Alpine Climbing

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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 the Mountaineer’s Route on Elephant’s Perch (Video) | Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

A few weeks ago, my friend Kirk and I were trying to decide on an adventure. Being from Salt Lake, we had plans to go to Yosemite, but ended up not working out for the timeframe that we wanted. We did have a couple days to make something happen, so the Elephant's Perch stood out to us as a moderate climb, short drive and easy approach. We left Salt Lake around 10:00am on a Thursday and drove the 6 hours to the ... 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

Climbing Thunderbolt Peak, Sierra Nevada Range, CA

The Sierra Nevada Mountain Range is one of the gnarliest areas I have ever been too. The exposure of the rock makes 3rd class climbing feel like 5th. One of my first mountain climbing adventures was in this range and it forever changed my outlook on life. Since that first experience, I had only returned once to the Sierras to climb Mount Whitney via the mountaineers route, but in September of 2014 my friend Brent and I decided to brave its ... 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

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

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 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