Belle Fourche Buttress

Page Type
Wyoming, United States, North America
Route Type:
Rock-Classic Crack
Time Required:
Half a day

Route Quality: 7 Votes

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Created On: Apr 10, 2001
Last Edited On: Oct 14, 2003


Scramble up the NorthEast Buttress Approach. Aim for the brilliant yellow columns, obviously split by a wide crack. That crack is Gooseberry Jam. Belle Fourche Buttress is directly right of it. You could probably put on a rope for the last part of the scramble up to the huge ledge at the base of the route.

Route Description

This route was originally done as an aid climb in 1961 by Don Ryan and Gary Cole. In the autumn of 1977, an Inspired Dennis Horning talked Dave Rasmussen in to holding the rope for him while he led it. As you climb this route, remember that Dennis had EB's on his feet and only stoppers and hexes on his rack. Although it is basically a one pitch route, it is Truly a 3-Star Classic. Its improbable nature and airy location will always be a testimonial to Dennis' Bold, Pioneering Outlook.

Pitch 1. (30 ft.,5.7) Climb up the start of Gooseberry Jam, then traverse right and belay from a 2 Big Bolt anchor, atop a large block.

Pitch 2. (150 ft., 5.10b) Step right, around the corner, to a hand and finger crack. As improbable as it looks, it all goes quite nicely and can be very very well protected !! Climb this crack, to its end, atop the buttress and a secure bolt anchor. The crux is 15 to 25 feet up, where the crack constricts to fingers. Excellent protection is afforded you here, with even a bit of a rest. The remainder of the pitch is unrelenting hand jams.

Finish.( 150 ft., 5.8) From the top of the Buttress, you have the opportunity to rappell, or top-rope Burning Daylight, Casper College or Gooseberry Jam. You can get a killer work out doing these. If you elect to go to the summit, climb the easy crack, two cracks from the left, through the roofs, and climb to the end of your rope, belaying on a convenient column top. You can 4th class scramble to the summit from there.

Essential Gear

Standard rack. Extra hand size pieces, Friends #1.5, #2, #2.5 & #3.