I had long peered at this alpine face and I had wondered if a quality Wasatch Alpine route could be yielded. We actually expected more moderate rock climbing grades yet we found 5.9-5.10 cruxes on almost every pitch. These are fairly well protected. We chose the aesthetic Central Spur because the rock appeared better and the climber is quite protected from falling rock and ice (spring and winter conditions). We were greeted by very dry rock in a wonderful alpine cirque. As the lichen and loose rock cleans up on the pitches, this climb will get better, we found it pretty good as it was. It was almost as if it had been waiting for us!
But this is an alpine climb....with all its associated characteristics and risks differing from the trade routes found lower in the canyon. Please wear helmets and climb with caution.
Pitch #1: Look for a bolt about 40 feet up from the beginning of the climb when the angle steepens. Follow the arete/spur past two fixed pins and another bolt to a two bolt belay onto a pleasant perch. 5.9,55m.
Pitch #2: Up and right up a difficult section, but staying on the spur, pass 4 bolts and a few more fixed pitons. A traverse left brings the climber to a two bolt belay under a roof. 5.10, 35m.
Pitch #3: Traverse under the roof trending right passing two bolts to the "snow ramp" and a good ledge fixed belay. 5.9 (very alpine!), 20m.
Pitch #4: A beautiful pitch with a steep start. Climb past a bolt to a finger crack on the arete. Pass two more bolts to a two bolt belay. 5.9, 30m.
Pitch #5: Clip a fixed nut in the dihedral, traverse the face under the roof and pass 5 bolts to more fixed gear and then topping out on the climb to a ledge and two bolt belay. 5.10, 30m.
Continue about 200 vertical feet of easy 2nd or 3rd class to the summit.
Located on the NW Face, this can be done in one long day, but Broads Fork provides many beautiful camping opportunities. Awesome hiking! Snowline started just above the start of the Bonkers Ski Run for the FA party. 1.5 hours of casual snow slogging took us from there to the start of the climb. We did not need crampons and were able to kick snow steps. Conditions will obviously vary at other times of the year. Large boulder fields will make up the final approach during the summer months.
Rappelling the route is possible, but it may be more recommended to walk off from the summit to the east ridge and snow/scree fields back into Broads Fork. Approach and descent via Tanners is another option. If rappelling the route, two ropes are required.
QDs for Bolts and pitons on every pitch to good anchors. A very light rack of assorted medium size nuts and microcams to #2 Camalot should suffice. Mountain boots and either ice axe or ski poles are helpful depending on conditions.
James leading the crux final pitch
Jason leading spectacular Pitch #4 on the Central ...
The approximate line for The Central Spur of the N...
following p4 with upper Broads Fork in the backgro...
Spent, but still Smiling, after descending....with...
Rachel following on pitch 4
Leading the final and crux pitch. This pitch has ...
Jun 9, 2013
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Easy Snow
Thank you very much to the person who did so much work putting in all the bolts to make this unique alpine line take place. The description above is very accurate and when it doubt stay on the arete. We both found the route to have a fair amount of loose rock. The more the route gets climbed the better the route with get. I would highly recommend not climbing this route if there is another team above you. This route has a very "alpine" feel to it except for all the bolts which I was very stoked to have!
Rachel and I climbed this route yesterday linking up the Eleventh Hour on Sundial Peak to create a long single day in the Wasatch Alpine.
Approach: We approach via Lake Blanche (2hrs). From there we walked around the lake and up moderate angled snow slopes to reach the saddle between Mill B and Boards Fork. From there a short descent down to the bottom of the Central Spur. Total approach time 4hrs from car.
Descent: We descend the standard West Ridge of Dromedary and wrapped around back into Boards fork (45mins back to base of route)
Gear: Single rack 2 BD with 12 alpine runners. We took a 50m rope and only had to simulclimb 10ft on the first pitch.
Thanks again for all the hard work bolting this line!
By B Light
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
Aug 3, 2014
- 4 Rock pitches (we unknowingly linked pitches).
- 11 Hr, 15 Min rounnd trip
- 45 minute walk off the east shoulder
- Talus field isn't bad on the way up or down.
- Single BD C3's (Green, red and yellow)
- Set of nuts (Medium to Large)
- 12 Mountain Runners (2 double length, 10 shoulder length) - (we brought 15 and this was too many)
- No offsets necessary (brought some and only used them twice)
- Leave all your stuff at the base, except water and descent shoes
- Finding the route isn't too hard... we walked along the base until we found the single bolt 40 feet up.
- Did the route in 4 pitches and must have missed a belay along the way.
- Belay are all super comfortable... top of the 2nd and 4th are SPACIOUS.
- One of the bolts on the last pitch was bent and slightly pulled out (maybe it was hammered).
- One of the protection bolts was bent (probably from rock or snow)
- The crux pitch (last pitch) is extremely well bolted.
- The route is 20-40 foot sections of technical climbing with sections of 4 and low 5th class between.
- Loose rock all over the route.
- Mountain Goats were an objective hazard (topped out on a ledge and was 15 feet from one of the beasts)
- Probably more fun to do with the snow approach in the Spring
An enjoyable wasatch alpine route. Glad we did it once. A fun way to get on top of a peak in the Wasatch. There are plenty of opportunities for more, better routes. Particularly to the west of this spur... you will look at this AMAZING solid wall of rock directly West of the Spur while you climb and wonder why there isn't a route up that side of the mountain. If I return, I would try that section of the mountain.
Thanks to the climbers who put this route up.
By johnny utah
From: Salt Lake City
Jul 9, 2016
rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Great spot for a route but with not the best rock. Fun outing none the less. Loose rock is a major concern, I jumped out of the way of a big incoming rock following the second pitch.
Made the approach via Broads in 2hr 50 min. Descended west ridge and then summited Sunrise Pk, descend west ridge of Sunrise to saddle and back down Broads Fork (9hrs total)
There was very minimal snow at the bottom of the climb and it was wild to see the difference in snow height compared to the route description photo, easily 30ft less cliff in the route photo than there actually is without snow. First bolt is 70' off the actual ground.
Brought a 50m rope and needed to simul-climb about 40 ft of easy ground to get to the anchor on p1. p1 5.8 for 15 ft.
P2-3 linked with a couple meters of rope to spare with a 50m rope. Disadvantage of this link is that you are a bit more in the path of many loose rocks that can potentially fall from shelf at top of p3. p2 5.9, p3 5.6 loose jumble.
p4 5.8 for half the pitch
p5 5.10b for 12ft, rest 5.9. right at crux a very hollow hold is needed to keep the climbing at the grade, it may not be there for long! its a well bolted crux area though.
Don't bother bringing lots of gear: nuts and single set of micro- small cams to bd#1 is adequate. More fixed pro than natural. Don't bring a thin rope!