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Brinton's Buttress
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Stool Pigeon T 

Stool Pigeon 

YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c R

Type:  Trad, 120'
Original:  YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c R [details]
FA: FTR: Ralph Schmidt, FL: Jon Bernhard
Page Views: 3,519
Submitted By: Kris Gorny on Oct 20, 2008

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Devils Lake. Final moves with the runout underneat...


Stool Pidgeon climbs the face just to the left of the buttress corner. Initial unprotected 20 feet of 5.9 (bad fall potential) leads to a crack system with very cool and varied 5.8 climbing. Stuff pro in the last horizontal seam and commit to a 5.11 face with tricky moves and a 30 foot fall potential. Long and airy route.

The 2nd edition of Swartling's "Climber's guide to Devil's Lake" rates the route 5.11b, which I think is correct. The latest 3rd edition rates it 5.10b, which is probably a typo 'cause the crux face is harder than Thoroughfare.


The route starts to the right of Berkeley and few feet left of the buttress corner, underneath the flake-crack system.


Cams up to BD #2, set of nuts. The horizontal below the crux section takes several small Aliens and slider nuts. The fall from the crux, although potentially long, can be quite safe. The most iffy section is the bottom.

Photos of Stool Pigeon Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Devils Lake. Crux of Stool Pidgeon. Photo: Henning...
Devils Lake. Crux of Stool Pidgeon. Photo: Henning...
Rock Climbing Photo: Post crux jug-- aaaahhhhhhhh.  Fantastic route.  O...
Post crux jug-- aaaahhhhhhhh. Fantastic route. O...
Rock Climbing Photo: In the crux.  Fantastic route.  October '12, photo...
In the crux. Fantastic route. October '12, photo...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jon, low
Jon, low
Rock Climbing Photo: about to commit
about to commit
Rock Climbing Photo: Jill
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking back
Looking back
Rock Climbing Photo: Jon at the crux
Jon at the crux
Rock Climbing Photo: Paul at the crux of Stool Pigeon on stellar warm, ...
Paul at the crux of Stool Pigeon on stellar warm, ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Paul on Stool Pigeon starting moves.  Also goes as...
Paul on Stool Pigeon starting moves. Also goes as...
Rock Climbing Photo: first piece
first piece
Rock Climbing Photo: Vinny, at the last gear.
Vinny, at the last gear.
Rock Climbing Photo: Vinny getting ready to commit.
Vinny getting ready to commit.
Rock Climbing Photo: Kris Gorny about to let the cat out of the bag on ...
Kris Gorny about to let the cat out of the bag on ...

Comments on Stool Pigeon Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 3, 2016
By Steve Sangdahl
From: eldo sprngs,co
Oct 28, 2008

Yo,Nice photo and a nice send too,Kris.
The route name Stool Pidgeon conjures up images of the Uber Giant,Ralph Schimdt?....I sure thats who did the first t.r.
as for the coveted first lead,looks like Kris G. wins the prize. peace and f-nes
By Kris Gorny
Oct 28, 2008

Much obliged for the info Steve! Peace and f-nes :)
By Remo
From: Madison, WI
Mar 5, 2009
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R

Got on this yesterday, super fun route. Good lead Kris.
By Burt Lindquist
From: Madison, WI
Mar 23, 2009

Finally started suss'n the moves on this "Stool Pidgeon" this weekend. That's definitely a typo on the difficulty rating of this climb in the newest guidebook addition and makes the lead by Kris all the more impressive. The moves felt as hard as "Gill's Nose" to me and harder the "T-Fare" as mentioned. There is a super tricky sequence at the crux with minimal feet... get established at spot with only side pull for left and side pull for right (arete), step onto small 2 pad niche with outside of left foot (weird move) and throw for good sized crimp on face with left (right would work- but even more awkward?), then finally smear the feet on whatever to move up from there... hard and tricky...
By Tradiban
Aug 29, 2009
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R

Very good route. The bottom isn't very well protected for the start but fairly easy. Soaks up good gear up to that last horizontal and then there is a healthy run out. There might be a nice micro cam in the middle of the crux but probably not worth placing because you're so close to the finish jug. I wouldn't want to take that fall.
I thought it was more like 10d, I didn't think it was harder than "T-Fare".
There was a nice left foot heel hook in that crux that helped me do it smoothly.
By Burt Lindquist
From: Madison, WI
Aug 31, 2009

Ball'zeee. Heel hook'n on pretty run-out 5.10+ (um.. er... maybe harder?). Way to hang it out Nick!
By Paul Dieterle
From: Pasadena, CA
Oct 18, 2009
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c R

Led this badboy today. I'm with Rhoads on the heel. Felt like mid 5.11-harder than T-Fare for me. Probably broken ankles if you fell off the top of the crux as there is a rail right where you would land. Also, the no hands kneebar at the top is amazing-a great way to finish off such a freaky route. As far as gear, I used a yellow alien, (overcammed) #3 c4, #6 BD stopper, and red/grey/yellow aliens (in the horizontal) in that order.
By jon bernhard
From: grand junction, co
Jan 14, 2011

First lead was in 1989. I hand placed some pins near the crux.

Top roped it some then went back to lead it. First time up some folks were all critical because I was going to place pins in the horizontals near the top.
Robert Drysdale and I went back the next evening after the crowds had thinned out some.
Used my old framing hammer to pound in the pins and many a beer later.

By Andy Hansen
From: Longmont, Colorado
Jun 19, 2011
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R

Rhoads you sandbagger! 5.10d?! You're out of your mind.
By Michael Sullivan
From: Seattle, WA
Mar 29, 2012

Was trying to follow Brinton's Corner, and found myself doing this route instead. Was pulling hard on a side-pull crimp with my left hand to get a high right foot, and ripped the thing off along with a hand sized flake of rock. Don't know if this will have consequences for Stool Pidgeon or not but figured I'd mention it. Also, Brinton's Corner and Stool Pidgeon seem to share a heck of a lot of holds, not sure what the difference is.
By Burt Lindquist
From: Madison, WI
Mar 29, 2012

Ha! Way to go "Heeman" climber..

Actually- according to your recent comment under the route "Brinton's Corner" (of which I agree with you... it's pretty hard) it sounds like you didn't pull off the key hold on "Stool Pidgeon" because that hold is up high in the upper 3rd of that route.

Sorry about you pull'n that hold off... I hate it when I forget my own strength and accidentally do that...
By Toby Wehler
From: Chicago, IL
Nov 30, 2012

Happy to see this one listed as an 11 on here...after I fell for the second time (TR of course) at the crux, I was cursing what I thought was a classic DL sandbag. Cool and fun route. Impressive leads!
By jon jugenheimer
From: Madison
Oct 13, 2014

On TR, I always agreed with Rhoads, easier than 11b. Maybe not 10d, but for sure not quite 11b. Just lead it the other day and on the sharp end, I believe the 11b grade is quite accurate! The crux moves are solid 11b, harder than any single move on Tfare.
By Remo
From: Madison, WI
Mar 30, 2015
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R

This is a great lead! The lack of gear for the start was scarier than the top crux.
By Joel Allen
From: La Crosse, WI
Oct 3, 2016

I'm surprised there isn't more toprope action on this!! Where is the psych?!?!? This is one of the most fun routes I have tried at the lake, get over there and do it!!!!

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