AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

North America, United States, Wyoming, Tetons, Mount Moran, South Buttress Central

Mount Moran, South Buttress Central. The south buttress of Moran, which has already in the past 15 years provided three excellent and difficult routes, has yielded yet another. On July 16, Peter Koedt and Keith Becker climbed a distinct and spectacular route between the regular South Buttress route (1953) and the South Buttress East (1957). From the west end of the second ramp of the regular route, two initial pitches were climbed, the first up and right and the second somewhat left and then up. A steep but moderate ramp led again left for 100 feet where the exit was made up a short vertical wall to a belay niche. One more pitch up and left in a sloping ā€œVā€ left the party in an uncomfortable belay position just below prominent overhangs. Huge block overhangs could be seen arching up and right, part way around a great smooth slab some 300 feet across. This slab is of the same nature as the Great Traverse Slab of the South Buttress East, except that this one is two or three times as large. The problem was to reach the slab. After surmounting a small overhang the party followed a difficult quartz vein (F8) for 30 feet to the right and gained the slab. Direct aid using pitons and a bolt then led to a major horizontal quartz vein about 40 feet above. This was followed out until they were forced to ascend 30 feet to a third horizontal vein. This was again followed until a small but distinct ā€œVā€ led up and back to the left under an overhang. The climbers went underneath this overhang for some 50 feet before they could step around it on the left. Two more pitches up through small overhangs and short walls, once requiring a bolt for protection, brought them to a friction traverse to the right to an obvious vertical cleft which led to the large bowl at the top of the buttress. The difficulty of this climb is comparable to that of the regular route (III, F8, A2). While there are fewer pitches, the hard ones are probably more difficult. The slab is, for the Tetons, a most spectacular place and the route climbed is probably the only feasible one across it.