NW Buttress

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 37.82860°N / 119.4425°W
Additional Information Route Type: Technical Rock Climb
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: 5.5
Sign the Climber's Log


Start from the parking lot just east of Tenaya Lake. Head south through the forest, across the meadow and stream, and climb the slabby bushwhack to the left (east of the NW Buttress). There are faint use trails that can save much of the bushwhack if you take the time to look for them. If you head for the toe of the buttress you will have significantly less bushwhacking. If you either enjoy a good, steep bushwhack, or like us don't know when to quit thrashing, you can bushwhack all the way to the morraine that you will find in the hanging valley east of the buttress halfway up the buttress. It's then an easy traverse over to the buttress.

Route Description

The lower half of the NW Buttress is easy, low-angle slab climbing. Enjoyable, but not terribly challenging. Higher up the route steepens, and depending on your comfort level on soloing class 3-4 slabs, you can make this route anywhere from a 2 to 8 pitch climb.

There are numerous lines that can be followed and the route can easily handle several parties moving in parallel. The climbing is highly enjoyable, on clean granite slabs. Follow any of several logical crack systems on your way up.

A few hundred feet from the top there is a sloping roof consisting of overlapping slabs to be avoided on the left side. Head to the right of this, then angle back to the left above for the easiest exit. Exiting further to the right is more like class 5.7-8.

Essential Gear

We had rock shoes, a 37m rope, and rack consisting of 5 cams, some slings and carabiners. I placed at most one piece of protection on each pitch - partly because we didn't have much gear, but mostly because it wasn't difficult climbing.

Miscellaneous Info

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



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.