Spring/Summer/Fall

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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

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

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

Classic Climbing in Little Cottonwood: Sasquatch

If you mention the route "Sasquatch" to the trad climbing community around Salt Lake City, you might here comments like this: "The best finger crack in Little Cottonwood," or "the most aesthetic 5.9 in Little Cottonwood." This route is fantastic. I top roped it following my friend, Jesse, last summer when I was first starting to lead on gear and it blew my mind. I thought, after feeling extremely insecure the entire climb, that I would never, ever be able to lead a route ... Read more

Classic Climbing in Little Cottonwood: The Coffin

I have made it a policy for myself that I cannot write about a climb unless I lead it. So, I am happy to finally get to post about an amazing classic climb in Little Cottonwood called "The Coffin." Anyone that climbs trad in the Salt Lake area knows or has at least heard of this route. It is rated 5.9 and in Little Cottonwood, the grading is stout. The rock face is the shape of a coffin (hence the name) and ... Read more

Classic Climbing City of Rocks, Idaho: Wheat Thin

Because it has been so rainy in Salt Lake City the last few weeks, Kirk and I were able to sneak away to the City of Rocks on Saturday to take advantage of a day of clear weather. We got on three routes each. At the city, you have to build anchors at the top of each route and your partner must follow you up. This is great practice for building anchors, but is sort of slow if both partners want to lead. ... Read more
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