Classic Climbing in Little Cottonwood: Stiffler’s Mom (Pitches One – Three)

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This route gets overshadowed because it is right next to PentaPitch and Sasquatch which are both awesome climbs. However, I think “Stiffler’s Mom” is a really great climb. We only did pitches one through three because the route is 12 pitches and 5.11a…

I normally wouldn’t write about a route unless I lead it all, but the first three pitches are awesome and they are worth mentioning by themselves.

The consensus on the pitches are a little ambiguous though…

photo 1 (1)Pitch one is super cool. Comments on MP suggest this is 5.8-. I would agree with this rating. You climb up a face with a thin crack and then step right into a big dihedral. YOu layback the corner to get into an undercling roof and pull over a tree. The crux (in my opinion) was getting from the tree to the chains. It’s smeary and delicate, and its kinda hard to get back into the climb after standing on that tree!!

My friend Wes led pitch two. It was pretty good, too. MP comments give it a 5.7. I’d say this is mostly accurate. The problem is the first 66% is like 5.4 and the last 33% is awkward 5.8… So that gives 5.7 right? Ok cool. The pitch starts on a slab with a bolt. There are some features to grab too on the right and left. Then you get to a blocky, dirty ledge system that you step over to another large ledge… Then you start the actual climbing. There is a super cool finger crack, but it only lasts like 7 feet. Then you hit a large tree and climb into a slabby, stemming, awkward roof dihedral thing. Its really weird for like 2 or 3 moves and then you get out onto the face with some crimps and I think there’s dirt…

Anyways… Pitch three is insane. The suggested rating is 5.8+. I think the consensus is that any route with a + added to it means that it’s sandbagged. I just sent “The Coffin (5.9)” and one hung on “Sasquatch (5.9+)” so I was feeling ok about leading a 5.8+ as an onsite, but I was a little bit nervous. By the way, I give the third pitch a solid 5.10 rating. I wouldn’t go all the way and say 5.10+, but it’s very close.

The pitch climbs an awesome flake system with less than comforting gear options. I am kind of short so the roof was really hard for me because it required a really delicate slab move with a crimping side pull. Once you get the roof the hold high is awesome though.

11376518_940513139305286_2137000429_nOver the roof is a good ledge to another ledge that leads to a thin crack system in a dihedral. You climb up and out of the dihedral to a slab with a few holds in a horizontal crack below a bolt. I swear I did a hand foot match on a crimp to get above the first bolt. The second bolt is hard to clip and the moves above it are slabby with one terrible hold for your left hand around the corner and a high crimp over the lip for your right hand. You pull over the lip to the chains. We did three raps to get down from here.

I read the comments for pitch three after I did the climb. Some people said it was the hardest pitch out of all 12. Others rated it 5.10c and 5.10+… No one said it was 5.8+ and I agree. It is a really fun pitch though. It is just harder than I anticipated.

I would recommend the first three pitches of this route it if you are a solid 5.9 leader in Little Cottonwood on gear because the hardest moves are definitely at the bolts, but I’d also say that they are at least 5.10b slab.

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