Anyone ever NOT been sketched out on Crestones N. Buttress?

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doggler
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Anyone ever NOT been sketched out on Crestones N. Buttress?

Post by doggler »

As I do my homework in preparation for some summer climbs, I notice a recurring theme. It seems every single North Buttress trip report I've come across, from 14ers to summitpost to other random ones, mention the crux traverse to be 'hairy' or 'scary' or 'intense'. Doing the NW coulior in early July doesn't sound all that fun to me and would require hauling around an extra few pounds, and I loooove ridge running...most of the N. Buttress sounds up my alley except that traverse from the East peak.

Just curious...for those of you who have done this route. Could you put the traverse in perspective for me? Other routes/problems/situations that you would equate them to. Capitol's knife-edge? Crux pitch of the Maroon-to-N.Maroon traverse? I've found that comfort with exposure is relative, just wondering what is comparable. I'd hate to get there and find out I don't have the cajones. :)

TIA
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lordhelmut
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Re: Anyone ever NOT been sketched out on Crestones N. Buttress?

Post by lordhelmut »

The biggest difference between the exposure on the N.Buttress and all those you listed is when dealing with exposure on say the knife edge, or a crux pitch on Maroon Traverse or LB-Blanca traverse or most anything else is you are ON TOP of the exposure, usually scaling a ridge or climbing a tough class 4 move. On the N.Buttress, you are hanging on to a knobby vertical wall. You have to keep track of all 4 limbs at all times and try very very hard to find the path of least resistence. On ridges and gullies, sometimes you have no choice but to climb what is in front of you. N.Buttress requires some creative route finding and just don't look down. Thats the one time where I didn't look down and when I looked at the pics we took of each other, I remember thinking what was really at stake.

Here is a shot, the camera angle dos a good job of showing whats beneath you :
N.Buttress Crestone Peak(1).jpg
N.Buttress Crestone Peak(1).jpg (144.05 KiB) Viewed 6642 times
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jf32
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Re: Anyone ever NOT been sketched out on Crestones N. Buttress?

Post by jf32 »

It definitely required quite a bit of concentration - and a more than healthy amount of exposure.

As far as what's comparable - I would say the best bet is to play around on some of the walls you pass on the Crestone Traverse as it's the same type of rock. A little closer to home I'd say it reminded me a bit of scrambling on the flatrirons (on class 4- very low 5 type rock) minus the dramatic exposure.

As far as the two routes you mentioned I thought the knife edge was much easier and the Bells Traverse much different - as my main concern was loose rock on the bells. You'd have to be pretty comfortable with exposure on all three routes.

It may make you more comfortable wearing a pair of rock climbing shoes on the buttress traverse as the increased traction will help you out a bit.
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Re: Anyone ever NOT been sketched out on Crestones N. Buttress?

Post by joe4186 »

Ya, its pretty intense, hairy, and scary in some ways. As the helmut put it, don't look down you'll be fine. The rock is all solid, just a mental game. Keep everything between your helmet and you'll be fine.
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Re: Anyone ever NOT been sketched out on Crestones N. Buttress?

Post by Yog »

I think Lou Armstrong said, "I'm scared of heights, that's why I'm still alive".
. . .Now, after the hours of torment . . . I have nothing more to do than breathe . . .I am nothing more than a single, narrow, gasping lung, floating over the mists and the summits.
-Reinhold Messner
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Re: Anyone ever NOT been sketched out on Crestones N. Buttress?

Post by Dancesatmoonrise »

Yog wrote:I think Lou Armstrong said, "I'm scared of heights, that's why I'm still alive".




Image


Amen to that, bro! =D> :lol:
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Re: Anyone ever NOT been sketched out on Crestones N. Buttress?

Post by TomPierce »

I agree with the posts above. It's defininitely a head game and do-able, but if you popped off in the most exposed spots I have a hard time seeing how you'd survive. The frustrating thing is that I don't recall a rope being feasible, ie it's a pretty seamless slab, no place to put any gear in. Then again, we didn't have a rope so I wasn't looking all that carefully. Maybe...
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polar
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Re: Anyone ever NOT been sketched out on Crestones N. Buttress?

Post by polar »

It's been almost 10 years since the OP, can anyone else chime in on the topic? I'm interested in this route, but at the same time I'm wondering my fragile little head can handle the mental aspect of the exposure.
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doggler
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Re: Anyone ever NOT been sketched out on Crestones N. Buttress?

Post by doggler »

Oh wow, I vaguely remember asking about this back in the day.

I've had the opportunity to scramble a bunch of fun stuff since then, but have yet to do this route up the Peak.
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Re: Anyone ever NOT been sketched out on Crestones N. Buttress?

Post by Scott P »

I was never sketched out on Crestone's North Buttress, but that's mainly due to the fact that I never climbed it.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.
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Re: Anyone ever NOT been sketched out on Crestones N. Buttress?

Post by Broken Knee »

polar wrote: Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:54 amIt's been almost 10 years since the OP, can anyone else chime in on the topic? I'm interested in this route, but at the same time I'm wondering my fragile little head can handle the mental aspect of the exposure.
It would be runout, but it is protectable if you wanted to lug up a skinny rope and a few pieces of gear. I doubt you'd need it but it depends on your partner, etc. You get plenty of rest along the way on ledges, etc. Mountain Project calls it low 5th and SummitPost calls it 4th. I don't remember a real crux but there is some sustained knob dancing around the halfway point. It goes fast if you third class it.
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Re: Anyone ever NOT been sketched out on Crestones N. Buttress?

Post by TomPierce »

For extra credit: Downclimb it. Without a rope. Sporty fun! :lol:

-Tom
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