Dreamscape Buttress, 5.9 PG, 5 Pitches

Page Type
Route
Location:
Arizona, United States, North America
Route Type:
Trad Climbing
Season:
Spring, Fall, Winter
Time Required:
Most of a day
Rock Difficulty:
5.9 (YDS)
Number of Pitches:
5

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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Dreamscape Buttress, 5.9 PG, 5 Pitches
Created On: Jan 10, 2018
Last Edited On: Jan 11, 2018

Overview/Approach

 
5th Pitch
Dow leading the 5th Pitch (5.8 PG)
 
3rd Pitch
Dow leading the 3rd Pitch (5.9 PG)

Westworld Dome is home to two classic multi pitch routes: Warpaint (5.10+) and Dreamscape Buttress. They are located on opposite sides of the formation. Dreamscape is located on the southeast buttress of Westworld which shares the same approach canyon as Cragaholic’s Dream (5.10) (one of my favorite routes at the Stronghold) which is located on Square Top’s west face. The trail is relatively faint once you leave the wash and much is discussed about the approach on MP.com but in reality there is not much to it except to stay on either side of the wash until you are almost even with the obvious buttress the route is on and then head west to the base. The “PG” grade that the new (2017) guide attributes to it is on easier ground than 5.9. In fact this route in general is soft for a Cochise 5.9. It is however a more adventurous route than most of its length in Cochise requiring as much trad climbing as sport in a quiet backcountry setting.

“Fifth pitch not as dicey as description” is an accurate post from MP.com. You can combine the 4th and 5th pitches avoiding an awkward belay at the top of pitch 4 (making all the belays on ledges). But whether you take that belay or not, you have solid horizontal medium gear between you and the crack that serves as the belay atop of pitch 4, before you cut back left and make the exposed move to the massive chicken head feature on pitch 5. That is the only real exposed move on the route. The start is not protected but goes relatively easy up the water chute. In general the route is quite tame by Cochise standards. The guide calls four of the pitches PG which I don't agree with but state them that way in case the FAer's are calling them same. There is grade inflation in this new guide release (2017). The 5th pitch is the closest to being PG but by the standards of most routes I have led on Cochise that would not be the case even for that pitch.

Park at the end of the road which leads to Whale Dome, etc. Hike up the wash (right fork) as though you are heading for Square Top. Fairly immediate follow another (cairned in 2018) smaller wash left to head up the gully located between Square Top and Westworld.  Follow the sparse cairns out of this wash as it gets choked down. Most of the time you will be on the right side. Do not head for the buttress (in clear view) too early.  Rather wait until you are almost even with it and then head west to the base of the buttress.  The route starts at a water chute and dead tree as well as a live tree above the chute that you climb through on pitch one. If you head west too early, you will find some 5th class scrambling back and forth to reach the same destination. The approach beta in the guide was not helpful and/or clear. The most important aspect of this approach is to keep close to the wash as you head up and towards the buttress proper. There is a faint climbers trial, but it can be hard to follow at times. The new guide (2017) also calls for a 6th pitch that is 5th class, but in reality it is just a 3rd class walk at most over to the summit and rap.

Route Description

 
1st Pitch
Dow leading the 1st Pitch (5.9 PG)

Dreamscape Buttress, 650’+/-, 5.9 PG
1st Pitch- 140’- 5.9 PG/ I do not consider this pitch 5.9 or PG and in an older guide it is called 5.8. Climb the obvious water chute and traverse left in front of a small to medium tree and up and then traverse back right via positive edges into a seam out on the buttress proper. Climb the seam/slab through a bolt landing on a sloping ledge. Continue up the easy hand crack to another ledge and belay on medium gear.

2nd Pitch- 160’- 5.8/ This pitch is more 5.6 than 5.8 and is actually longer than stated in either the old or new guide. Step left and start climbing through the bolts on the well featured face. Trend up and right gaining a left facing corner/seam and climb it to a ledge below a left leaning flared corner up the left side of a attached block, medium gear belay.

3rd Pitch- 130’- 5.9 PG/ The new guide considers this the crux pitch and I would say it is the most sustained lead of the day but at a lessor grade than 5.9. Climb the flared hand crack placing offsets and/or small cams in pockets deep in. The crack shallows out. Pull up and right out of it onto a featured face. Climb up through several horizontals and eventually a single bolt to atop a small ledge below the broad featured head wall above. This belay can be wind prone. Very little if any 5.9 or PG for that matter. Small to medium gear in a horizontal for gear belay.

4th Pitch- 90- 5.6 PG/ It is my recommendation that you combine these last two pitches. Climb up the plated wall aiming for an improbable left leaning crack that takes good gear. Either build a semi hanging belay here or higher up on chicken heads.

5th Pitch- 110’- 5.8 PG/ The new guide has this as 5.8 PG, but an older guide has this pitch at 5.9. If there is a 5.9 move on the entire route, it is the very finish to this pitch. Trend up and right to a solid medium gear horizontal crack. Then back up and left to just right of the prominent chicken head (“reachy and dicey”=old guide). Mantel it and then up to the horizontal below a final slab. Place a C4#3 here and make a no hands mantel and finish on a short, but exposed, 5.8/9 slab. From there walk over to either a tree or small gear belay. There is no 6th pitch as the new guide suggests (old guide and I agree, there is no more climbing after that final slab). Just walk over to the exposed rap anchor on the eastern lip of the summit. Maybe 80’ not 230’ as the new guide suggests.

Climbing Sequence

Descent

Two double (60m) rope raps to the ground (gully that leads back down to the base of the route).

Essential Gear

Single to C4#3. Shoulder length slings to sling a couple of features en route. Route faces east/southeast. Beware of how windy the upper wall might be compared to where you start. Can be colder than you think in winter. Double 60m ropes. There is just enough of a return to the packs in the gully that I prefer to haul my approach shoes.