Elevation: 6,096 ft
GPS: 40.621, -111.745 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 46,257 total · 250/month
Shared By: John J. Glime on Oct 5, 2003 with updates from SpencerB BB
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq
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With a short approach, long routes, and good rock this is a great area for beginning trad climbers, or a great place to just get out and cruise on a lazy day.

Getting There

Driving up Big Cottonwood Canyon you will come to the Storm Mountain Picnic Area (about 2.8 miles up canyon). Parking is up to your personal preference, along the road, a pullout a bit further, the picnic area itself. Either way, the formation is across the road from the Storm Mountain Picnic Area (on the south side of the canyon.) Locate the Storm Mountain Trail, follow the trail southward, after 5 minutes of walking (approx.)you will see the Dead Snag crag to the west, drop down to the right, cross the creek and make your way to the base. Total approach time is about 15 minutes tops.

Alternately, Park on the right across from Storm Mountain Picnic Area. Walk back down the canyon 100 yards or so until you pass a rocky gully/stream on your left (there is a culvert under the road). Just past the stream, scramble up the steep rock steps into the woods to a trail. Follow the trail for about 10 minutes (ignore side trails) until you reach the cliff base. Parallel the cliff (going climbers left/uphill) past a small clearing with signs of camp fires until you get to the base of the arete where Sterots' Ridge begins.

17 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Dead Snag

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
More Classic Climbs in The Dead Snag »

Sun & Shade

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
Ryan Brough
Arvada, Colorado
Ryan Brough   Arvada, Colorado
Just a sampling of history from Gottman's guide from 1979:
"The Alpenbock Club was active in this area which they called the Astronaut Arete." Mar 21, 2007
Josh Cameron
Josh Cameron   California
The rock type here takes a little while to get used to if you've never climbed on it before. Jul 4, 2011
Found a piece of anchoring equipment yesterday at the top rap station. ID it and it's yours. Jul 2, 2012
What time of day to those North Facing routes go into summer shade? Jul 30, 2015
ddriver   SLC
Will depend on the month, but in July the leader will get sun directly in the face by 12:30 or 1, making visibility problematic. By 3 or so the base (but not the routes) starts to come back into shade and the conditions improve enough to go for it. Jul 30, 2015
Todd Green
Todd Green   SLC, UT
Alternative (IMO easier) directions for getting there if you are used to climbing at the Challenge Buttress (if not, read its description). Park in the pull out for the Challenge Buttress. Cross the road and follow the trail just to the right of the gulch. Don't take the right fork (which goes to Challenge), but instead follow straight up the trail with the buttress just on your right side. 10 minutes tops (more like 5 if you are in any sort of shape) and you'll be at the base of Steort's. I'm not sure why the description talks about parking up at Storm Mountain which is a bit further up canyon and some longer convoluted 15 minute hike. This way is dead simple (no pun intended.) Sep 13, 2015
Feels like the progression for BCC trad is to do the classic .6 and .7's. Then do everything at Bumble Bee for the .8 and .9 experience. Then come back here to Dead Snag and do the .9's and .10's. Then go to Psychobabble and freak out a little bit. Then come back here for the .11a. Oct 2, 2015
MikeyHeinz   SLC, UT
Just a friendly reminder to everyone climbing in this area, or anywhere around SLC for that matter, please leave your valuables locked in your car or take them up with you on the climb. My girlfriend had her iPhone stolen out of her backpack at the base of Steorts' Ridge on Saturday, presumably from a guy who was alone and wandering around saying he was looking for some shoes he left at the base. This area is easily accessible from the road, and it seems like theft is becoming more and more of an issue in all of the canyons as people see that climbers leave items at the base of climbs unattended. Oct 31, 2016