Traveler Buttress, Lover's Leap, Main Wall 5.9

   
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Lake Tahoe, California, USA

  • Currently 5.0/5
Avg time to climb route: 4 hours
Approach time: 25 minutes
Descent time: 30 minutes
Number of pitches: 4
Height of route: 600'
Overview
There are four reasons why you must climb this route: amazing line, stomach-turning exposure, flawless rock quality, and a fascinating history. Of all the Lover’s Leap routes, Traveler Buttress is one of the most varied as it delivers steep face, straight in cracks, wide climbing, and runout dike-hiking. It is a desirable climb for many reasons, one of them being that it was dubbed a “50 Classic Climb of North America” by Steve Roper and Allen Steck. Royal Robbins also thought highly of the route, “Personally, I think the best route at Lover’s Leap is Traveler Buttress. It takes first place for quality of climbing, variety, situation, and length.” However, don’t be fooled by the routes popularity: this route is difficult and committing. The climbing is sustained at 5.8 and 5.9 and you must negotiate both burly offwidth as well as a 70-foot 5.5 runout.
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History
FA: (below Main Ledge) Steve Roper, Steve Thompson, and Gordon Webster, 1966. (above Main Ledge) unknown.
FFA: (above Main Ledge) Dick Long and Allen Steck, 1965.

Traveler Buttress was done free in 1966 from talus to summit, perhaps the first 5.9 at the Leap. The name, for which I admit responsibility, demands that I tell an obscure tale. Pink rock near the crux jamcrack reminded me of the word “pinko,” once a pejorative for a communist. Pinko didn’t seem like a suitable name, so my then-fertile brain conjured up “fellow traveler,” another name for a commie rat. This seemed too cumbersome, so minutes later I had it: Traveler Buttress. Now it’s often called Traveler, which changes the original meaning entirely. So it goes. A ...   [full history for SuperTopo members only!]

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Source: SuperTopo Guidebook Staff Last update: October 7, 2012
Lover's Leap, Main Wall - Traveler Buttress 5.9 - Lake Tahoe, California, USA. Click to Enlarge
One of the 50 Classic Climbs of North America.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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