Climbing Brain Full of Spiders in Rock Canyon

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Brain Full of Spiders is a pretty fun, 4 pitch route just west of Provo, Utah in Rock Canyon. The route is bolted, rated 5.9+ and a perfect combination of difficulty for my girlfriend Kim and I. She had never led anything on a multipitch route and the upper pitches are easier with a fair amount of exposure still.

While the rock quality in Rock Canyon is somewhat poor, the adventure climbing there is super fun. To get to the climb you can go straight up the scree slope just off the main trail to a cave on the first buttress you can see on the left from the parking lot. From the cave you go up a ramp that slowly disappears. At the end of this ramp is a 2 bolt anchor. This is where the technical climbing begins.

Pitch 1 (5.9+):
IMG_0150From the ramp, you step around a bulge to the left of the anchor and clip the first bolt. The route begins about 60 feet off the deck below and is pretty steep so the exposure kicks in right away. The first few bolts are steep and sustained and few bolts up at the crux you start to wonder how this route is 5.9. The crux pulls over a bulge to crimps with a pretty big sloping ledge for your feet. Pull on the crimps and the feet disappear for a few moves to the next bolt. Clip and keep moving through sustained terrain that begins to ease a little through the next bolt. Make an easy, but airy move traversing left and up through a few bolts to a low quality staircase to the chains on a grass covered ledge. Be careful of rope drag and loose rocks on the last 30 feet or so of this pitch.

Pitch 2 (5.6):
Kim took the lead on this pitch. It starts up a low angle dihedral that hits a sort of headwall at the top after 2 bolts. Move left and jump a gap over a small bush and around a sharp corner that pushes you back out over the exposure. Climb up and over some steep blocks with ledges every 10 feet or so to a big ledge with a 2 chain anchor. I think there were 6 bolts on this pitch…

Pitch 3 (5.6):
Some clouds started rolling in and the forecast called for afternoon rain, so I decided to book it up the last 2 pitches and combine them. The first 3 or 4 bolts of pitch 3 were steep and fun. I clipped each bolt with a shoulder length sling to avoid rope drag. The last few bolts of the pitch were easy, unexposed climbing. I made may way up and skipped the chains clipping alpine draws on all the bolts as I went.

Pitch 4 (5.easy):
IMG_0200I traversed left from the chains that I did not clip on big ledge toward a staircase of 10 foot ledges that were about 5.2 climbing. I skipped the first bolt that was waist high and clipped the next bolt that was an arms reach from the deck… Seemed excessive. I continued up the easy staircase past 3 or 4 bolts to the top-out where a set of chain anchors are set. I think I climbed these 2 pitches and 160 feet in about 8 minutes.

This was super fun route though. The exposure on the first 3 pitches is pretty consistent the whole way. It made for a really great route and the climbing is relatively easy. The crux on the first pitch felt .10a to me, but I think the onsite makes it harder. I read comments suggesting the same thing. It is just about committing and trusting your abilities through the crux until the route becomes really easy and fun.

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