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The Summit Wall is the highest rock in the cirque, with the summit reaching to 11,253' and it is the most obvious destination for cirque climbers. Unless someone has been creative recently, five routes ascend this formation ranging in difficulty from 5.7 to 5.10a, including one aid route at 5.9 A3. The rock is classic alpine granite, with some granularity that can make early-season climbing a bit spicy, but very solid nonetheless. As with all alpine environments, helmets are a good option as rock fall is possible, and (the bigger risk) hikers who reach the summit from the backside are prone to send the occasional projectile into the void. The Falcon guide describes this as some of the finest granite in the Wasatch, representing the "whole spectrum of climbing repertoire-from stems, to jams, to bold faces". It might be good for them to add that roofs are also significant elements to a couple of the climbs as well (and crux elements at that).
The approach from the meadow is fairly straightforward. Hike up the snow-field (or scree if late season) towards the huge chimney that splits the triangular north and more rectangular south sections of the cirque. As you begin to approach the chimney, work left onto the shelf at the base of the upper section of the formation. This is the area where the pines have established themselves, below the climbs but above the blocky section that meets the meadow. All the climbs begin from this shelf.
8 Total Routes
Browse More Classics in Summit Wall
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Summit Wall:
The Open Book 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, 5 pitches, 600'
The Undone Book 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R Trad, 5 pitches, 580'
Vertical Smile 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, Grade II
Triple Overhangs 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, 4 pitches, 550'
Featured Route For Summit Wall
Triple Overhangs 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a UT : Wasatch Range : ... : Summit Wall
The crux of Triple O's is my favorite pitch in the Wasatch. Tremendous exposure, spectacular rock, bomber gear. While the 1st and 2nd pitches are not as memorable, the crux is all I needed to put this one in my top 3 all time. You can, however, start and finish on Vertical Smile, for a supposedly more consistent, and challenging variation. If Beckey did it first in 1962, you know it's good. ...[more] Browse More Classics in UT
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