South Buttress

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 48.52890°N / 120.7042°W
Additional Information Route Type: technical rock,
Additional Information Time Required: A long day
Additional Information Difficulty: 5.8
Sign the Climber's Log


Start EARLY to avoid being delayed behind other parties.
Alpine meadow / cirque below South Face is visible from highway pullout. Small cairn marks trailhead at treeline north of hwy just across from start of southside guardrail. Trail across little creeks is very brushy, trail thru meadow and up into cirque is very well travelled and clear.

Route Description

From top of cirque below south face, ascend northern-most gully to the notch on the crest of SE Arm. Climb out of notch begins with 5.7 move but gets easier soon. Start Variation: approach gulley widens 50 meters before notch. from this point you can see rappell anchor (double rope) on tree root at crest of ridge to left of notch. You may skip the first pitch by climbing directly to this anchor (5.2) .
Simul-climb or solo several rope lengths of class 3-4 with many sandy ledges (some very short class 5 steps). Keep to the crest of the ridge, or just to the east.
When you come to more difficult steps, 5.6 +, these are never longer than half a rope, and easy to protect .
Above you is a distinctive light-colored 'rampart' with roofs. You will pass close under this feature to the left. and one more pitch will bring you just below the two humps.
Passing between the two humps, you cross two 'notches' and have one short pitch of 5.8 before the easy scramble to the summit.
Descent: descend the route in series of single rope rappells. Anchors in place on trees, but do carry adequate slings. Avoid downclimbing approach gully (dangerous) by one double-rope rappell from just above the notch. then more single-rope raps and downclimbing slabs to left of gully .

Essential Gear

Medium alpine rack: one set nuts, cams up to #3, set tri-cams.

Miscellaneous Info

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Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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Klenke - Sep 8, 2003 4:37 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

The West Ridge descent route requires 4 single-rope rappels to get off of technical terrain. Going down via the South(east) Buttress requires approximately 10 single-rope rappels. Both routes contain about equal distances of non-rappel traversing/downclimbing.

Two teams of two (us and one other) left the summit at around the same time. We descended the West Ridge Route while the other two went down via the South(east) Buttress, which we had both come up. We made it back to the upper basin at the rendezvous location about an hour ahead of them, and they were not inexperienced climbers. Ergo, a descent via the West Ridge is faster though not necessarily as pleasing to the bones due to the scree and talus slope getting back to the flat of the basin.

It would also be advisable to descend via the West Ridge if 1) others are still coming up the South(east) Buttress since the rap lines are often in line with the climbing lines, and 2) no one is coming up the West Route. From the summit, you can pretty much see the entire West Ridge Route so can gauge whether or not there is any activity on it. Nothing's more annoying for climbers than having people rapping down where you're going up.

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