Classic Climbing in Little Cottonwood: Sasquatch

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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.”

sasquatch-little-cottonwoodThis 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 like that on gear…

Last week, I led Sasquatch. The route is so good. It starts on the second pitch of Pentapitch. To start the pitch you clip into a quick draw on the chains and make some delicate slabby moves out left. Stepping out right over your belay, you can place a #3 BD camelot. You then continue right, on slabby feet underclinging the flake to enter the crack system.

Here, you get a rest before one of the harder moves on the route. You pull up into the crack and it disappears, so you have to very delicately side pull the edge of the crack, smear your left foot, and rock over your right foot on large crystal to reach a large hold in the crack.

Once past this move, you can place a solid 0.5 Cam and get a good finger jam for a rest. The next few moves are awesome. Perfect finger jams and interesting feet to get up under the roof with perfect hand jams and great gear. A flake out right provides an awesome jug to pull the roof and soon you are above it staring a very thin crack, and the crux of the route.

Here you can set a stopper high in a notch that will soon become your foot hold. Fingertips and foot smears become the only thing holding you to the wall. Do you move fast or place gear? That is the question.

Which ever you decide, about 4 delicate moves get you to a pin scar where you get your first finger jam after what feels like eternity. The feet return and there are a few finger crack moves that lead you to a large ledge and chalk stone. A few more easy fifth class moves get you onto a main ledge where you can walk right to the chains.

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