My friend Jeremy put a bug in my ear about a month ago about doing one of the Rocky Mountain classic trad routes, the 13 pitch, 5.6+ Brewer’s Buttress. Since I haven’t climbed trad for a while, I wanted to warm up a bit on some sport climbs and the gym, but didn’t get enough practice time as I’d hoped. Weekends have been at a premium this summer, so luckily our schedules jived this weekend and we decided to give it a go on Saturday, August 20, 2011. I was at Jeremy’s house at 4am, we loaded up into his STI and hour and a half later, we were at the Castle Mountain Lookout parking lot. With the temperature of 1C at the
car and after a pleasant 2.5 hour approach to the base of the climb, we started our route around 9:30am. The sky was starting to show signs of a bluebird windless day. Jeremy led the first pitch to get the cobwebs out and the rock was nice and cold to the touch. The rock was in good condition with few rubbly spots. I led the second pitch and we started alternating pitches on the way up. Few of the pitches we combined such as 4-5 and 9-10 which ran out the full 60m of rope. Jeremy led both of those as they were the hardest pitches of the route and he is a much better climber than I am. However, I led pitch 11 which is supposed to be a 5.6 pitch and largely exposed although “supposedly” with massive holds. Hmm, I didn’t find any of those “jugs” the guidebook talked about and the pitch felt a lot harder than the 5.6. Jeremy agreed once he joined me at the belay station. I may have made a deposit in my pants during that pitch. It
definitely got my blood going. The last two pitches were quite pleasant and after seven and a half hours on the face we topped out at 5pm. After a quick break and few texts to wives, gfs and friends, we set off to find the elusive descent route. Apparently if you’re not able to find the descent route, it could prove to be the crux of the route as has happened to our friend Nic and many others in the past. Luckily we found the route relatively easy and after some choss surfing and four or five
rappels we were back on the established trail. This never-ending trail took our tired legs to the car for a 14-hour car to car trip. We were quite happy, tired and very thirsty. We stopped at our friend Jason’s house in Canmore for some “hydration” and a steak. Fantastic day. Thanks Jeremy!
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