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After the 5 minute traverse over from the base of Kinabalu on East Waterfall Dome, start climbing up the low angle slabs and aretes. This enjoyable romp in Bells Canyon was traditionally equipped. It is well protected without ever presenting very difficult climbing and generally follows a straight forward line of ascent as well as descent.
Pitch #1: Climb the slab passing a fixed piton to a two-bolt belay. 5.5, 50m.
Pitch #2: Climb straight up and over a small roof past a fixed piton and continue up a short right facing dihedral. More fun slab moves brings the climber to a ledge and belay at a tree. 5.5, 35m.
Pitch #3: Continue up delightful patina on great rock. Pass a two-bolt rappel station and follow 6 more bolts to a ledge and two-bolt belay. 5.6, 50m.
Pitch #4: Go straight up past one bolt on the slab to a steep massive boulder protected by two bolts. Climb up the wondrous knobby jugs, turn the corner, and reach the two-bolt belay in short order. 5.7, 35m.
Pitch #5: A fun final pitch climbs chicken heads and stretch across a gap to more knobs and a mantle finale onto a table top two-bolt belay party summit. 5.5, 20m.
Great 360 degree views into Little Cottonwood Canyon, into the Salt Lake Valley, and of course down to the waterfall in Bells Canyon.
Rappel 7 times easily down the route with one 70m rope.
Best access seems to be the approach as for the route Kinabalu on East Waterfall Dome. Continue 20m up past the base of that route and find a cleared trail back west into the gully separating the two domes. This route ascends the far right (east) side of Waterfall Dome and is characterized by a plethora of Wasatch granite chickenheads and knobs. A small cairn marks the beginning of the route and the rope up area.
QDs and small assortment of Camalots from C3 - .75. A few long slings. One 70m rope works best and is recommended.
|By Brian B Ballard|
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 18, 2009
Nice route. Felt Easier than grade on most pitches. Hike was more strenuous, heck self checkout at Albertsons was more strenuous..
|By Travis Haussener|
Jun 11, 2012
Had a lot of trouble finding anything that looked like a trail. No game trails, just an abrupt end after the ten minute hike past the bridge. It looks like a really fun climb (for the want to get alpine experience + some trad and sport, beginner climber like myself) but could probably use a lot more travel. We spent 2 hours hiking and had to bail on the route because we couldn't find a reasonable way (even after a substantial amount of bush whacking) to get to the darn thing.
From: Salt Lake City
Jun 21, 2012
Travis, this is a difficult route to find. Tristan himself guided me to the start of the route, (and the route itself), and it does require quite a bit of bush wacking, but I don't remember it being too bad. After heading generally North-North-East, (if my memory serves), you'll find the granite cliffs, and you simply skirt the edge of them Westward until you find the start. Along the way, you may find an abandoned golf club that marks the start of one of the 5.11 climbs.
From: Salt Lake City
Jun 21, 2012
I should also add that when I originally went to look for this route, (without Tristan's help), I ended up crossing what I thought was the right bridge, (but was the wrong bridge), and bush-wacked for about an hour before giving up. It's not the first bridge you come to that you cross. It's a bridge about an hour or maybe 2 up the trail from the start. Did Tristan post a picture of the right bridge?
|By Garret Nuzzo-Jones|
From: Salt Lake City, UT
May 13, 2013
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b PG13
I found the approach to not be too hard to find. Cross the creek just before the waterfall at the rickety three log bridge. Hike up the trail for roughly ten minutes. Once you cross another small creek/seep you'll immediately be in a little meadow area with some ferns. Less than 5 minutes after you pass through that area start looking for a very faded trail on the left. If you keep a careful eye open you'll see a small boulder with a piton drilled into the top of it. That's the trail we took up to the base of East Waterfall. From there just follow the edge of the rock until the faint trail cuts west across the gully near the pines.
The route has cleaned up surprisingly well since it's only a few years old and I'm pretty sure we were the 16th ascent based on the register (and the first of 2013). Still plenty of gravel to be found though. Some additional quicklinks and rap rings are needed at almost every station if the next party up feels like hauling up some extra metal.
A 70M rope is an absolute requirement to rappel the route. Rapping down the 2nd and 3rd pitches there are 35m rappels. On these rappels the rope is actually a couple feet short and it's basically necessary to rap off the end of the rope to reach the next station. Terrible planning by the FA, there was no reason for those rappels to be so difficult. Also watch out for the rap off the summit, the rope can swing into a pinch right of the route and get stuck easily.
I brought a decent rack and placed almost none of it. It's only necessary for the first two pitches where it's hard not to run it out anyway. I placed a #1 Camalot on the first and second pitch and a #2 on the first pitch. That's it. Almost no placements for nuts, leave them at home. Bring lots of slings and probably 8 quickdraws or so.
It's also quite possible to just not even bring any trad gear and just skip the first two pitchs (or sling bushes and run it out a bit on very easy terrain). The third pitch, where the climbing gets more interesting can be accessed by hiking up the loose gully and cutting left to the dead tree with slings. It's also easy to avoid rapping down pitches one and two by scrambling over to the gully from the dead tree on the way down.
This climb felt kind of like South Six Shooter in Indian Creek. A long approach with a two star climb rewards you with a 4 star summit.
|By Sam Cannon|
From: Holladay, Utah
May 15, 2013
How long is the hike into the route?
|By Ty Falk|
From: Park City, UT
May 17, 2013
I have done it between 1h 30 min and 2h 15min from the car to the base of FWTBT depending how fast your moving.
Jun 14, 2013
I did this route today. Route-finding was a bit tricky as the climbers path is not well-traveled, but we found it eventually. We soloed the route, except for the 5.7 move over the bulge. In fact, we decided to down climb the route to make things more interesting. Great views, long approach, mediocre route.