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Salt Lake Slips
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Goth Girls S 
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Italian Arete S 
Maudlin S 
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Roll the Bones S 
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Thieving Magpie S 
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Zombieland T 

Thieving Magpie 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

   
Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 70'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Paul Hodges, Ray Dahl 1992
Page Views: 3,315
Submitted By: Mason on Jul 14, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (148)
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R. Mason just below the crux of Thieving Magpie. ...

Description 

As far as 5.7's go, this one is pretty sweet.

The crux is above the second bolt and includes the third and fourth bolts. Pretty slim pickings there, and long arms help. There is a plate sized bulge in that section that works more as a distraction than anything, but it sure looks good while your on top of it.

Juggy on top. This climb is clearly rated a 5.7 for the lower half.

Protection 

6 quickdraws. Recommend a couple of longer ones for the lower section.


Photos of Thieving Magpie Slideshow Add Photo
Overview of main, east-facing Slips wall.
BETA PHOTO: Overview of main, east-facing Slips wall.

Comments on Thieving Magpie Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 4, 2014
By Eric Jacobsen
Sep 19, 2003
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c



I thought the crux of this one was just as difficult as Entre Nous to the left, though the entire climb isn't quite as sustained.
By Harvey Miller
Apr 7, 2004
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Climbed this yesterday (7 April 2004). Fifth bolt is a spinner.
By Anonymous Coward
Apr 16, 2004

A hard start for a 5.7 climb. Some desperate and slabby times there. It is easy to get sucked right toward the Roll the Bones (5.6), because the holds are easier (duh). We were able to use the plate-sized bulge for both hands and feet. The top section is much juggier and faster. Nice ledge at the top, but it makes for much rope friction lowering off.
By KCP
From: Eldorado Springs, CO
Jul 12, 2005

AC, the reason that you got sucked into climbing to the right of the flake is because that is where the natural line flows. I went there last Sunday, to teach my girlfriend how to lead. After doing all of the routes on the wall, I became frustrated and a bit upset with the person who had placed those bolts. It was obvious that he or she had tried to force the routes. Although I have no issue with guiding fixed protection through a particular section of rock, his or her method failed, because of poor planning. The problem is simple, as would be the solution. There are too many routes in too close a proximity to one another. This is a natural crag, not a gym, and grid bolting this wall, in my opinion was irresponsible. The fact is that this wall is only large enough to facilitate two uncontrived routes. The 5.6 on the right is fine, although you can easily climb into it from Magpie. Had Magpie been moved three feet to the left, and Entre Nous removed all together, the wall would have been left with two uncontrived, quality routes. Then, if a person were inclined to want to run laps over every inch of the wall, she or he could do so on a TR. The maxim _less is more_ is a very good rule of thumb when establishing bolted climbing areas. The memory of one classic line is worth a hundred contrived botch jobs.

This type of indiscriminate grid bolting is becoming alarming at more than a few areas. The Sport Park, in Boulder Canyon, is probably the most extreme example of it that I've seen in the west. Indiscriminate bolting it is detrimental and selfish, and it needs to go the way of the dinosaur. Here is a news flash for anyone who questions this statement: you do not own these cliffs, nor do I. They belong to everyone and no one. They are a natural resource and should ALWAYS be respected as such.

I said this before and I will repeat it now: The style in which you choose to climb is your business; how your actions affect the ability of others to do so is another story. Climbing gyms serve their purpose very well. They offer a relatively safe and controlled climbing environment, as well as the opportunity to be as creative and/or contrived as one chooses, in pursuit of his or her climbing style. Nature's cliff's, on the other hand, are a finite natural resource, on which we have been given the privilege of practicing our sport. This fact, by its very existence, is proof that we need to exercise mutual consideration and form a general consensus about how we develop these climbing areas. Anything short of this is self-serving. These cliffs are not public domain, and they are always subject to closure.

Organizations like The Access Fund are busting their humps to preserve our ability to enjoy many threatened areas. What climbers constantly forget is that non-climbers also have the right to enjoy these places. Excessive bolts, chalk, and trampled vegetation are not appealing to many people who visit nature. It only takes a few complaints to permanently close an area.

