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East and Northeast Buttress Approach
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Assembly Line 
Back to Montana 
Belle Fourche Buttress 
Broken Tree 
Burning Daylight 
Casper College 
Gooseberry Jam 
Hourglass, The 
Maid in the Shade 
Missed Opportunity 
New Wave 
Patent Pending 
Pinball Wizard 
Spectator Sport 
Surfer Girl 
Team Ropin 

Broken Tree 

YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 270'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10a/b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VI+ British: E2 5b [details]
FA: probably dingus
Page Views: 3,214
Submitted By: Ben F on Nov 19, 2002
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Working through the crux moves at the top of Broke...
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This route is a good way to access Assembly Line. It starts to its right. Scramble up to a ledge and start your typical low-angled easy DT crack (starts as left-facing dihedral) for P1. When I did it, there was a "broken tree" near its base. This pitch is probably a 5.6 or so. To the left are 2 eye bolts for an anchor. Continue from the anchors as P2 becomes a set of dual cracks with some increased difficulty and trickiness towards the end. This pitch ends on a nice ledge, where you can move left about 20 ft or so to access Assembly Line. If you are feeling comfortable at the good stances, the second can do a bit of modified simul-climbing (clipping to the leader's pieces occasionally) to do this as a psuedo single pitch climb.

Like many DT climbs, there is no move as difficult as the route's rating. I didn't even think that Broken Tree was too sustained as there were several good rest stances. That being said, the climbing was enjoyable.


Like most other DT routes, bring at least 2 sets of nuts and some cams in the blue Metoulius to 2.5 Friend range.

Photos of Broken Tree Slideshow Add Photo
Ryan on Broken Tree, September 11'
Ryan on Broken Tree, September 11'
Sue at the top of the crux.
Sue at the top of the crux.
Alana Nye, starting the first pitch of Broken Tree.
Alana Nye, starting the first pitch of Broken Tree...
Bret Nye leading the top of Broken Tree.
Bret Nye leading the top of Broken Tree.
Comments on Broken Tree Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 25, 2010
By Jim McGuire
Dec 3, 2003

Agreed that BT is not that sustained like a lot of Tower cracks and it does have some good rest stances but I would say it has a definite crux at the top and is 10b. The first pitch makes for a nice moderate 5.6 route of its own.

By Anonymous Coward
Sep 19, 2004

A must do for all who visit. The moves seem no harder than the crux of Walt Bailey and much easier than Tulgey Wood, Burning Daylight, 1st pitch of Carols Crack or the Belle Fourche Buttress.

By Anonymous Coward
Sep 20, 2004

Broken tree is 5.10b, it is not 5.9. If you want to lead 5.9 Try solar, walt bailey or assembly line. Assembly line is hard if you dont have good crack climbing skills. If you have good crack climbing skills it is really fun.

I dont want people to be misinformed by individual enteries on this web site, it is very common for climbs to be underrated in the northern hills/spearfish canyon, this trend should not extend to the tower.

Broken tree has some loose rock! There is a flake with chalk all over it that sounds like a bongo drum. By careful when passing it, you can avoid this LOOSE FLAKE by grabbing a solid edge under the loose flake. A pop gets you to the next solid finger lock.

By john walker
Sep 28, 2004
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b

My understanding of Tower grades is in direct contrast to your statement. The YDS system as it applies to routes at DT reflect the single hardest move, ie. a 5.10b route like broken tree has at least one move of 5.10b

Your suggesting of simuclimbing the route can put the leader in danger of a big fall.

This route has great moves, gear and rests. The rests may make it seem easier than 5.10b.

By Anonymous Coward
Sep 30, 2004

I disagree with john walker's statement that Devil's Tower routes are graded by the difficulty of the hardest move. Devil's Tower, along with Indian Creek, UT, is the epitome of an endurance-based rating system.

For example, El Matador doesn't have a single move harder than 5.9 (or easier than 5.9); you'd be hard pressed to find a move harder than 10a on Mr. Clean; McCarthy West Face is characterized by repeated 10/10+ stemming cruxes without rest. All of these routes, however, are rated between 10+ and solid-11... and rightfully so! Endurance is a real factor affecting the difficulty of a climb.

Broken Tree, however, is a 10b route with a 10b crux, IMO.

By Anonymous Coward
Sep 30, 2004

I rest my case... Broken Tree is still only 5.9+.

By john walker
Sep 30, 2004
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b

ya ya bla bla. Thanks for the great send off Curt, have fun out there. I do think that Broken Tree is easier than MAC WEST, however they are both rated 5.10b. Whats important here? I feel the most important thing any climber can do is to know and follow the rules currently in place. I'm not trying to kiss the proverbial ass of any land manager but the days of renegade climbers with power drills, chisels, guns, chainsaws, ect. doing as they please is detrimental to climbing as a whole. It is everyones responsibility to know and follow the rules as they exist. If you don't you are risking access to the resource or intense regulation and fees associated with climbing, am I wrong?

By Anonymous Coward
Oct 1, 2004

Yo Walker,Speaking of illegal acts, What about the Tinton Trail?

By john walker
Oct 2, 2004
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b

Coward,What about the Tinton trail? I rode my bike through the woods where many followed. Is that illegal? My personal ethic in regard to trail building does not allow for use of hand tools.

By John Gunnels
From: Gillette, WY
Apr 8, 2006
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b

9?... 10b?... who really cares... it's BEAUTIFUL...

By Cameron Luth
Sep 23, 2006

This climb rocks, I love the finger locks at the end of the climb which is the crux, its a gorgous climb, and as long as you can climb a 10 dont worry about how hard it is, the climb is well worth it

By Joshua Merriam
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 5, 2007
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a

I did not think any of the finger lock moves was harder than 5.9

It is less than vertical. There are plenty of feet. The locks are solid. 5.9 finger locks are possible under these circumstances, right?

By Joe Dawson
Jun 1, 2009

The climbing is enjoyable but there is plenty of hollow sounding rock on the route. I spoke to other people who climbed the route and they though the rock was fine, but I think a lot of it is rotten. I would recommend the route to confident 10b climbers who are strong enough to be able to check and be discriminate about which holds they use so they can avoid the loose stuff.

By cragsavvy
From: Salt Lake City
Sep 25, 2010

The first pitch is a breeze! Good for a beginner leader, good gear, low angle, and fairy short. I would rate the first pitch 5.5, but it is said to be 5.6-5.7