When looking at a topo photo of Steinfell's Dome, the Southern Arches route is likely to stick out the most because it goes from the toe of the dome to the summit in a nice, direct line. The climbing is adventurous with only one old button head bolt as the only fixed gear on the route and easy but run-out slab climbing on the first pitch. Be prepared to do a fair bit of route finding and build your own anchors. This is a fun and rewarding outing on one of the City's most prominent formations. To keep the adventurous spirit of the route, consider stopping reading here and going out to pick your way up this line on intuition. But if you want a few more details, read on.
Pitch 1: Start from a small ledge directly below a steep, moss covered crack and flake and pull up through this to get established on the dome. Work your way up slabby sections between obvious cracks and flakes for protection to a big, obvious left-trending crack/trough. Your goal is the big sideways "V" flake about half way the dome. Head towards that and run out your 70m rope to a good belay stance in the trough about 60m below the big sideways "V" flake. 70m (5.8)
Pitch 2: Continue up the trough/crack and onto a small ledge. Work up past another flake and crack just below the big sideways V flake. Clip the only piece of fixed protection on the route, an ancient buttonhead bolt and hanger, on the face below the big V flake. Make the crux moves up the face to grab the big V flake and take a sigh of relief. Trend right along this flake and mantle up on top of continue. Cruise the flake's left-trending trough to a belay stance at its top. 70m. (5.8+)
Pitch 3: Continue up and left in the trough/corner for a few feet and resist the temptation to continue left into the chimney. Instead, face climb back right up steep but positive terrain and pull up onto lower-angle terrain. Follow a good crack on increasingly easier terrain until the rope runs out. 70m. (5.7).
Pitch 4: By now you'll probably feel safe enough to unrope and cruise the fourth class terrain to the top. Go for it.
Approach from the new Circle Creek Overlook parking area with the restroom. Once you reach the dome, head left along the base until you are directly below the big sideways "V" flake about halfway up the dome. Look for the positive mossy crack/flake on a small ledge to mark the start.
To descend, hike up towards the summit and downclimb just a short bit on the dome's north face to a bolted rap anchor. One single rappel with a 70m rope will just get you to easily downclimbable slabs and the descent trail to swing back around the dome's east side back to your packs. You can also do two single 60m rope rappels using a second bolted rappel anchor about 40m down the first rap to get to the descent trail.
A single rack from .3 camalot to #3 camalot, a set of RPs and a set of nuts. Cordelettes for building your own anchors as there are no fixed-gear anchors on the route.
Just after reaching the big sideways "V" flake on ...
By Mary Ellen Man
From: Midvale, UT
Aug 15, 2012
Don't forget the air voyager for the fixed bolt.