REI Community
Bell Buttress - Main Crag
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Arms Bazaar T 
Beethoven's Fifth T 
Bell Air T,S 
Bell Buster S 
Cosmosis T 
Daedulus Direct T 
Double Jeopardy T 
Epiphany T 
Epiphany Direct T 
Freak on a Leash S 
Gates of Eden T 
Grand Inquisitor T 
Headwall T 
Hound Dog S 
Joe Pontiac T 
Little Man in the Boat T 
North Face T 
Pitts, The T 
Purpose, The T,S 
Route That Dan Missed, The T,TR 
Saved by the Bell T 
Spoiled Moose, The T 
Spoils, The T 
Three Minute Hero T 
Tiempos de Ceguera (Times of Blindness) S 
Unknown T 
Unknown Crack T 
Verve S 
West Crack T 
West Face T 
Wrinkles T 

The Purpose 

YDS: 5.12 French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E6 6b

Type:  Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 75'
Original:  YDS: 5.12b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6b [details]
FA: Brislawn/Shainman, 1999
Page Views: 1,333
Submitted By: Alex Shainman on Oct 2, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (7)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Photo: Damon Brandt.

Seasonal Closure MORE INFO >>>


What really is the purpose of this route? I assure you it was not to start all the bullshit that transpired after we put it up. I, personally had no contempt for Steve for chopping it. Jeff had bolted it and I merely made the first free lead. As a matter of fact, when Steve called me on it, I told him just to do what he felt was right.... He did and I gave the route the moniker Chop Yer Dieckhoff (not to be condescending, but I thought it sounded funny). Jeff and I, when proposed by Mark Rolofson, were adamant that he NOT rebolt it (with "some glue-in bolt action at Bell Buttress"). We both saw where this could go, and we were right.

Yesterday, I went up to look at the cliff's newest bolted line which ascends the right arete from Garden Of Eden's crux (no comment).... It's been 2 years since I lived in Boulder and had been to Bell. As I sat there contemplating the new route, I also stared at The Purpose. I feel it's now another travesty, especially with glue-ins and extra bolts that Mark added (1st and 5th bolts).... It's just ugly!

To clear up any confusion around this route and the line that Pete Takeda and others headpointed.... Nobody has ever lead the crux of the Purpose (current second bolt) w/o clipping the bolt. Pete's line did Grand I's crux dyno to the roof and joined the Purpose at the vert fin and then mostly stayed on the left where G.I. Direct follows a double line of incipient cracks before ultimately traversing right at a horizontal crack.... Jeff and I were originally wanting to do the route this way (after the independent crux utilizing just one bolt), but because neither of us were willing to drill the crux bolt on the lead (to better the ladder-placed bolt style of G.I.), we ultimately decided to create an independent, relatively safe, rap-bolted mixed route (Pete's Route had not been redpointed yet and we never were aware that he was working on it). We made a decision which, we felt, took the "least of all evils" approach at a mostly trad crag. Then, all hell broke loose....

So, here is this route.... It's basically a short, bouldery sequence past the second bolt (Mark added the first bolt there to "keep the rope out of your way"??). Once you figure out how to grab the big crystal, you get up on the vert fin and continue up on diminishing difficulties to an easy crack with good finger size pro and then an independent anchor that Mark installed.

So, this route is essentially just another stretch of rock that became leadable by the masses...Its mode of existence or purpose did not better another style of climbing, nor did it truly set any sort of precedence. Perhaps its purpose will forever be left to be decided by each individual who will form their own opinion....


QDs and finger size pro, most people will stick clip second bolt.

Photos of The Purpose Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The lower section of the purpose. You can make out...
BETA PHOTO: The lower section of the purpose. You can make out...

Comments on The Purpose Add Comment
Show which comments
By Matt Battaglia
May 22, 2010
rating: 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b

I'm not concerned about the bolts, but I would like to know where the 12b rating comes from, must be some trickery. Is it 12b if you do the 12a GI start and traverse in after the Purpose crux? That seems about right. If you start at the Gates of Eden crack and traverse slightly left into the slopers, I believe the crux to be more like V6/7 and then some 5.11 and easier climbing above. So, more like powerful 12c? Straight up, no traversing in from right or left, wold be cool but at least a V7 boulder problem on a rope. Coming in from the right was fun. BTW, there were no rings on the top bolts, so I left 2 clips up there.
Jul 4, 2014
rating: 5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b

Pretty sand bagged at 12b.
Burly crux.
By Alex Shainman
From: Redlands, CA
Jan 13, 2016

Gold standard "California 12b."

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About