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 on to make up for my first attempt.
The route starts up a bolted face with some pretty good holds to a large ledge that turns into a crack system on the right. It curves up from the ledge to a hook / bulge that you have to pull over into a wide crack behind a large flake that is much more stable than it looks.
Behind the flake, the crack starts as cupping hands and slowly gets larger as you move upward until you are making a few fist jams before hitting a roof. The roof is perfect hands, but kind of awkward requiring you to duck and traverse left to a good ledge and rest.
The next move is kind of hard. You pull another bulge with insecure feet into a perfect hand crack for about 10 feet or so until you hit a slightly overhanging, thin hand crack. Left of the crack is a steep, smooth face with a a few crimps and no feet.
This is the crux move of the route especially if you are getting pumped by this point. You jam hard with your right hand and crimp with your left to a positive hold on the right. Pull up to a tree and the chains.
This route was more mentally difficult than anything for me, but a great learning experience and fun climbing. I’d recommend it to people excelling in the 5.8 range in Little Cottonwood as a good intro to 5.9 climbing.
It has really good protection the entire way and if you are looking to feel really secure take a BD #4 and a few extra #2s. The crack is mostly hand size, so you could probably place 5 #2s if you wanted, but there is plenty of variety otherwise and I did it just fine with just 2.
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