Commissioner Buttress, 2nd pitch

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 20 of total 34 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Trad

Trad climber
Northern California
Topic Author's Original Post - May 2, 2007 - 02:06pm PT
Which way do you go on the 2nd pitch of Commissioner Buttress, the 5.9 route just east of Manure Pile? If someone's got the old Roper guide could you post the description? (I'll be the first to admit that, even on level ground, my route finding skills often leave much to be desired!)

My partner and I got on the route this past Saturday (4/28). The first pitch is pretty obvious and we stopped about 100 feet up on a small ledge near some bail/rap slings around a large rock, just above where the wide crack eases up. (If you lean out you can look over and down to see all the climbers waiting around on that big ledge on Nutcracker.) For the second pitch I started up a good finger/hand crack on the left that went up ~30 feet and around the left side of a large block, and entered a sort of wide, open book area. At that point I was above and right of the large conifer shown on the Reid topo, which hadn't been visible before. From there, I continued another ~20 feet up the left side to the top of the block. Above me, it looked like this:



Initially I intended to climb up another 15 or 20 feet to the roof and cut out to the right towards the crack that can be seen in the upper right of the photo, but as I approached the roof the rock got pretty grungy and steep, and the pro was poor so I downclimbed back to the block.

Then I considered going up left into the main area with wide cracks and chimneys. I explored a bit and could see the squeeze chimney shown in Reid but someone told me earlier on Saturday that they'd climbed Commissioner Buttress a few years ago and did NOT use the squeeze chimney. Nothing looked too appealing and I'd read an old rec.climbing TR by Dingus Milktoast where he said his partner got off-route leading the 2nd pitch and fell trying to pull a .10b roof, so I decided that I'd already gotten pretty good value out of that first pitch and backed off. I placed a nut/biner that I'd bootied from below where someone else had bailed partway up the 1st pitch (the nut is slowly hitchhiking it's way up the route), and more-or-less down-climbed on toprope back to the belay where we added some new webbing and rapped off.

Anyway, I'd like to go back and finish the route sometime if I can ever figure out where it goes. The first pitch is pretty burly but a good workout and fun once it's over (I'll bring an extra #4 cam [or 2] next time), and Commissioner Buttress is a great route for a warm afternoon because it's almost all in the shade.

Thanks in advance for any routefinding advice...

Tom
James

climber
A tent in the redwoods
May 2, 2007 - 02:14pm PT
Head for that tree and stay left up a straight crack system, I think. It's been awhile but I know you go up for sure.
spyork

Social climber
Land of Green Stretchy People
May 2, 2007 - 02:19pm PT
Cool stuff Tom. Sounds like "Old School" 5.9. Got any more pics?
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
May 2, 2007 - 02:19pm PT
You belay in that tree (many slings) and then do the easy roof crack (best part of the route) then if I recall you move left into a death gully with no pro and pass some large trees... grovel on to the top over loose terrain.
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
May 2, 2007 - 02:26pm PT
hey AC.. this is a climbing thread with actual information in it... so maybe you should go fukk yourself or something... tosser.
James

climber
A tent in the redwoods
May 2, 2007 - 02:39pm PT
Scott Stowe recommended it to me and Trundlesby one day. We were worried that the original gangster was sandbaggin us but it's not too stout, maybe just half a pint of Guiness worth. Fun climbing in an area that doesn't see much traffic (in Supertopo terms). After Five is a choss pile though.
Trad

Trad climber
Northern California
Topic Author's Reply - May 2, 2007 - 09:34pm PT
Thanks for all the route beta, folks!

As requested, Steve, here are a few more pics (yep, "old school" 5.9 sounds about right). First pitch of Commissioner Buttress from the base (gosh, it doesn't LOOK that hard...):



Leslie, pondering the roof move:



Leslie, powering up the rest of the pitch after pulling the roof move:



I was straight-in jamming for this section and almost fell when my foot slipped at one point (the wide crack just above Leslie), but as my foot slipped my left knee slotted down into a perfect jam and instead I got a nice rest!

Here's a view of the Nutcracker ledge from the 1st belay:



Looking down at the belay, just before I stepped around into the open book area:


Trad

Trad climber
Northern California
Topic Author's Reply - May 2, 2007 - 09:44pm PT
Quit screwing around and get back to work, Tom.

You got to learn to dyno.



Speaking of burly first pitches...

Maybe Crowley is still pissed from back in the olden days when he still climbed, and one day I talked him into going up to climb Phobos. I made it up to the first belay OK and waited for Crowley to follow. It went something like this:

Me (thinking to myself): Whew, that was hard! I wonder if Matthew will be able to climb this?!?...

Crowley: GRUNT...STRUGGLE...THRASH.......TAKE!!!!! Lower me.

(Time out while Crowley recovers.)

Crowley: GRUNT...STRUGGLE...THRASH.......TAKE!!!!! Lower me.

(Time out while Crowley recovers.)

Crowley: I don't think I can do this, Tom! Can you rap off?

Me (glancing over at the rap slings 5 feet away, then up at the ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL hand crack above. I heard the siren call and lied through my teeth): No, I'd have to leave gear! Can you aid it?

