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BETA PHOTO: Beast route overlay courtesy of Peter Vintoniv
Beast has a granite white horned creature feature imbedded into its south facing flanks. This is at least a mile west of West Bell Tower and is the dark and seemingly forbidden rock passed by on the way to the normal gray colored granite rock towers on the better known "Bells Towers".
Though a much shorter and easier approach than the other Bells Towers, this seems more secluded. The buttress, on close examination, is not the choss rubble heap of loose quartzite as it has often been thought to be. Instead, it is a dark colored vertical column like "granite sandwich" sided by quartzite vertical bands. It would be interesting to hear a Geologist's more intelligent explanation for this unique natural creation in our midst. The result, unlike the compact steep smooth slabs on Bell's Towers, is very featured horizontal crack and patina-like climber friendly rock. Surprisingly pleasant rock.
Pick your Bell's Canyon preferred trailhead. Keep your eyes peeled to the "quartzite" on your left when hiking up canyon. About a mile after the bridge crossing, a huge rotten tree had fallen over the trail. This has been cleaned away, but remnants remain and the trail is very flat at this point. Two things to help aim you to the path that will soon turn to the left (north) towards the creek and the Beast:
The old rotten log remnants near the path and a leveling of the path, with a marked trail cutting off to the left shortly after this point. This new "trail" is quite evenly aligned with the west scree gully descent path.
If you can clearly see the white horned creature face feature on the rock looking straight across at it, you have probably already walked too far passing the approach and creek crossing trail.
About 20m up trail from the log remnant on the path, a faint and new trail cuts off left (north) and down and across to the creek crossing. This "trail" has a tendency to overgrow quickly due to its "boggy" nature.
Good idea to have a pair of water shoes or sandals to change into, seemingly no matter what month of the year you are doing the approach! Something more sturdy than flip-flops for the bog will save your regular shoes from the muck.
Some white climbers tape on a tree (also temporary) also points the way to the trail. Brown colored rigging cord also marks part of the way to get you started. Once on the trail, it should be fairly easy to follow the short way to the creek crossing. Here, a fixed line and makeshift log "bridge" (courtesy of Swiss Domi Hari and Bruno Matti from the Bernese Oberland!) allow an easy crossing. Continue on the path to a short scree/boulder field which ascends the left side of the formation. After 25m, skirt along the base of the lower wall. Pass huge overhanging quartzite rock and an old bivy platform (?) and after meeting the dark colored granite, continue until the very lowest toe of the Beast. Cairns may be of further assistance.
Other approaches are also possible but they will invariably involve heinous bushwhacking. The above listed option is quite painless, compared to other Bell's approaches.
Browse More Classics in Bell's Beast
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Bell's Beast:
5.11a Trad, 5 pitches, 600 feet, Grade II
5.11b Trad, 4 pitches, 600 feet, Grade II
Featured Route For Bell's Beast
: Wasatch Range
: ... : Bell's Beast
Either climb the first pitch of Beast or after crossing the 2nd class grassy ledge, start 5m to the west (left) of the upper pitches (P2-P5) of Beast. Uniquely adventuresome and exhilarating climbing.Pitch #1: Starts at the lowest toes of the Beast. Climb a long and fun pitch past 8 bolts and good placements to a two-bolt belay. 5.9, 60m.Scramble up and left to the rock just to the east (right) of a prominent roof. 30m.Pitch #2: Ascend the spur featuring scoops and swirls of colorful...[more] Browse More Classics in UT
Aug 27, 2012
We hiked in there yesterday, missed your cutoff (Its only 50 feet past the tree) even though we backtracked and walked by it 3 times. Maybe the lighting was poor. Wound up going up to the little sandy platform with nice trail leading to the creek, and a one-hop boulder crossing that was plenty easy in low water conditions. The opposite side of the creek has obviously seen a fair amount of wandering around, and it was very easy to walk downstream on a trail that got better as we went. Found your trail and crossing no problem.
A note on the sandy platform: you're viewing the beast through the middle of two pines. Nice framing.
On the exit we crossed your way. What a bog, even in late August on a dry year. I recommend the upper crossing if its feasible at all.
The "huge" downed tree rates as only L or maybe XL in my book. ;)
Good work on getting in there and out. The walk down was reasonable. Kind of Teton-esque, but in a good way.