West Buttress follows incredible, continous crack systems up the left edge of the Southwest Face. The first half is more steep, slightly more challenging, but much more memorable than Lurking Fear with sweeping views of the Southwest Face (Lurking Fear joins West Buttress on its 11th pitch). WB does have a couple pitches that require nailing. The 3rd pitch is a little difficult for an Intermediate climb, but the rest of the route is so (mostly)cruiser that if you are worried you could fix past the third pitch and decide if you are up for the climb. The middle part of the route follows nice, often wide cracks with a couple sections of  mandatory 5.8 freeclimbing. The second pitch is probably one of the most classic 5.10- lieback pitches in the Valley. West Buttress is easier than North America Wall or Dihedral but harder than Lurking Fear; it is similar in overall difficulty to Zodiac though WB is a day longer.


*Plan: Most parties fix a couple pitches the first day, spending the rest of the day hiking a second load and maybe hauling to their high point. After that most parties spend 3-5 days on the route.


*Ledge: The first bivy ledge below pitch 12 is great for siting on and relaxing, but you will still use your portaledge. The ledge atop pitch 16 is good not great for two; Thanksgiving Ledge and the Summit are awesome.


*The Elements: West Buttress gets Sun late morning to sunset.

Trip Reports



1. Partner
David Allfrey, Alex Honnold
May 2013 (Success!)
1. Solo
Kevin Thaw
Sep 1996 (first one day solo ascent)
Steve Schneider, Jeff Schoen
Jul 1998 (first one day ascent)