WARNING: if a non-climber (teenager, etc.) falls from the Tyrolean Traverse, leading to The Slips, and drowns, you can rest assured that serious access issues will ensue. This section of the creek sees much non-climber, tourist traffic. Frankly, these ropes are eyesores. Moreover, they are an invitation to trouble. Climbers could easily walk in from the Storm Mountain parking lot, eliminating a potential disaster. I dislike inconveniences as much as the next person, although they are a part of life. Get over it!

If being considerate doesn't concern you, think about how you would feel if someone suddenly decided to cut down all of the trees on your property, because they were blocking his or her view. Selfish is as selfish does, and we ultimately reap what we sow. It is time that we start practicing the rules of responsible climbing, before we lose our opportunity to develop these areas all together.

Think about it. Ken Cangi
By Anonymous Coward
Jul 23, 2005

I've climbed all these routes over the years pretty much staight up the bolt line without sharing holds with other routes. It's a good beginner area in a canyon without too many moderates. Quit preaching.
By KCP
From: Eldorado Springs, CO
Jul 25, 2005

AC, your having climbed directly through the bolts is a moot point. The fact is that you can wander all over the place, because of their placement. With regard to the comment about being a good beginner crag, I agree that the wall lends itself to easier routes, so it is especially important that beginners learn what are considered quality and - more specifically - responsible bolting practices. Finally, Anonymous COWARD, apply your name to your comment or tuck it back into your useless spray file, where it belongs.
By Anonymous Coward
Jul 29, 2005

Ken what a load of shit. The wall was bolted just fine. It's not grid bolted as you suggest. When was the last time you went to a wall that actually was grid bolted? To call this slab that is retarded. To "get upset" with the way it was bolted AND then to SPRAY about how you disapprove just shows the rest of us what a wanker you really are. What have YOU contributed to the SLC climbing community? Probably just SPRAY.
By KCP
From: Eldorado Springs, CO
Jul 29, 2005

"AC" you are entitled to your opinions, but at least have the ball bearings to attach your name to them. Unless I know who you are, your opinions are nothing more than vacuous chatter to me. I am not intimidated by your insults, and my comments were in no way intended to criticize the Salt Lake climbing community. As for my experience with grid-bolted areas, I have visited several. Those who know me know my background, which is more than I can say for someone who hides under the title of Anonymous Coward. If you don't like what I have to say, log out of the site and go read a novel. KC
By Nathan Fisher
Jul 30, 2005
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Ken,I also agree with Steve, in that the Slips are not grid bolted. The routes there are no closer together than the two well-respected lines on Narcolepsy. As far as the Tyrolian traverse goes that has been there for years, and the Sherrifs have known about it for years, which securely rests responsibility on there shoulders. Your fundamental arguments are sound and I do respect them, I just believe that there are not many if any grid-bolted areas in the SL area, (I can't think of any) and the Slips is definitely not one of them. Maybe I don't understand the definition of grid-bolting. I see a squeezed route as a squeezed route. I see grid-bolting as lots of squeezed routes.

Climb Safe,Nathan Fisher
By KCP
From: Eldorado Springs, CO
Jul 30, 2005

Nathan and Steve, thank you for your considerate opinions. Unlike those of Anonymous Coward you have made me aware of something that I did not know. This regards the traverse ropes. I am glad to hear that the city is aware of them, because area closure is my primary concern, Contrary to AC's comment that I wouldn't know what a grid bolted area was, I have a fair amount of knowledge about the issue. In fact, three seasons ago, I was contracted by Climbing Magazine to do photo coverage of several of them. The article was about the best and worst crags in America. One of the areas that I covered - The Sport Park, in Boulder Canyon - was rated as one of the worst. It harbored a wall similar the one at The Slips.

IMO a squeezed route would be just that. The Slips routes, on the other hand, are so close that you can wander through any of them; I did. As a climber, new to the area, I hadn't been aware of the fact that this area had been established for awhile. At any rate, whether or not The Slips is grid-bolted is only my opinion. As a traveled climber, concerned with the issue, I felt compelled to express my concern.

