Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 44.36291°N / 121.14687°W
Additional Information Route Type: Technical Rock Climb
Additional Information Time Required: Less than two hours
Additional Information Difficulty: 5.6
Sign the Climber's Log


The route is located on the north edge of the Phoenix Buttress which in turn is on the east side of the Smith Rock Group. Phoenix Buttress is an "island" of relatively good rock in a sea of choss accroding to Alan Watts of the Smith Rock Climber's Guide book. The buttress has a distinctive rust-red & purplish coloration with light green lichen spots on it.

To reach the buttress, follow the directions as if heading to Asterisk Pass on the main page. However, do NOT turn off the main river trail. Stay on it as it passes below Asterisk Pass. Hike past the Smith summit above you and take the first (it's the only well developed one) side trail (right at an obvious fork) immediately after that. Hike about 50 yards. The slab above you is the Phoenix Buttress. Carabid is a discontinuous crack system on the right side of the buttress. Scramble up the gully on the right side of the buttress. The climb starts about 40 feet above where the trail first hits the base of the buttress.

Route Description

The route reaches the top of the buttress in one long pitch. Even though the book labels it as an "R" climb, all but the bottom-most runout can be easily avoided. The runout slab climbing at the very bottom is easy and only about 10 - 15 feet long. Follow the ledgy and discontinuous crack system for about 60 to 70 feet until you come to a relatively steep headwall directly ahead of you. From here, (*) make one move right following the crack as it gets close to the drop off on your right hand side. Move up the crack (crux?) about 15 feet. At that point, keep your eyes open for bolts which will be on your left hand side. Traverse to the bolts. Watch for LOOSE ROCK at the very top of the route - many popular sports rotues (generally crowded) are directly below you!

(*) Note it is most likely possible to avoid this (very easy) crux by doing some runout slab climbing to the left of the "head wall" - this is perhaps what Alan Watts had in mind when he assigned the "R" rating.

Descent: Rappel with TWO ROPES off of manky bolts (one of them actually moves in the rock) traversing in the direction of the ledge you started your climb on.

Essential Gear

TWO ropes for rappeling the route. Small and medium sized nuts. Small and medium sized cams. The "crux" crack near the top is well protected with the #3 Camalot. A few long runners as the route meanders somewhat near the top.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.


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