West Buttress

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 34.30714°N / 114.25781°W
Additional Information Route Type: Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: III 5.9
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: 5.9 (YDS)
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 9
Additional Information Grade: III
Sign the Climber's Log


This decent route reaches the summit of Exfoliation Dome in 9 pitches. A couple of the pitches are quite good, and the crux pitch is decent, but much of the rest of the climb is 4th class and pretty dirty. If you want to get to the summit of Exfoliation Dome, this is the easiest way up.


See the approach section on the main page. Scramble up the low angle crest of the lower west buttress until reaching a stump below an obvious low angle offwidth.

Route Description

Bruce jambing some nice...
A climber from Seattle...
Bruce following the fifth...
Bruce following the crux...

Pitch #1 - 5.5 - Scramble up the offwidth (4th class) then keep moving up low angle face and cracks until a ledge at the base of the obvious left facing corner. 130 feet

Pitch #2 - 5.7 - Lieback up the corner and turn to the roof and undercling it to the left (very fun climbing, about 5.5). Stay on the top level and jamb and lieback up the low angle dihedral (starts as 5.7, then gets eaiser) using the crack at your feet for pro. Continue all the way up to the ledge with the tree to belay. 180 feet

Pitch #3 - 5.9 - This is the crux pitch, and used to be rated 5.8 until the big flake fell off in 2004. Climb the right facing corner on the right side of the buttress. The going gets interesting after about 20 feet. Clip the 2 bolts where there is no crack, then stem and face climb up the thin dihedral. Keep moving up until things get difficult and mossy. Now use holds and get up on top of the arete at the ledge. Belay here using the 3" crack for an anchor. 150 feet

Pitch #4 - 5.7 - This excellent pitch is long and varied. Climb the 3" crack then turn the corner to the left. Chimney up behind the flake then climb directly up the middle of the face via a series of angling crack and flake systems. This pitch is very continuous. For a belay you have a few options:
1. Bring 70 meter ropes and reach the nice ledge with the tree.
2. Do a hanging belay off crack systems at 60 meters.
3. Simulclimb for 30 feet until the leader reaches the nice ledge (what we did).
(230 feet)

Pitch #5 - 5.5 - Climbs slabs and corners up the buttress crest. Belay where feasible. 190 feet

Pitch #6 - 5.4 - Finish climbing slabs and corners up the crest and belay at the big ledge in the trees. 100 feet

Traverse to climbers left over class 2 terrain with one short class 4 section until you can see around the corner. Keep traversing until the rock gets steeper. Look up about 20 feet above you and find a nice positive sloping ledge. Climb class 3+ rock up to the ledge. There is a good crack on the left and flake on the right for an anchor.

Pitch #7 - 5.8 – Climb up some cracks with occasional brush in them to gain the slab above. Use every opportunity for pro as protection is limited on this pitch, no bolts. Climb slab and cracks directly up the crest of the buttress. Belay points are limited. We found a good gear belay at about 185 feet out.

Pitch #8 - 5.6 – Continue moving up the buttress crest until you can traverse off to the left towards the ridgeline. Belay where feasible.

Pitch #9 - Class 4 Bushwhack – Roped or unroped make your way up the north buttress crest finding a path through the bush. Gain the summit.

Down - 10 rappels (single and double) off the south side of the summit then down in line with the Westward Ho route will get you to the ground.

Another option is to rap pitches 9 and 10 using slung trees, then rappel either Jacob’s ladder, or Rainman. Do not rap Dark Rhythm as it will eat your ropes.

Essential Gear

1 each cams micro to 4"
Doubles in micro to 2" helpful
1 each nuts
2 draws
2 60 or 70 meter ropes

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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