The Schoolhouse Route
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The Schoolhouse Route is a moderate, multi-pitch route that consistently forms. It is located just up-valley (i.e. away from Cody) from the prominent Schoolhouse Spire, and follows the main drainage until a fork is reached, where it continues up the right-hand fork of the drainage. Originally this route was climbed in 5 to 6 pitches, though the first 3 pitches probably consist of the meat of the climbing. Though it is seemingly close to the road, the approach through the drainage is typical South Fork fare; meaning that there are some steep sections where caution should be exercised in order to turn some chock-stones and various boulders, etc.
Each of the first 3 pitches seems to be just over 100’ long and 2 ropes should be brought in order to rappel. The first pitch rappel will be a V-thread. The second and third pitches can be rappelled from trees. Joe Josephson’s Winter Dance also makes reference to a possible walk-off from the top of the second pitch. Apparently the second pitch can also be bypassed (climber’s right) while ascending the route, if it is unformed. Overall, the route is an excellent and worthy endeavor. Since it offers some classic climbing at a moderate grade, it is very popular.
Approach by parking at the Ishawooa Mesa trailhead, from where you can see the first pitch of the route. This trailhead is just before where the South Fork Road splits with the Hunter Creek Road. Use the School house Spire as a reference, because this is a prominent rock tower with 3 spires located low on a ridge in front of the parking lot. Start hiking across the sage prairie aiming for the drainage just to the left of the spire.
2 ropes and a rack of screws are all that are needed for the climb; you might want to bring some webbing for the rappels.
Rappeling the second pitch.
Eben on P2 of The Schoolhouse Route
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