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West Bell Tower
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Beckey Route T 
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Beckey Route 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a R

   
Type:  Trad, 4 pitches, 600', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Fred Beckey, Dick & Rich Ream and Larry Evans in 1963. The FFA was done by George Lowe and Lenny Nelson in 1966
Page Views: 1,800
Submitted By: John Sirois on Sep 14, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (10)
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The view of Little Cottonwood from the summit is p...

Private Property now at the entrance to Bells Canyon. MORE INFO >>>

Description 

1st: Thin left diagonalling ramp - crux and R part. Continue up shallow right facing corner to stance at shrubs.
2nd: Groove/offwidth pod to easier ground up and left to base of massive right facing corner - 5.8
3rd: Up the corner to belay stance above small tree as the rock starts to kitty litter - 5.7
4th: Up corner some more to underclind right out roof into smaller right facing corner. 20' up corner to another escape right at a smaller roof. Continue up worsening vague rock to summit ridge.

Location 

Descent down back and left to notch seperating West Bell and un-named granite formation downhill from it. Scramble down the horrendous loose notch back to base.

Protection 

trad - thin to 1"?


Photos of Beckey Route Slideshow Add Photo
Beckey Route, 5.9 R - in RED (zoom in for a better...
BETA PHOTO: Beckey Route, 5.9 R - in RED (zoom in for a better...
One of many aluminum bashies found on the 1st and ...
One of many aluminum bashies found on the 1st and ...

Comments on Beckey Route Add Comment
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By Stan Pitcher
From: SLC, UT
Nov 5, 2007

So how scary is the first pitch?
By John Sirois
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 9, 2007

I soloed so it wasn't, but there was fixed gear at the crux move ... I think it was a fat aluminum bashie? ... didn't look at it too close. If you can climb 5.10 wasatch granite I think you can pretty easily start the crux, back off to a rest & repeat until you figure out the right setup. Good rests before & after so just 10' max of trickiness.
By bsmoot
Dec 2, 2007

This route was somewhat historical. The first ascent was by Fred Beckey, Dick & Rich Ream and Larry Evans in 1963. The FFA was done by George Lowe and Lenny Nelson in 1966. This was a bold effort for the first ascent party as the last pitch, which is unprotected, was done in the old kletter shoes.

I noticed that Wasatch Rock Climbs also gave this route 2 stars (out of a 3 star rating system) Those earlier guides did IMO over rate the quality, but perhaps as you mentioned Tyler, it was for historical reasons. Les Ellison, who had done the route 3 or 4 times insisted that it was a great route, so I guess the quality rating stuck. Les loved Bells Canyon.

The route for me wasn't bad, because one of the upper pitches has a good corner crack, but there was a bit of gritty rock. I'd give it a MP rating of a two stars.

By Mark D Evans
From: Sandy, UT
Jun 29, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Did this route today, and I didn't think it was all that bad. A bit of crappy rock here and there, but not as bad as I expected. The summit scramble was the only place I felt the rock was total shite, but that is the nature of the Bell Towers. I actually like it in a sick sort of way. It adds to the adventure. Not to mention the view from the summit is what its all about!

As for the descent. We rapped the route in 5 Raps. From the summit, we scrambled south down then west to get back to the belay tree on top of P4 (west side of the low angle gully above the sweet undercling moves). We rapped off some webbing and a taped 'biner down to another tree with blue webbing and another taped carabiner. Another rap brings you to another 'biner with some cordalette on a smallish bush that we backed up with a nearby old bolt. Next rap down and east to a bolted anchor. From here a looong rap (we used every bit of a 70m) brings you to a horn with blue webbing and quick link. *alternate* There is some webbing up higher and to the west of this without any rap rings on it. I believe a 60m would make it to there, then to the ground, but one would need to bring a 'biner, rap ring, or similar.** One more rap easily brings you to the ground. (we angled east to get back to our packs.)

I feel that avoiding the heinous walk-off bumped my rating up to 2 stars.
By Mark D Evans
From: Sandy, UT
Jun 29, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Oh, and the first pitch was not 'R' IMO. There were fixed bashies and pitons all over. Some looked pretty new? Either way, It didn't feel 'Runout' to me.
By Eric Chabot
From: Thetford Ctr, VT
May 18, 2014

A fun and scary alternate finish for the final pitch, that will have you asking, what would Fred Beckey do?

From the belay tree above the big corner (p3), climb up left and over a tree to a ledge below a slabby face with several large black chickenheads. Slinging the chicken heads as pro, move up and left to the arete and then back across the face into a wide, rounded groove. Stem across and up, running it out as the chickenheads shrink to the size of grapes (crux). Pull onto a final 20 feet of friction climbing on deteriorating kitty-litter rock that runs up the blunt fin that is the top of the formation. Belay from a half-dead but large tree and enjoy the fact that you are still alive.

The climbing was fun but pretty scary, as currently protectable it involves quite a number of friction-dependant moves on bad rock in a no-fall situation. There is also considerable exposure for the second, as a fall on the friction slab could result in a devastating swing off either side of the blunt arete.

I don't know if this variation has been done before, but we climbed it on 5/16/14. We call it the International Harvester Variation and felt it was 5.8 (r/x). Probably already been done by some badass in mountain boots back in the day. Addition of 3 bolts would make this thing a safer but still spicy finish to the beckey route, which was really fun.

FRA Eric Chabot, Dave Buchanon, Austin Black.

Established, quality rap anchors were not easy to locate so we walked off. This proved to involve some seriously heinous bushwhacking and a short rappel down low, but if you suck it up it isn't that bad.
By Erik S. Gillis
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
Oct 5, 2014
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13

I really liked the first pitch, which was all we had time for. Is it R, i guess not if you trust the fixed bashie( which I didn't). Even then it is not too bad, maybe PG13, the crux is over quick and you are not going to take a ground fall. I didn't clip the bolts( which are awesome Fred Becky relics I bet) because there is a perfect cam placement right by them. The first pitch would be a good way to avoid the 5.11/10c R pitch of The Nerve.