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Bell Buttress - Main Crag
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West Face 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Jim & Dave Erickson (FFA)
Page Views: 4,473
Submitted By: slevin on Jul 10, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (92)
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Unknown climber on West Face.

Seasonal Closure MORE INFO >>>


Looking for a well-protected, challenging 5.9 crack to climb? Eldo feeling a bit too greasy in this heat? If so, the shady "West Face" (a misnomer- this is a crack climb for the most part) route on Bell Buttress is for you. Locate this little beauty as the right-most of three crack systems right of Cosmosis. Climb the crack in the shallow right-facing corner, over a roof at a big flake, to a 2-bolt belay.

Rappel (watch you don't miss the ledge!) or continue up the system to the top of the rock (a bit of wandering around). Solid 5.9!


Doubles, wired nuts, TCUs to 3" cams. A 50m rope is OK for lowering.

Photos of West Face Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climber on West Face.
Unknown climber on West Face.
Rock Climbing Photo: Bell Buttress West Face, great warm up, Tom Jensen...
Bell Buttress West Face, great warm up, Tom Jensen...
Rock Climbing Photo: Ross, leading West Face.
Ross, leading West Face.
Rock Climbing Photo: Joseffa Meir follows up the 'West Face (5.9)' of B...
Joseffa Meir follows up the 'West Face (5.9)' of B...

Comments on West Face Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 11, 2013
By Anonymous Coward
Jul 25, 2001

Great climb. A must do! Before the roof place some bomber pro, because the moves over the roof are scary since all I could find to protect them is small wires (2-#3s). Yikes!!
By Matt Bauman
Jul 26, 2001

I have to agree....went and led this yesterday and it is definately one of the best pitches of crack climbing in Boulder Canyon... exciting, steep, sustained, FUN.... The part above roof is a bit thin, but easy stemming will get you to the anchors if you stay left (easier than it looks/seems). RECOMMENDED....
By Michael Walker
From: Loveland, CO
Jul 13, 2002

This one is rising as one of my favorite pitches in Boulder Canyon. I absolutely loved it. There are so many good moves on this climb (fingerlocks, stems, laybacks, a couple roofs to manueaver - the second and crux roof is a GAS) that I had a perm-a-grin all afternoon.

Three stars. Cosmosis drew me to the area, West Face and West Crack will have me coming back!
By pete cogan
Jul 19, 2002

If you want to continue . . . climb straight up on easy terrain past the rap anchor to a ledge. Above you is a lonely piton and not much pro -- that's 15, "Headwall." Instead, traverse R thru a bit of brush, then up the dihedral. Good pro, fun roof, then very easy climbing. P2 is just over 100'
By Ernie Port
From: Boulder, Colorado
Sep 10, 2003

Led this tonight...IMO it's the best (9) trad route on Bell and ranks high as best at the grade in the entire canyon. The move right off the top of the small pinacle just past the roof is awesome...took me awhile to find the hidden hold up high. Great position there. The entire route is well-protected and interesting. A must do....
By Anonymous Coward
Sep 22, 2003

About ten feet up the route a shallow right facing corner starts. This corner lasts for about ten feet, at which point you are standing beneath the roof. Near the top of where the corner runs out, on the left face, a series of flakes exist. The first one I encountered was well chalked but extremely loose and I avoided using it. After finishing the route, my friend ripped this leg-sized flake loose with very minimal effort. The scariest part about leaving this thing in place would be what would happen to the belayer directly below. So.... the route has not changed in quality or difficulty (you'd be nuts to use that flake, but the chalk indicated that lost of people had and it was only a matter of time before someone yarded on it just a little too much), and should be cleaner, but just be aware of that spot. JGH
By pfwein
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 4, 2006
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

This is rated 9+ in my guide (Boulder Climbs North), which I think is accurate.
By Byron Murray
Jun 29, 2009

The West Face contains one of the best knee bars that I've ever done on natural rock. The knee bar is of the horizontal type. Your left toe fits into a notch and your left knee is pushed up against a corner just below the first roof. At this position, you can comfortably place a RP and a number 5 BD nut to protect the roof. The knee bar provides a nice rest for a sustained old school 5.9 route.
By slim
Jun 30, 2009
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Yeah, I kind of thought so, too.
By prod. Kenny
From: Boulder, Co
Apr 29, 2012

Great climb. Sort of runout, mildly, after the roof.

By Mark Wiranowski
Jun 9, 2012

There is a placement for a #0 Metolius in the crack on the right side of the fin when you are standing on the pedestal before pulling the roof. The placement is relatively good, and it gives the leader a piece at the roof. Oddly, "West Face" is much more of a pure crack climb (below the roof) than "West Crack," which uses the face much more.
By Joe Brannan
From: Lyons, CO
Jul 11, 2013
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

I've climbed quite a bit of 9 in the area recently, and this was a step up in difficulty. Felt more challenging than Dead Can Dance on Avalon or Hair City on the Bastille. Also harder than West Crack IMO.

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