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Failing on Fine Jade

For some reason, we thought it would be fun to drive down to Moab and give the classic route Fine jade (.11a | 5 pitches) a try. It is a route that is a bit beyond our climbing ability, but we figured that we could just aid through any tough spots on the route. We started driving early Saturday morning around 5am. We were very surprised when we got to Moab that there was more snow on the ground than in Salt ... Read more

Climbing Lightbulb Tower (AKA James Tower) 5.10 | A1

Kirk and I recently took our first trip to The San Rafael Swell in southern Utah. On that trip we just cragged and found some awesome single pitch routes. However, we wanted to return and try out the more adventurous side of climbing in The Swell. We looked up a bunch of routes on Mountain Project and found a cool looking tower call the Lightbulb. It was 3 pitches rated 5.10 and A1. With that grade we'd be pushing our free ... Read more

Almost Free Soloing Standard Ridge (5.6 | 9 Pitches)

Kirk recently climbed Standard Ridge in Big Cottonwood with our friend Nathan. Not long after he suggested we solo it. After a few weeks, an opportune day arose and so we went for it. We brought our harness, a light twin rope, and a super small rack just in case we got intimidated. We scrambled up the chossy beginning of the route and made our way to a steep face that took us to the main exposed ridge. We followed this ... Read more

Climbing Open Book on Lone Peak in the Wasatch (5.7 | 4 Pitches)

Lone Peak Cirque is one of the most amazing places that the Wasatch has to offer in terms of scenery and awesome, high quality granite climbing. The hike is steep and grueling, but once you enter the meadow at the top of Jacob's Ladder, the cirque comes into view and the steep hiking is behind you. The cliffs slowly move closer to you as you hike. You finally reach the cirque and the walls tower around you. It's very impressive. Once in ... Read more

Climbing The North Chimney of Castleton Tower in Moab, UT (5.9 | 3 Pitches)

Castleton Tower is an iconic climbing destination for trad climbers all over the world. With two routes on it rated in the 5.9 range, it makes it one of the first towers that many climbers do. Because if this, the tower is popular and there are generally multiple parties on every route. We chose to do the North Chimney route on the tower because we heard it was cleaner and more aesthetic line. The 5.9- vs 5.9+ of Kor Ingalls also ... Read more

Climbing Horns of Satan (.10c | 8 Pitches) on Devil’s Castle at Alta, Utah

I had done a little bit of reading about Black Streak on Devil's Castle before my friend suggested the neighboring route "Horns of Satan." I am glad he did. The route is traditional protection, but because it is Limestone, it is mostly bolted and incredibly chossy. The harder sections are very well bolted and incredibly fun. Our adventure started around 7:00 or 8:00am when we parked at the upper parking lot near the campground. The hike to the base didn't take too ... Read more

Climbing the Thumb in Little Cottonwood Canyon (5.7, 10 pitches)

The Thumb isn't the greatest climb in Little Cottonwood, but it is an aesthetic feature within the canyon. With 10 or 11 pitches of 5.7, it sounded like an awesome adventure to Kirk, Wes and me. We met at the Gate parking at 6am and began hiking to the base shortly after. By 7am, we were racking up for pitch 1. I started up the 165 feet of 5.4 and quickly made my way to the top. I belayed Kirk and ... Read more

Rock Climbing in Little Cottonwood: Call it what you please

I think this climb is considered one of the Little Cottonwood classics, but I am not sure. Regardless, it was a really fun route. It is located in the Gate Buttress within the Schoolroom area. To get to the climb, you follow a trail through the bouldering area and out onto a large boulder field. From here you move up the boulders. You will see a gully that you could potentially hike up. This is the Green A gully. A different ... Read more

Rock Climbing without a Knife, Are you Crazy?

Rock Climbing without a Knife, Are you Crazy? Seriously, think about it. You are stuck 2000 feet up a blank face and you are dangling from the rope. Maybe you've been impaled by a large tree branch and you can't keep moving, but if you just keep hanging there, the weight of your body will blow the three piece anchor your partner built and you'll both die. In this situation, having a high quality rock climbing knife will allow you to ... Read more

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
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