Crowley: #&*^@$*@&#%$

But he did it and here is the photographic proof:



(The picture was taken by a guy named Denis who we met in the store parking lot. On the hike up to Phobos he almost got pounced on by a bear, but that's a whole 'nother story...)

frisbee

climber
{this page left blank intentionally}
May 2, 2007 - 10:14pm PT
From the Roper guide:

"Commission Buttress
III, 5.9. Galen Rowell and Joe Faint, March 1969

A few hundred feet to the right of After Five is a 400-foot buttress lying against the southeast side of Ranger Rock. A large pine tree will be seen in the corner of the buttress, about 100 feet above the ground. Ascend 3rd class to a point about 50 feet uphill from the talus directly below the pine. Rope up in a chimney which ends in an overhanging dihedral. Difficult jamcracks, followed by somewhat easier climbing, lead to a belay ledge at the base of a flake system. Follow the flakes up and left to the pine. From here a fantastic pair of two-to-three-inch parallel cracks shoot up a clean wall to a roof. Skirt this roof on the left, then climb a squeeze chimney which leads to the top of the buttress. The next pitch proceeds up and left around a corner (5.6). The final pitch joins After Five and ends atop the rock."
couchmaster

climber
May 3, 2007 - 12:01am PT
A.C. You look like you're getting some "Penalty Slack" there, or somepin hanging out of yer pants:-)!
Fluoride

Trad climber
Hollywood, CA
May 3, 2007 - 01:22am PT
Great thread Tom, thanks a ton for the pics.

Russ - love your description of the second pitch!

I've been wanting to do Commissioner's. I like that it's obscure enough you probably won't need to get in line to get on it. Anyone else interested in it drop me an e-mail. I'll be around over the weekend.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 3, 2007 - 01:59am PT
Thanks! It looks like a good adventure - I'll keep it in mind for my next trip to the Valley, probably in September.
Trad

Trad climber
Northern California
Topic Author's Reply - May 3, 2007 - 10:13am PT
From the Roper guide...

Thanks, Jake. (It DOES kind of sound like your kind of route, doesn't it...?)
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
May 10, 2007 - 02:28am PT
This friggin thread inspired me to finally go do this route today. I took a local woman who is fortunately a good sport and fairly bad-ass cause a girly-girl climber would KILL you for taking her up a choss infested, wide, burly, too trad for it's own good, pile.

Nice adventure. First pitch- Overhanging Fist OW is 5.9d owing to lichenous rock and lack of faith in a clean fall. I didn't want to lieback cause i wasn't sure I wouldn't be checkmated by rounded rock higher up and fall and hit a little ledge.

Second PItch, also started up flakes which seemed to peter out so I backed down and traversed into an unprotected lichenous chimney which lead to nice double cracks to a weird roof. 5.8D+

Maybe it's the uncertainty, lichen and wide-ness but if you held a gun to my head and said, solo either Commissioners Buttress or Serenity Crack, I'd head right for Serenity. A good trad adventure in many ways, perhaps a step on the road to Steck Salathe for some.

Before and after this, the most gripping aspect of the climb is actually the fact that the topo is as accurate as a Bush Administration press conference. It looks like there are three alternatives to each pitch, the topo doesn't much help you choose, and two choices lead to badness and the right one is dirty and either stout or loose.

We thought about bailing after pitch 2 but it looked loose and dangerous to follow the topo bail route so we went up and it turned much easier (although loose and lichenous)

There's fun and there's adventure. This is a good adventure route but is a world away from all those Manure Pile routes to the Left

peace

Karl

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
May 10, 2007 - 10:07am PT
Sounds great Karl! We, ablegabel and I, were over on After Five a couple years ago and watched the circus on Nutcracker while climbing yet another feral route, within sight of the big party ledge... I think Commissioner Buttress is climbed a bit more than After Five, but it did make it to my adventure list... just haven't had time to go and do it recently.

Now I'm inspired!
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
May 10, 2007 - 10:24am PT
Yeah, it's a total Eddie Epic Route, you'll love it

How was After 5?

Peace

karl
spyork

Social climber
Land of Green Stretchy People
May 10, 2007 - 11:19am PT
Great Post Karl. Now I gotta climb this thing!
Trad

Trad climber
Northern California
Topic Author's Reply - May 10, 2007 - 12:52pm PT
That's great, Karl, and I feel honored to have played a part in your deciding to climb the route! I don't know if you would remember this, but we met a few years ago at El Cap base shortly after I got shut down (for the first time but not the last) on the Sacherer offwidth. You said something like, "Oh, if you can even do that well on Sacherer you should go over and try the first pitch of Salathe'. You should have no problem."

At that point I'd never led anything .10c (I didn't tell you that) but when I saw the crack I couldn't resist and you were right, it was fantastic! (Which reminds me - someday I'm going to write up a TR about climbing that pitch, entitled "GOD PLACED MY PRO!!")

Ed, I came across your After 5 thread before climbing Commissioner Buttress while searching for route beta, and when I got up there and saw Nutcracker it felt a little like deja vu because it looked just like one of your pictures. For anyone interested, that thread is at:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=193678

 Tom
frisbee

climber
{this page left blank intentionally}
May 10, 2007 - 01:50pm PT
Tom,
I didn't want to climb this until Karl used the word "lichen" 4 times in his post. Let's do it.

Jake
Wild Bill

climber
Ca
May 11, 2007 - 02:56pm PT
Crowley, lose the tape.

I mean, really, it's Yosemite, not Josh.

And get a shave while you're at it . . . and put on some clean clothes.
Messages 1 - 20 of total 34 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews