|North Creek Canyon
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We struggled with the associated elements of an onerous and persistent west wind (Zephyr) while cleaning and equipping this climb. We believe this to be the first bolted rock climb in North Creek Canyon. Founded in Boulder Colorado, Zephyr was also a favorite rock band back a few years. They toured all over the west.
An enjoyable well protected multi-pitch limestone southwest facing bolted climb. Features include thin face, off width, and topping out through an improbable and outstanding sustained and overhanging roof which allows passage via a surprisingly moderate rating.
When approaching, aim for a unique tilting pillar like formation on the first continuous and striking band of limestone on the left canyon walls.
Pitch #1: To the right of a right facing corner of the tilting pillar, climb a hand crack to a two-bolt belay. 5.8, 25m, 9 bolts.
Pitch #2: An off width crack continues straight up the right facing corner and then pass some steps to a three-bolt belay ledge. 5.10a, 12m, 5 bolts.
Pitch #3: Interesting face climbing with a dyno move for spice passing a small roof to the left and on to a two-bolt belay ledge next to an odd spike of rock ("The arch-nemesis"). 5.9, 20m, 7 bolts.
Pitch #4: Climb the compact bulgy rock utilizing the spike for convenient foot holds. Continue up the blunt arete to a magnificent flat, though sloping two-bolt belay ledge. 5.7, 17m, 5 bolts.
Pitch #5: The technical and airy pitch of Zephyr sends the exciting roof...stuff those fingers in those lockers to a two-bolt belay ledge. 5.10c, 15m, 6 bolts.
Rappel the route.
Hike up North Creek Canyon as for the winter ice climb Frozen Assets. Find this south west facing route on the opposite side of the canyon on the left. The wide limestone band of rock with Zephyr belongs to Peak 8524. Ascend the scree slope/gully directly below the limestone spur. With a combination of linking the adjacent ridges and scree gullies, the approach (which may seem somewhat arduous) requires at least 30 minutes. On returning to the canyon floor, perhaps only 10 minutes may be required.
An obvious landmark is a huge white topped boulder located in the correct scree gully (numerous exist) about at the half way mark.
Rappel the route.
All bolts. QDs for 9 bolts. 1 x 50m or 60m rope is sufficient even if linking some pitches.
The Zephyr line.
Entering the finger locking jaws of the final roof...
BETA PHOTO: 2nd pitch offwidth crack
May 26, 2009
nice work, gentlemen! james, it was great running into you the other day; mike, i'm glad to see that you were able to take advantage of your time off! s
From: Salt Lake City, UT
May 26, 2009
Take the Mona exit on I-15 and head into town (away from the mountain), make a right on the main drag, and another right onto the quarry road that goes back under the interstate. Take the right hand fork at the quarry, and on the road further up. Park at the metal posts.
Cross the river (flip flops handy), and head up the talus gully directly below the climb. Following the sides of the rock spurs makes it easier. There is a giant white boulder 3/4 way up. The approach takes 30-45min up, and about 10min down.
The route has closely spaced bolts on alpine limestone, sometimes following major crack systems. Feel free to bring a rack (include some larger pieces) and skip the bolts, but the vast majority of us will by psyched on the closely spaced bolts. Bring helmets, one rope, and 9 quickdraws. Pitches 1+2, and 3+4 are easily linked.
James gets the majoriy of the credit on this one. All I did was help clean it and I lead two pitches. I originally wanted to scope out lines furthe up canyon (huge) or maybe a route to the right of frozen assests. May be good? The frozen assests wall may be better as a winter route. The north side of the canyon upstream of where we did our little climb has a major triangular wall that's worth scoping out...
May 27, 2009
Leave it to James to equip this. I saw this band last winter while climbing the ice and thought it'd be good for a rock climb. Of course I'm much too lazy to do such a thing. Thx James.
|By James Garrett|
May 28, 2009
Couldn't have done it without Mike (alpinist turning route sanitizer!). Turned out better than both of us initially feared after a heavy approach slog...and then their was that Zephyr to contend with....this is a great place to get away from the heat, the crowds, seek solitude, day adventure climbing. Beware of the rattlers, but they are already everywhere in the Wastch, it seems.
From: SLC, Utah
Feb 20, 2011
Bolts next to good looking cracks, Even one of the first ascent team comments on climbing this with gear... at least some gear. The cracks in the picture look clean and good. Granted this is limestone but I know of other climbs that have a mix of gear and bolts in the Wasatch. So when is it ok to bolt a crack?...
From: SL UT
Feb 20, 2011
Tough question D-man. Is it okay to bolt next to a crack when you are putting up the new line in north creek canyon, you are wielding the bolt-gun, and you were inspired by similarly equipped routes while climbing in euroland? I think probably. I don't know if I would have established a line like this, but I bet the route is way fun. You all are lucky to have so much amazing rock in Utah. Perhaps all that variety in rock type and locale allows enough space for different styles of route development? This kind of equipping would likely never fly on the monzonite today, but I can think of many monzonite routes where bolts were added in the past, and close natural gear is adequate. Perhaps the dodgy limestone makes it all okay? I think I feel that the monzonite, and little cottonwood in particular, should be held to a higher traditional/ethical standard (whatever that means), but we all know that is not, and has not been the case in the other canyons, to the north and the south. Protect the monzonite and the traditional styles/experiences it offers, and accept different styles in different areas? Here in New England, Ken Nicholas attempted to enforce traditional law by policing and chopping routes and crags across many states. He was eventually prosecuted for destruction of property and most people now hate the guy (even those who have never met him). I think its great to be able to pursue climbing in the style that suits you and you are attracted to. And I think its great that Utah offers premier climbing in all styles, choose your own adventure! (or lack of adventure;) as it may be) The option to do this also seems like something that is worth protecting. Tough question D-man.