It has been prime Little Cottonwood Canyon bouldering season lately…
My first attempt on ‘Helen Keller’. I didn’t get much farther than this … and yes, those are the starting holds. Picture by Trevor.
… but Rafiti did. He picked up the send this past weekend!! Woot, woot! Picture by Trevor.
Nathan at the Goldy boulder.
Emil on ‘St. Nick’.
Me on ‘Sweet Baby Jesus’. I have only given this line one attempt but would *really* like to try it again. Only problem is it is a high-ball with a crappy landing, so basically you want to avoid falling at all costs while fully knowing the crux is at the top.
Oh my…. I just swung by Jun’s blog and saw the best post EVER! It is a video of SLC locals bouldering and I LOVE IT! I love watching Severhead and Jun crushing, giggled when JamesMonster cut her feet on a v0, smiled when I saw ShutUp at the Wrinkle in Time area in Joes Valley …. and then laughed out loud when I saw I was actually included in this video. HA HA HA! I do have two questions though…
Why does everyone in this video send EXCEPT me? =)
How in the world did I miss this strip show by Severhead?
Thanks for putting this together, Jun. I can’t wait to get out and boulder with the local gang.
I have been on vacation for six weeks, or perhaps I should say pseudo vacation considering I do work 2 days per week. To be honest, working my job AROUND my climbing schedule is quite heavenly. =)
For the past six weeks I decided to stay in Utah, mostly in SLC, as there were still routes and crags I wanted to explore, I had a wide network of climbing partners, but mostly because I don’t know where my next job will take me.
Yet by the time Sept 1 rolled around, I started to question my Utah decision, fretting that I should have used this time to go somewhere far away. However, if the goals of this pseudo vacation are relaxation, having fun and climbing, perhaps I should stop worrying about my decision as these past weeks allowed me to do the following:
I climbed in the local canyons of Big Cottonwood, Little Cottonwood, American Fork and Ferguson. (Pictured is me at a dawn bouldering session with Severhead, Jun and Trent.)
I made a couple weekend trips to Maple Canyon. (Pictured is a SLC climber getting ready to attempt Ammo Dump.)
I visited Wild Iris, this being only my second trip. (Pictured is a SLC climber.)
I bouldered some excellent problems in Joes and Triassic. (Pictured is Shaft.)
I was able to climb 31 out of 46 days. (Pictured is me on a very cool, thin problem, with the classic sandy top-out in Triassic.)
I enjoyed the sunrise in Little Cottonwood. (On this day I was climbing Pentapitch with new friend, Tyler.)
I sent another 12a route and my first v7. Yippee!! (Me looking super serious at Joes Valley.)
I spent my birthday weekend with my great friend, while we both completed our birthday challenges. (Pictured are Shaft and I after completion of his 41 boulder problem birthday challenge.)
I checked out the Outdoor Recreation Show and watched the Mammut Bouldering competition. Fun, fun, fun!
I enjoyed many great nights out on the town. (Pictured are Shaft and I at Brian and Elise’s wedding. Whew… I was in dire need of a haircut!)
I partied it up at my old house where I watched Shaft get his a$$ kicked by the JamesMonster in guitar hero.
And I saw The Route Slayer extremely happy after climbing. (Check out the pink car in the background!) =)
Yep, I need to stop fretting. These past six weeks have been great!
I received one of the kindest emails a couple months ago from a fellow local climber who had read on my blog that I was interested in hopping on some 5.12s. He had already cruised through the majority of local 12s and so sent me a list of his personal favorites. It was such an incredibly nice gesture and an email I have often referenced.
Rainbow seen on the walk down from the Millstone.
I thought that a similar listing of my favorite Wasatch routes by grade (updating this post as I continue to climb) might be of use to readers. The following routes are listed as name, grade (broken down by letter grade for 5.10 and above), location and my comments.
Shaft on Wrecking Ball (5.10 – 11) with SP on Hollow Man (5.9).
Maudlin – Salt Lake Slips, Big Cottonwood – This is a new route to the left of Italian Arete. It is long, requiring a 70mm rope and 12 quickdraws. Great for beginners.
Geronimo – S-Curves Upper Wall, Big Cottonwood – Fun!
Hollow Man – Challenge Buttress West Face, Big Cottonwood – Great warmup with fun “Big Cottonwood” moves.
