" Osterman
From: Portland, OR
Apr 15, 2016

This route would get 4 stars if the second pitch was more sustained. It is however, an awesome route!
By Ben Stabley
From: Portland, OR
Jun 13, 2016
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Ha. I wish I had read the rack recommendations before climbing this with just a single rack of cams to #3 C4. I broke P1 (what the description calls P1 & P2) into 2 so I'd have gear for the overhanging part. Had a few good tricam placements too. The climbing on Spiderman is different from your typical Smith 5.7, but felt like a 5.7 to me.
By Dan Stringer
From: Eugene, OR
Sep 29, 2016

I did this route last month, and I would recommend the walk off. There is a good amount of loose rock up top. The walk off is easy, has some great views, and is faster than rapping.
There was also a fairly new looking rope ladder set up to avoid any short rappels mentioned above.

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