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Trip Report    

Poster Peak/Blue Buttress

Short approach, moderate climbing. The best kind of trip.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The trail along Early Winters Creek is somewhat there. A lot of boulder hopping up to Blue Buttress itself.

  • 0615 Leave Hairpin turn
  • 0745 Toe of Blue's Buttress
  • 0800 Start climbing
  • 1030 Technical crux
  • 1130 Pucker crux
  • 1345 Summit
  • 1415 Start descent
  • 1645 Back at cars

Gear: Cams 0.5-3", small nuts and tricams, 10 slings, a lot of doubles and triples needed to avoid rope drag.

A lot of the beta from this trip was from Andrew Lee's report: His descriptions and sentiments are pretty accurate for this route, especially the one for P8.

After deciding not to chance the Catscratch Gullies on Forbidden, we looked for another objective that was long and moderate and would allow us to practice simulclimbing. Blue's Buttress fit the bill perfectly. With one dropping from our original team, we were back to having a rope of 3. I would lead until after the technical crux and the end of P7 while Swapnil would lead the rest. Julia and Swapnil have both been to Kangaroo Temple, so I let them figure out where we were going. The approach was short and generally mild with not too much boulder hopping along the way. There was a bit of off trailing up the creek that feeds into Early Winter's Creek, but I was surprised to find a trail shortly after.
Pose (2).JPG
Life is a JoJo reference
Pano of approach
I generally followed the Supertopo map to find my way around the route.We simuled as a group of 3 on a 70m rope. I found this to be a lot more time consuming because of the time it takes to go through portions where pitching out the route was necessary. There was another party of 4 just behind us as 2 teams of 2.
Blue Buttress on left, House Buttress center right
The approach ramp
The first section went by pretty quickly. It was easy terrain with many trees to put slings on. However, at the middle of pitch 3 the rope drag got to be too much, so I put a belay there and retrieved the gear. At this point the first rope team of the second party overtook us, but we met up at the beginning of pitch 6 again, right before the crux.
Crux (2).JPG
Crux Crack
The crux move can be bypassed by the lieback on the right. The other leader said it was a single lieback move. For some reason, we decided to do the crack. It took me a bit to overcome it since I have no crack practice. I didn't grunt like Andrew, so I was at a disadvantage. Here the second rope on the second team overtook us. I belayed Julia and Swapnil up. They both agreed that it was difficult. I lead the rest of pitch 7 and half of 8 and slung a block before the notch.
Pucker (2).JPG
Pucker up
Swapnil took the lead to the end of P9 including the short runout and airy step. The step was trickier than expected and took awhile to safely protect and navigate. The end of this pitch brought us to more 3rd class scrambling, and we went straight up/leftist and then to the right to a large bench (The topo says there's a 5.6 move, but I didn't see it). A low-fifth ramp brought us to the summit.
Summit (2).JPG
Summit shot
We didn't spend too long at the summit, electing to go down as soon as we were done eating. The trail down wasn't too bad (waaayyyyyy better than on Black Peak) and the loose choss was deep enough to be able to plunge step. We got back to the cars before 5pm and got a decent meal in Winthrop.
Goaty McGoat
All in all, a pretty good day. I think it will still be awhile for us to get proficient as climbing in a team of 3.
PC: Julia Syi, Swapnil Dinkar