Ionic Binding (9+) – S-Curves Lower Wall, Big Cottonwood – I have learned to really enjoy this climb, even though it gives me flash pump ever time I run it. I swear 9+ is one of the hardest grades. =)
There are two fun 5.9′s at Storm Mountain. The wall is newer and not in the guide book. I will update when I figure out the names and area. They are in essence right across from the small reservoir.
Goreham leading Litmus Test (5.11c).
Caress of Steel (5.10a) – The Membrane, American Fork – The foot holds are a little polished, but it is definitely still worth one’s time. An AF Classic.
Twist And Shout (5.10a) – The Escape Buttress, American Fork – This climb has a warm spot in my heart because it was my first 5.10 lead / redpoint.
Total X (5.10a/b) – The Watch Tower, Ferguson – This is a mixed route with the bottom being a 5.8 gear line with the top bolted section being a 5.10 pump-fest. Fun!
Hidden Agenda (5.10b) – Industrial Wall, Little Cottonwood – Great slab route, which means I did not lead it nor ever will. =) However, if you love slab or are top roping, definitely do this route.
Union Dues (5.10b) – Industrial Wall, Little Cottonwood – Another great slab route, which means I top-roped. If you love slab or on a top rope, this one is splendid. =)
Salem’s Lot (5.10c) – Salt Lake Slips, Big Cottonwood – Cragbaby readers might disagree on this route, but for some reason I love this line. The book doesn’t give it many stars, but I think I like it because it was one of the first 10’s I ever worked on. I remember top-roping it on numerous occasions and being scared of falling into the huge pine tree when starting to lead.
Wrecking Ball (5.10 – 5.11′ish) – Challenge Buttress West Face, Big Cottonwood – This climb is to the left of Hollow Man and pulls a roof with a couple tricky moves. Some call it a 11b, some say it is easier.
Winky and Waxman Go Bolting Extension – (5.10 – 11’ish) – Challenge Buttress West Face, Big Cottonwood – Link the Winky and Waxman line (the book says 11b, but I think it is more like a 10) with the long 5.10 line that finishes at the top of the crag. Fun and pumpy!
Cecret Lake Wall, Albion Basin, Little Cottonwood – the whole wall is a row of 5.10s, with each climb better than the next. The surrounding is a beautiful meadow with a stream by the crag.
The Route Slayer on Right Pile (5.11d).
Black Monday (5.11a) – Lower S Curves, Big Cottonwood – Uber classic! I have yet to meet a person who does NOT like this climb.
Stone Ground (11b) – Millstone, Big Cottonwood – Due to the bolting, I think this route seems hard for the grade. The moves are fantastic, but it is quite a bit heady.
Misery (5.11b) – Broad’s Fork, Big Cottonwood – The book only gives this route one star, but I think it is a fun line that includes lots of stemming. Plus it is surrounded by other great climbs.
Firewoman (5.11b) – The Watchtower, American Fork – Crimpy and fun! Seemed hard for the grade.
Primal Magic (5.11b) – The Hard Rock, American Fork – The AF guide doesn’t give this route any stars, but I really like it.
High Dive (5.11b/c) – S-Curve Upper Wall, Big Cottonwood – This is the second pitch above Geronimo. Short, sweet, and very similar to Black Monday.
Litmus Test (5.11c) – Division Wall, American Fork – Easier climb with one tricky move over the roof. A good first 11c.
Right Pile (5.11d) – The Pile, Big Cottonwood – I absolutely love this climb as it was my nemesis for almost a year. Very hard, pumpy 11d that I finally sent with the use of two heel-toe cams and numerous attempts. A must do!
Reaching for Razors (5.11d) – Hell, American Fork – Some people mention that this climb is polished (as it is one of the very few warmups in Hell), but I found it to be superb.
Mach (5.11d) – The Speed Trap, Big Cottonwood – The book gives it only one star, but I really like this climb. Note that between the 4th and 5th bolt it is quite heady as it seems a bit run-out, though the holds are all there.
Dumb Broads (5.11d) – Broad’s Fork, Big Cottonwood – Pumpy little thing!
Sorry, but my list caps out at 12b as that is the hardest grade I have actively worked, merely toproping a couple 12cs. I will keep the list updated and would welcome any route suggestions from you readers.