I lived and climbed on The Front Range for almost a decade and bared witness to many issues concerning bolting. With the exception of Boulder Canyon and the cliffs in Golden, the Front Range is now regulated. This has had a positive affect toward preserving the quality of established areas, although many of us would have preferred the opportunity of managing those issues ourselves. Government intervention is raring its head in several areas around the country, because of indiscriminate bolting land management practices.

As a newcomer to the Salt Lake, hearing about practices such as the malicious removal of anchors in LCC sends up a red warning flag. If these routes have been recorded in guidebooks, which are being sold to the public - and I know that they are - the malicious removal of such anchors, on which climbers depend for descending, could become a criminal matter if someone is injured as a result of them having been removed. Once that can of worms has been opened to the eyes of National Forest officials, all other climbing practices will come under scrutiny. I have seen it happen.

My comments on this site might portray me as a staunch traditionalist. This is far from the truth. I enjoy all types of climbing. In thirty years of active participation in this sport, I have run the gamut. In fact, during the nineties, I spent a considerable amount of time clipping bolts at places like Rifle, New River Gorge, Sinks, Rumney, and others. I have even placed my share of bolts. As I said before, my sole purpose in voicing these concerns is to help prevent the potential closure of areas in this beautiful state. These comments are in no way meant to criticize and disparage the local climbing community.
By Andrew Gram
Administrator
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 1, 2005

Comparing the Slips to the Sport Park is a real stretch in my opinion. The Slips is a climb anywhere slab without very many protectable features. There certainly hasn't been any chipping, drilling pockets, or bolting protectable cracks.

The line on Theiving Magpie is not particularly logical, and a lot of folks fade right around the crux, but it is safe and not a bad line. I just don't really understand getting too worked up about a handful of otherwise more or less unprotectable nondescript routes that a lot of people enjoy.

The argument against the Tyrolean is also just kinda silly, especially coming from a Front Range climber. There are far more Tyroleans in either Boulder Canyon or Clear Creek Canyon than in both Cottonwoods combined. Cob Rock probably sees just as much traffic as the Slips, and I have never heard of access there being much of an issue.

There are much more important things to get worked up about in the Salt Lake area. This energy would be better spent worrying about mining threatened access at Ibex, or keeping climbers from trashing Indian Creek campsites.
By KCP
From: Eldorado Springs, CO
Aug 1, 2005

I believe that my initial comments about the bolts on The Slips wall are being taken a bit too far. As for the development of the routes in question, I stand by my initial opinion that they were poorly bolted. I am entitled to my opinion, so I'll leave it at that. The issue of the Tyrolean Traverse is another story. The permanent fixing of ropes over rivers, streams, etc. on National Forest Land is illegal. This is not my opinion; it is fact.

Andrew, you obviously didn't carefully read or comprehend my earlier comments, which outline my primary concern. They concern the potential closure of areas due to indiscriminate and unsafe climbing practices. The fact is that I actually had the opportunity to discourage a group of teenage boys (non-climbers) from attempting to cross those ropes, without harnesses and the experience to safely do so.

Your comparison to Boulder Canyon makes for a specious argument at best. First of all, Boulder Canyon is not national forest land. Therefore, it is not governed by the same strict rules attached to state and national forest lands. You would not find ropes fixed across the river in Eldorado Canyon. Secondly, You never bothered to find out what my views are, regarding unsafe climbing practices on public lands. Had you taken the time to do so, you would have realized that I do not condone it.

Here is my fundamental problem with it. You fix a Tyrolean Traverse. You know how to utilize it and what the inherent dangers of doing so are. No Problem. You finish using it and leave the area. At this point you become responsible for having equipped a dangerous apparatus on a public domain. You have done so without having taken the proper safety precautions and/or procuring the proper permits. You exacerbate the problem by leaving your dangerous apparatus unattended, so that any child could utilize it and potentially fall and drown. Not only have you now become indirectly responsible for the death of a child, you have indelibly scared the reputation of your local climbing community, as well as jeopardizing future access to the said area. BIG PROBLEM!!! This type of practice is nothing short of irresponsible and self-serving, especially when there are alternative means of access.

