12 Pitch, Grade IV, 5.11 limestone monster. Adventure climbing in remote canyon. Rockfall danger; requires discretion in gear placement. All day fun. Most of the route is easy to find; 9 out of 10 rap down in the dark.
Notch Peak canyon (no name on USGS topos) West side of Sawtooth Mountain, House Mountain Range, West desert, Utah
45 minutes west of Delta, UT. Highway 6/50. Take Notch Peak loop on WEST side of Sawtooth mountain. This dirt road also goes to Painter Springs. Turn right,towards mountain at an abandoned gravel pit. The entire region looks like a gravel pit. Identify the correct pit by a road turning left, back to the highway, just after you pass your road toward the mountain. Sedans can make it up this road until the big squarish boulder. 4WD vehicles can drop into the riverbed (dry) just before the boulder. Don't hike the canyon at the end of this road. Notch Peak canyon has an large and obvious dry riverbed all across it. The correct canyon is 200 Meters south.
This route is located on the lower face of Notch Peak. It was put up in pure ground up style. It offers a challenge for climbers with experience on loose mountain routes. It is similar to big routes in the Canadian Rockies, or less traveled routes in the Italian Dolomites... serious and objectively hazardous. When combined with either BOS or La Fin to the summit of Notch, it yields a real grade V. Even if you are usually fast, bring your headlamp.Be aware that this route is somewhat more serio...[more]Browse More Classics in UT
Please remember to bring a HELMET regardless. A HEADLAMP (Check the batteries I made that mistake once), and plan according to your abilities. It's a great climb but you should prepare for a full day. Hike to the climb before sunrise and climb till dark. Late July the sun is only on the wall in the early morning!
Western Hardman is my favorite route on Notch Peak. Kudos to Aaron and CJ. I still think our bivy just out of the steam bed below the route was the way to go and such great camping, as well! I WOULD have liked to see more bolts up high! Strange if you rap drilled the upper ones, they were the hardest to protect in my book...not the last one, but the one before that. Still thanks for a great line and whoever disses Notch Peak climbing just hasn't climbed newer lines on limestone before...what do you think the Marmolada was like in 1938? You guys need to just stay on your 30m sport crags and quit bitching.... Cheers
James, Aaron and I went back and added about 6 bolts, one on the traverse to pitch 11 to make that safer, also, I believe one went up on pitch 11 to help direct the correct climbing path and as well help protect it. Another on pitch 10, and on 9, two others went up somewhere, hopefully on route as it was getting really dark by thenů kidding!
The old rope ladder (long gone) at the step on the approach to the North Face has been replaced with a more permanent installation. First round of work was May 28, finished June 3. You may want to harness up at the base of the step so you can daisy in and make the upper transition safely, but the June 3 work probably negates that need. Two fixed raps were also replaced, the upper also used as a batman. Note that the fixed line just above the step is in the bowl to looker's left, not the main drainage.
Just fyi, the turnoff road up to the canyons is 6.6 miles from highway 6. The gravel pit is not super obvious to spot at night, so the mileage helps. Also, another marker is the road coming in from the left to make a 3 way junction at the correct turnoff. While not mandatory, (we made it up in our Hyundai elantra) a high clearance vehicle is really nice to have, though it is only a mile or two.
Notch looks Awesome!! Just moved out to utah n this is on the radar. With all the loose rock, etc., im wondering how these routes were established. Any FA history/anectdotes y'all could share'd be appreciated. Has anyone done any ground up routes/attempts? please share