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Trip Report    

Intermediate Alpine Climb - Poster Peak/Blue Buttress

One day trip up the Blue’s Buttress route on Poster Peak during Larch Madness.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The start of the approach trail is easy to follow with a monster cairn visible from the parking area.  Eventually you have to split off to the right while the rest of the trail continues south to Kangaroo Pass.  Per the guidebook beta we did this when we were aligned with the base on House’s Buttress and then headed up hill following a faint climbers path.  When we hit the scree a couple hundred feet below that buttress we continued a rising traverse south (left) and around the giant roof marking the base of Blue’s Buttress.  We climbed a couple hundred feet up on the left side of the toe of the buttress and started the route by climbing the obvious low 5th weakness in the southside cliff to gain the buttress.IMG_6160 (2).JPG

Our party of 3 set out from the hairpin parking lot around 7:20, just after sunrise, in great weather. 

 We chose to simul the vast majority of the route on a doubled 60m climbed as a twin rope.  This kept us relatively close together to facilitate communication and the twin rope was nice since Poster has quite a bit of loose/friable rock.  We short-pitched the 30’ 5.6+ start to p5 and simul’d the rest of the route, building anchors only to recycle pro.

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One point worth noting is that the guidebook description of p7 would lead you to believe that the rock quality deteriorates after returning to the south side of the ridge after passing through the notch.  That is incorrect.  The rock quality is bad (very friable and most holds are sandy) on the north side of the ridge, i.e. BEFORE the notch.

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The summit views are very cool and provided a glimpse of the Madison Avenue ski run, Tower and Golden Horn to the north, and front row seats of Silver Star across the value to the east.

Gear-wise, we followed the guidebook’s advice of a standard rack of nuts and cams to blue BD, doubles of .4-1”, and the optional #4.  The number #4 never left the pack and I found myself wishing for TCUs multiple time to place in the many available small fingers sized cracks on the route.

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I have to say that I disagree with the guidebook’s recommendation to do this in early season.  The talus on the ascent/descent isn’t that big of a deal (although the descent from Poster Col, what WAPass skiers call the slot couloir, is WAY more fun on skis as the two Birthday Tour veterans on the trip agreed) and the hairpin is super larchy.  Really nice fall climb.

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Our group was unanimous in the opinion that Poster was quite a bit more fun than the previous day’s Spontaneity Arête climb.