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Alpine Climbing in the Wasatch | Eleventh Hour, Sundial Peak

Sundial Peak and Lake Blanche are a classic hiking destination for many people in the Salt Lake Valley. It's a short, 20 minute drive and a rewarding 2 hour hike to the lake, but the views are spectacular. It is easily in the top 3 most esthetic hiking destinations in the Wasatch. Having said that, Sundial peak is a big reason why this hike is so beautiful. You come up over the ridge and the peak dominates your view. It towers over the ... Read more

Climbing Brain Full of Spiders in Rock Canyon

Brain Full of Spiders is a pretty fun, 4 pitch route just west of Provo, Utah in Rock Canyon. The route is bolted, rated 5.9+ and a perfect combination of difficulty for my girlfriend Kim and I. She had never led anything on a multipitch route and the upper pitches are easier with a fair amount of exposure still. While the rock quality in Rock Canyon is somewhat poor, the adventure climbing there is super fun. To get to the climb you ... Read more

Classic Climbing in Little Cottonwood: Satan’s Corner

I love this route. I think it is my favorite 5.8 in little cottonwood. It is stiff and scary. The route starts on a steep, sustained face for about 50 feet. It is every size. Perfect hands to fist. Fingers and face climbing. It as a good variety. You pull over the face onto a big ledge were you can build an anchor and do the route as two pitches to avoid rope drag. Or you can keep climbing up a fist sized ... Read more

Classic Climbing in Little Cottonwood: After the Fall

This climb was a somewhat intimidating onsite for me. It's long and 5.9. Usually, I try not to onsite 5.9 in little cottonwood because I still feel new enough to trad climbing that I don't want to get myself in over my head too much, but I decided to give it a try anyways. I'm glad I went for it, but I didn't climb it as well as I would have liked and this is a route that I definitely need to get back ... Read more

Alpine Climbing in the Wasatch: Lowe Route (5.8) | Lone Peak Cirque

We began hiking up Jacob's Ladder trail just as the sun started lighting the horizon and the stars faded into the dull grey. The low-light, black and white landscape slowly filled with color as the brightness of the day began to warm the cool fall air. Step by step, Kirk and I lugged our climbing gear, food, and water for the day upwards toward Lone Peak Cirque. The recent cold front kept things cool for the hike, but it worried us a little that it might ... Read more

Climbing Sweet Jane in Little Cottonwood

Sweet Jane sits in the same area as Beckey's Wall and Satan's Corner so it is hard to compare with these two super classic climbs, but I still found it to be an enjoyable two pitches. The route starts by scrambling to the actual base of the climb up a 15 foot easy 5th class crack system. You walk up a gully and left along a ledge to stand about 15 feet below a set of chains. Then you scramble up another ... Read more

Classic Climbing in the Tetons: CMC Route on Mount Moran

I find it interesting how intense the alpine world is. I have spent the last few years gradually climbing harder and harder mountains. It never ceases to amaze me how insignificant I feel when I commit to a big climb. The CMC Route on Mount Moran is an Alpine grade II and the face is 1000 feet of 5.5 climbing. My friend Kirk and I got our permits at the rangers station a few hours earlier, but we were still in the ... Read more

Classic Climbing in Squamish, British Columbia: Octupus Garden in the Shade

This route was pretty good! As I mention in my previous Squamish post, the rating felt off. It is rated a 5.8 in the guide book and 5.8 on Mountain Project and I am ok with that rating, because the climbing felt about 5.8. However, the gear placements are what felt weird to me. For a route to be consider a "Top 100 Classic" like this one, I feel like it needs to have some outstanding features: sustained, high quality climbing, great gear, maybe ... Read more

Climbing ‘Bilbo Baggins’ in Squamish, British Columbia

To start off, I'd like to comment on the fact that the Squamish Guide Book rates the climbs differently than Mountain Project does. It's a little confusing because the grades that I felt were a bit soft were rated harder and the ones I thought were hard were graded easier... Anyways, Bilbo Baggins is a pretty awesome splitter on the far right of the Burgers and Fries area of the Smoke Bluffs in Squamish. It is rated 5.8 in the guide book, ... Read more

Classic Climbing in Little Cottonwood: Stiffler’s Mom (Pitches One – Three)

This route gets overshadowed because it is right next to PentaPitch and Sasquatch which are both awesome climbs. However, I think "Stiffler's Mom" is a really great climb. We only did pitches one through three because the route is 12 pitches and 5.11a... I normally wouldn't write about a route unless I lead it all, but the first three pitches are awesome and they are worth mentioning by themselves. The consensus on the pitches are a little ambiguous though... Pitch one is super cool. ... Read more
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