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Grimface North Buttress (Driscoll/Fairley Route)
Timestamp Free: 2020.03.29 - 06:01:52
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Cascade Range / Canadian Cascades / Okanagan Range
  (1 days)
Participants: Doug Brown
Difficulty: 5: 5.9 crack, rappell necessary
Circa 1985 this was the longest and most difficult route on Grimface.
Approach: Camp at Quinscoe, Pyramid or other spot. Hike the goat lake trail and turn west into the drainage below Grimface at about 6700ft before you get to Goat lake.


Quoting from the Fairley Guide [my comments in brackets]. "North Buttress: FA: R. Driscoll, B. Fairley- June 30, 1985. This is the longest and most difficult route on Grimface [as of 1985, I'm guessing someone has put up harder lines by now]. Ascend snow on the left side of the toe of the buttress and begin in a short, obvious crack which leads to a sloping ramp [my 1st belay]. Move straight up from the end of the ramp (5.9 crack) and gain a hand crack at the west end of a ledge. Follow the crack making a couple of hard moves where it trends left [I kept looking left but then climbing mostly straight up here with small moves to the right, my 2nd belay], then climb a crack and blocks to gain a ledge. A large wall with moss-filled ctacks shoots upward from this ledge, but instead of climbing these, the route traverses left, down a few moves [my 3rd belay], then ascends a cleaner 5.9 crack to a roof. Undercling the roof to the right and step around onto a smooth wall [my 4th belay in an alcove with a slightly friable white wall], following a strenuous 5.10 crack to an arete [still 5.9 climbing assuming we were on route]. The sixth pitch [my 5th] then follows a curving crack and traverses right below overhangs. Some class 4 gains the notch, where a short rappel is necessary. Above the notch, traverse out to the right of the buttress crest. If you get lost en route, some hard variations are no doubt possible. Excellent rock; 11 pitches [8 pitches for us, we had 60m ropes but never stretched them out fully], with most climbing in the 5.7 to 5.9 range....

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