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Big Willow Cirque
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Basque Cirque Route 
Giggles 

Giggles 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- British: HVS 4c

   
Type:  Trad, 5 pitches, 500', Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: George Lowe and Jock Glidden, 1972
Page Views: 2,290
Submitted By: Tyler King on Sep 5, 2008
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You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (7)
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BETA PHOTO: Giggles Topo.

Description 

Giggles is the BWC Classic. Fun climbing with a variety of techniques. True handjams can be useful but are not necessary. There are a ton of cracks all going the same direction (UP), therfore, good routefinding skills are necessary.

  • P1-5.5: Climb a short pitch through a variety of flaring cracks to a small belay ledge.

  • P2-5.7: Climb and on the right side of the dihedral stemming, jamming, or face climbing. Finish up to the right of a pine tree (has some old slings).

  • P3-5.7: Start out by moving above a dead tree (on the belay ledge) and to the right until a small crack is obtained. Straight up until the next belay ledge.

  • P4-5.8: Start in the hand crack next to the left facing wall. This is the crux (and the best part of the climb IMO). Continue up and slightly left to the flaring cracks above. The next belay is hanging so pick a point and set your anchors.

  • P5-5.7: Find a good crack and follow it to the top.

Note: all belays require gear for anchors! This could be done in 3 pitches by combining P1 and P2 and combining P3 and P4 and leaving P5 as a long pitch. Might need a 70 meter though?


Location 

Start at the large (southwest facing) wall just left of the notch. Giggles is found at approximately the middle of the wall, see topo.

A walkoff is found by going down and east, then eventually south to the "notch" If you go south too early there you will encouter difficult downclimbing that leads to a sheer wall. However, rap slings can be found for descent. Be careful, especially with a 60m rope.


Protection 

Bring a standard rack. A couple of large cams may be useful, but medium/smaller pro can be found by the creative leader.



Photos of Giggles Slideshow Add Photo
Hoskins placing pro on pitch 5
Hoskins placing pro on pitch 5
Fett and Rudster setting the rap into the notch.
Fett and Rudster setting the rap into the notch.
Hoskins enjoying the view of the valley.
Hoskins enjoying the view of the valley.
Hoskins starting Pitch 3
Hoskins starting Pitch 3
Looking up Pitch 3
Looking up Pitch 3
The steep loose notch going back to the BWC
The steep loose notch going back to the BWC
Moving up Pitch 4.  Look at that nice hand crack and smooth face to the left!  too bad it's not longer...
Moving up Pitch 4. Look at that nice hand crack a...
Me halfway through the dihedral on Pitch 2
Me halfway through the dihedral on Pitch 2
Looking down Pitch 4.  Nice exposure!
Looking down Pitch 4. Nice exposure!
A rap into the notch.  A 70m helps
A rap into the notch. A 70m helps
Hoskins on Pitch 1
Hoskins on Pitch 1
Juli starting up Giggles
Juli starting up Giggles
Me taking it in at the top
Me taking it in at the top
Evening hike out of Big Willow Cirque
Evening hike out of Big Willow Cirque
Comments on Giggles Add Comment
Show which comments
By James Garrett
Sep 8, 2008

Thanks for the great photos TK! Looks like you had a great trip after all the planning!

By Tyler King
From: Salt Lake, UT
Sep 25, 2008

Are you talking about the notch? If so, wow! It was scary to go down it when we were there. We left a large purple sling around a rock at the top and rapped down as far as a 70m would take us. There was also a ton of extremely dangerous rockfall on the talus that leads to the Lone Peak Cirque. Check out the pic on the Big Willow Cirque area page. Hmm...I wonder why there is so much activity up there...

By Arie
From: Smog Lake City, Utah
Jul 20, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c

Digging it. Tyler’s photo-topo was spot-on. We ran pitches one and two together with a 70 meter rope and only had meters to spare- and part of pitch one was still deep under snow. We also rope-stretched pitches three and four together. Perhaps this wasn’t the best way to do it- I’d recommend combining pitches one and two, climbing pitch three (to the pine) and then running pitch four long to a small ledge on the right side of the upper face (in a small right facing dihedral). This would avoid the hanging belay which was less than comfy and leave a short 30 meter pitch to the top. Overall, pitches one and two were just ‘alright’, but pitches four and five were fabulous and made the route.

The new bolt atop the final pitch left me baffled (there was another older, odd bolt just right of the P2 belay). We followed the descent described by the Ruckmans which left us exactly at the notch without a rap. Dropping back into Big Willow was nasty- lots of fresh rubble, but [presumably] survivable. Some careful rapping off trees on the south side of the gully left us glissading back to camp still grinning from 600 feet of excellent climbing.

By Tyler King
From: Salt Lake, UT
May 26, 2010

The news of this new bolt is disappointing... I admit to have considered setting up some rappel stations somewhere on the wall, with the FA consent of course, to avoid the dangerous hike down. But a lone bolt!? What are people thinking?! Did they honestly place it on lead because they couldn't get any gear, or did they lower to place it? So many questions with only possible ridiculous answers!

By cdec
From: SLC and Moab, ut
Oct 9, 2012

Didn't Giggle either. Just didn't really like it.
Pitch 1 was short, easy and uninteresting.
Pitch 2 was dirty loose and and finishes in a tree.
The hand crack is cool but too short, about 15 feet of climbing.
As far as the rest goes picking a crack and going that is a bit misleading. They are all flaring, full of veg and hiding loose rock. You need to pick the best of the worst that might offer some pro at a place that you can barely see from where you are standing.

Go to Bells or Lone Peak Cirque!

By Tyler King
From: Salt Lake, UT
Jan 27, 2014

Not misleading at all. Find a "good" crack and follow it. Can't and won't detail out every nuance of a climb. It's called route finding for a reason and we didn't have any trouble, even as new 5.8 leaders.

This climb, IMO, is more about the raw alpine nature of it and beautiful setting. Yes, the climbing in the LP cirque is better quality, but this is worth it if you want some solitude and something different...

By Boissal
From: Small Lake, UT
Jan 27, 2014

I hear Bushwack is a much better alternative...