Trad Climbing

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Rock Climbing Around Tahoe, CA

Kim and I recently took a trip out to San Francisco to visit our friend Brent and see his new place. We didn't really have any plans to do any rock climbing, but inevitably it's what we always end up doing. After spending a few days in the city riding bikes across the Golden Gate Bridge and handing out with friends, we loaded up the car and drove up to North Tahoe to a climbing place called The Emeralds. This place ... Read more

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

Ellingwood Ledges Direct Start (5.7) | Colorado Alpinism

We began our hike in around 4:00am and made our way to the base of the direct start of the Ellingwood Arete. With two teams of two, Martin and Brent started up the first, 5.5/5.6 pitch while Kim and I waited restlessly to begin. Kim and I started climbing once Brent had made some progress on the pitch. The route began on an insecure slab that traversed left into a large, low-angle dihedral, topping out on a large ledge with poor ... 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 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
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