I appreciate your desire to debate these important issues, although I suggest that you take the time to educate yourself about the laws and potential consequences governing such practices. As for Boulder, I was very involved with the Front Range climbing community, during my ten years there, and I am well aware of how seriously they take these issues. As I have stated many times before, access is becoming an issue all over the United States, mostly due to the increase in the popularity of the sport and the physical impact that this has had on established areas. Irresponsible practices, such as these fixed traverses and reports of malicious anchor removal on established routes won't help the problem. If you consider this to be overreacting, then I have to say that you are na_ve and need some outdoor education. This is not meant as an insult. Rather, it is intended as an admonishment to you to take these matters of responsibility more seriously. KC
By icsteveoh
From: salt lake city, UT
Jun 6, 2007
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Climbed this yesterday (7 April 2004). Fifth bolt is a spinner.
Climbed today 5 June 2007. Fifth bolt is still a spinner.
By Ryan Peterson
From: North Salt Lake, Utah
Jun 9, 2007

Climbed today (June 9), bolt is still a spinner, but the crux is below it, so it's easy climbing once you're to it.
By Jon Zucco
From: Denver, CO
Sep 17, 2008
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

area is definitely not grid-bolted. this route seems stiff at the shield, but totally doable and certainly not contrived. I'd say it's at least 5.8 because of the start and the thin crux. good route. i have no idea what everyone is arguing about.
By spencerparkin
From: Salt Lake City
Jul 1, 2010

I've just finished reading the comment thread for this route. It should be added, concerning the Tyrolean Traverse, that it has since been removed by the Forest Service, I believe, because someone tried to utilize it without clipping into it and ended up drowning down-stream. Since then, the SLCA or UMA, or perhaps both, put in a great trail to the SL slips area from Storm Mountain.

Being fairly new to climbing and therefore quite impressionable of other climbers, my view on fixed protection has evolved considerably as I have witnessed the Geezer Wall fiasco, especially because of all the differing opinions I've been exposed to about what's okay and what's not. It's definitely a worthy contraversy, and one that I've struggled with.

After a lot of deliberation on forums and in person with other climbers and yes, even some soul searching, the conclusion that I've finally come to, at least for now at this point in my admittedly small and insignificant climbing career, is that ideal climbing takes a leave-no-trace mentality. This doesn't mean that fixed gear is bad. Many great lines would otherwise be unsafe without some fixed protection at places for well conceived stances. Anyhow, if a climb can be ascended and descended without altering the rock, then I think that this gives the best feeling of accomplishment for a climber. All that said, I really like the SL slips area, and I feel like it's bolted just fine, but again, what do I know? I'm very new to climbing and I probably have a very low probability of survival.

EDIT: Visited the slips last night and sure enough, someone's put a Tyrolean Traverse back in. I wonder if it will be taken down by the FS.
By Tyler Slack
From: Eagle Mountain, Utah
Aug 6, 2011
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

Climbed the slips on 8/5/11 and the Tyrolean Traverse wasn't there. We hiked in on the great trail from Storm Mountain up past the right side of the amphitheater and I'm just as pleased with that approach as I was coming across the river. I've played in this canyon since I was a kid and I couldn't believe I'd never seen the canyon from that angle before and I was glad that something finally forced me up there.
By Annie Naylor
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 22, 2012

Fun 5.7. I thought the rating was accurate. Not much more difficult than the 5.6 just to the right although it does have some small feet and crimpy hands. This would make a great beginner lead. I did notice a spinning bolt- 4th or 5th, I can't remember which. Watch them!
By Wic
From: SLC, UT
May 4, 2014
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

Fun climb! I agree with what was said about the rating - I would also rate it 5.8- due to the crux holds (or lack thereof!). Climbed today and didn't see the rope traverse across the river. The fifth bolt is still a spinner (maybe I'll bring a wrench next time and try to tighten it a bit). This is a good route to practice some crimping on! I loved this area because there are lots of climbs in close proximity to each other, and each climb gives a different feel and experience with the wall. Can't wait to go back and check out the Italian Arete. Climb on!