American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Toothrock, East Buttress

United States, Arizona, Vermilion Cliffs (above Lee's Ferry)

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year: 1996
  • Publication Year: 1997

On December 29-January 1, Paul Gagner and I finished a 1,500-foot east buttress route (11 pitches, 5.10 A2) started by Glenn Rink et al and never completed. Noebels, Mish and George Bain went up to try the route, but there were “too many people,” so Rink and Noebels bailed. They got halfway up the first pillar pitch (sixth pitch overall) on that effort, in 1980, and left water bottles. In 1994, Rink and Jason Keith completed most of the pillar (to the eighth pitch), but then Keith announced he had to be at work the next day and didn’t want to finish. He had just done the north face and was sick of the rock. Rink: “I made him promise he’d never bring up trying again, but a year later he was saying we ought to go back.” Paul and I added three mostly free pitches and a scrambling pitch and rapped the route. We didn’t name the route; just call it the East Buttress.

Dougald MacDonald

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