Factory Butte Rock Climbing
BETA PHOTO: Factory Butte from the highway.
This'll be fun:
1. Mostly sport, trad, bouldering, mix, what? None of the above.2. What type of rock is it?It's not.3. Is it always in the sun? It depends which side you are on. 4. Do most routes descend off the crag a certain way? If so, what's the descent route? There isn't one.5. Any access issues? Yes, the approach. Oh, and the climbing. Oh wait, the climbing is the approach. 6. Any super-must-do classics on this rock? Hmmmmmmm.
Okay, to be a little more helpful, the only weakness in the flanks of this baby is the obvious deep chimney/gully on the southwest aspect. This cuts through the assorted pseudo-cliff bands which litter the lower slopes. Any other approach/climb/grovel looks to be real dangerous and/or mindbendingly slow. The stuff it is made from is mancos shale, which climbs like buff-colored cake-icing. There is a tier of real cliffs right at the top, which gives a brief pitch, but it's barely worth dragging ropes and stuff all that way up the icing.
From I-70 at Exit 147 drive an hour south (west) on Highway 24 and hang a right at Hanksville. Maybe fifteen miles out of town turn right on the obvious dirt road which passes the formation. When we climbed this, a few years back, you could drive out on a spur road to a close-in funny knoll feature. Now that the area is so overrun with OHV tire tracks, the BLM are trying to keep this road closed (perhaps so climbers don't interfere with the wilderness experience of the brave boys on ATVs?). Not that it matters, as the best approach is to park several miles south of the butte, where the main drainage crosses (and has torn up) the road, and from where the butte looks distressingly far away. Then hike north and stay west of the various drainages as much as possible. Approaching from closer in on the east side around the south face requires going up and down dozens of forty-foot-deep soft sandy drainages (check out Tom Till's photo on the back of Bjornstad's Swell guide). Perhaps hiking round the north end of the butte, from the road, would work.
Climbing Season For the San Rafael Swell - South area.
Weather station 20.2 miles from here
1 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in Factory Butte
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Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Factory Butte:
Featured Route For Factory Butte
Flo and Al's/School For Advanced Suffering V-easy 3
: San Rafael Swell
: ... : Factory Butte
The route we followed goes up a deep chimney/gully system on the right side of the west face. When we did this, we camped at the obvious small outlying pillar to the southeast of the butte. This had many tire tracks leading to it. This side-road may now be closed. From here Frosty Weller and I hiked around the south side, looking for the gully described in Bjornstad's guide. This approach took hours. Eventually, once round on the west side, the major gully is pretty obvious. Here Frosty and I to...[more] Browse More Classics in UT
Factory Butte, south end.