Classic Climbing in Little Cottonwood: Squeeze my Lemon

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“Squeeze my Lemon” is one of my favorite climbs in Little Cottonwood. My friends and I just led it again this year, so I thought I’d add it to the blog. I don’t know if it is technically considered a classic climb, but it has 3 stars and personally, I think it is the best 5.7 in the canyon. I’ll tell you why…

The route is sustained crack climbing, which is rare for a 5.7 in Little. It changes sizes a lot. You mostly have perfect hand jamming, but both traverses narrow to fingers. There are also two sections where the crack gets real wide and you can step inside it a bit.

The reason why a lot of people don’t like this route is because there is a tree near the start that you kind of have to climb on. My opinion is that this is one move on the route and the rest of it is awesome. Bushwhack Crack has a tree too and it’s a classic.

You start the route by grabbing a chicken head and shuffling your feet on a sloping ledge in order to get your hands into the crack. You can place a BD #2 here. Matching hand jams pull you up and into the crack; then you hit the tree. I don’t know if it’s even worth trying to climb around it. Just grab it, stand on it and get back to climbing.

From here you get solid gear on what is probably the steepest section of the climb. Hand and feet jamming pulls you over a bulge and into the first traverse left. This is pretty straight forward, hands / fingers in the crack while feet are smearing and using chicken heads.

After the first traverse, the finger crack meets up with a fist-sized crack with good hands deep. Climb this as it widens and you can put a #4 BD cam here if you want, but a #3 works too.

The crack narrows and cuts left again to fingers and then disappears. The feet are a small sloping rail that doesn’t provide much comfort. There is an awesome finger jam (unless you put gear in it) that you can get your right hand into for the crux move which involves a blind, committing move into a perfect hand jam. Once you can reach the jam, the move is over. Smear your feet and you are back to perfect hand jamming for another 10 feet.

Here, you hit another tree. Try to stay right of it or else you’ll have a weird rope situation. Above the tree is a small ledge you can stand on before you climb into the offwidth chimney. It is actually easier to kind of layback on this facing right with your feet on the slope.

Reach high and grab the jugs to the chains.

I think this route provides a good variety of climbing and remains fairly sustained for its majority. The crux move is spicy and the gear is awesome. This route is great for people looking to feel secure and confident on 5.7 in Little Cottonwood.

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