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Direct South Buttress - 5.12a

Average Rating = 4.00/5 Average Rating : 4.00 out of 5
Route sequence (left to right): 1
Route Summary | Ascent Notes (5)
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Cams up to #3 Camalot, lots of long slings, small wires, two ropes
Consensus Ratings
  Difficulty (Not Rated)
  Safety Rating G
  Exposure (Not Rated)
  Rock Quality (Not Rated)
  Scenery (Not Rated)
  Fun Factor (Not Rated)


Probably the best rock route in the Tetons. It goes free at 12a, but for most people its 5.8/9, A1. The first 11 pitches wander quite a bit, but generally follow the western edge of the South Buttress to a large bowl. There's a wide variety of climbing on these lower pitches, thin faces, traverses, offwidths, and hand cracks. The aid (or 12a) pitch has a long pendulum/tension traverse followed by a thin crack. At the bowl, you can either rap the right side of the buttress or continue up another 2000 ft. of 5.4 to the summit. The approach involves canoeing two lakes and bushwacking up a hard to follow trail, so a bivy is typical.

Submitted by: agrauch on 2002-10-11
Views: 1230
Route ID: 25357

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5 Ascents Recorded

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  Safety Rating G
Onsight Onsight ascent by: canmoron on 2008-06-28 (View Climbing Log)

4 out of 5 stars DSB to Mt Moran summit

After reaching the bowl at the top of the DSB at 11:15am, we thought for sure we would get back to our camp w/o a bivy. Wrong! From the edge of the bowl, we spent 10+ additional hours givener before we finally resigned ourselves to a bivy 3 pitches below the summit. The difficulty may have been somewhat harder than described in the guidebook because of the amount of snow and therefore the need to change from rock shoes to mountain boots several times. In any case the regular DSB felt like cake (90% 5.7 or easier), but the rest of the ridge to the summit did not. Fortunately it wasn't a very cold night ~30F and windless, so we didn't shiver too badly. An incredible sunrise the next morning helped us get psyched to continue to the summit. The SW Couloir descent was cake and took ~4 hours summit to camp. We needed crampons in places since we were descending early in the day. It might go with just mtn. boots/axe if it was in the sun.

Ortenberger/Jackson topo is quite good for regular DSB, as is the topo from the Teton Rock CD. For routefinding purposes, it's worth noting that some of the first 6 pitches are >60m but once you are on the headwall they are mostly 30m-ish.

Added: 2008-07-01

Onsight Onsight ascent by: weinstsb on 2005-08-24 (View Climbing Log)

0 out of 5 stars Ascent Note

The route is A1 through the 5.12 section.

Added: 2005-08-24

Red Point Red Point ascent by: agrauch on 2001-07-04 (View Climbing Log)

0 out of 5 stars Ascent Note

Climbed this on my second attempt, car to car in a 22 hour day.

The descent was a bit of an horror show through 5 hours of continuous downpour.

Added: 2001-07-04

Red Point Red Point ascent by: dscottusa on 1988-07-28 (View Climbing Log)

0 out of 5 stars Ascent Note

No comment

Added: 1988-07-28

Red Point Red Point ascent by: dzungaria on 1967-08-25 (View Climbing Log)

0 out of 5 stars Ascent Note

This is far and away the best alpine rock climb I have ever done. The rock is beautiful, and the crux section at the top of the buttress is spectacular. Route finding can be a problem; at least in the 60s many parties lost their way.

Added: 1967-08-25