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Routes in Strone Crag

Akahi T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Cat-O-Nine-Tails S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Cersei T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Cost of Business T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Creaking Plank S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Firefly T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Gods and Monsters S 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
Itchy Scratchy T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Kiss the Sky T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Le Rap Et Tap T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c PG13
Mad Calf Disease T 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Major Tom T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Minotaur T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Mr. Bad Luck T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Nimbus S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Old Habits Die Hard T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Orbital Decay S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Rear-View Mirrors S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Red Gorilla S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Road to Recovery T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Space Cadet T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Starstruck T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Tyrion T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Wealth of Nations T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Description

Strone Crag is the large, mostly north-facing wall between Challenge Buttress to the east and the Narcolepsy area to the west. As far as I can tell, at least up until 1979, when John Gottman published his guide “Wasatch Quartzite,” the crag was apparently known only as the "Standard Ridge," after the long moderate climb that catches the top of the cliff from its lowest point, across the talus field from the West Face of Challenge Buttress. (Standard Ridge, the route, is posted on a different page, as if it is a separate crag; I suggest that we use the name “"Standard Ridge"” to refer only to the route, and move it under Strone Crag, as its eastern- or left-most route.)

According to Stuart Ruckman, Dana Hauser gave Strone Crag its name, presumably around 1987, when Dana, along with Jim Hall and IME co-owner Scott Carson, put up Le Rap et Tap, one of the best 5.11s in BCC. Strone is Scottish Gaelic for nose, apparently in reference to the huge roofband in the center of the crag, bracketed by Wealth of Nations and Space Cadet on the left margin of the roofband, and Orbital Decay and Cat-O-Nine-Tails on the right margin.

The left side of the crag, between Standard Ridge and Space Cadet, comes into the sun mid-morning and into the shade mid-afternoon. The right side of the crag, between Orbital Decay and Starstruck, stays in the shade until mid-afternoon. Consequently, it'’s possible to climb at the crag throughout the entire climbing season.

Although a large part of the crag is not visually appealing, it actually climbs quite well, but it is BCC quartzite, so expect the climbing generally not to be continuous and to have some occasional, standard Cottonwood quartzite funk. Except maybe for those climbing mid-12 and above, it is well worth a visit for at least a half a day, regardless of your preferred grade, although pure sport climbers likely will be disappointed because many of the routes require at least a few cams. All routes can be descended with a single 60m, typically from chain anchors or Metolius rap anchors. A 70m rope is more convenient, however, to get off Kiss the Sky, Old Habits, Mad Calf, Cost of Business, Starstruck, Cersei, and Tyrion. For these routes, a 70m rope allows one to avoid a hanging rappel station (the hanging belay of Mad Calf) or an extra rappel (from the top of the first pitch of Cersei).

Aerial overview here.

Getting There

The approach is from Challenge Buttress. From the road, walk the well-trod Challenge Buttress trail to where it splits, then take the path to the right (the trail left goes to Challenge's East Face). After 40 or so feet, the trail splits again; stay to the right (going left leads to Challenge’'s North and West Faces). For all routes except Standard Ridge, continue along this trail for maybe 200 feet (passing a cool historic mining structure on the way) to the right (west) side of a scree and boulder gully, where a steeper trail can be gained that switchbacks up to the right (west) of the gully. The trail is easily followed from here, and soon reaches the right-end of the ledge system from which all the routes start except for Standard Ridge, and Itchy and Scratchy and its variations. (For Standard Ridge and Itchy and Scratchy, the approach is described on those routes' pages.) The start of the ledge system is usually marked by a cairn.

The approach described above may sound complicated, but it isn't; it'll take about ten minutes to get from the road to Starstruck, the first route encountered on the ledge system -- that is, unless you're a flatlander. There is a different description in the Ruckmans' guide, but that is outdated and the approach described here is far better.

Page updated April 15, 2017.

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John Martin2
Salt Lake City, UT
John Martin2   Salt Lake City, UT
It took me a little while to find this as I think there are more trails now. The first set of directions are still the same, take the first right once on the trail from the road and follow that until you exit the trees. On the far side of the gully, you'll see a trail switch-backing up the right side of this gully. Youll want to take this all the way up to the top (strone wall is on your left when going up the gully) until it runs you into a wall where youll see an obvious trail going left, along the base of the wall. This is the start of strone Jun 13, 2016
zoso  
I vote this crag gets renamed to "Steiger Crag". Jul 9, 2013
You want to know how to get there? Read the second paragraph of John S.' comment. Seriously, that description is perfect and easy to follow, thank you sir! May 3, 2013
Andrew Gram
Salt Lake City, UT
Andrew Gram   Salt Lake City, UT  
We hiked way the hell up the loose gully between the Strone Crag and Challenge Buttress before we realized the right turn is almost immediately after passing Hollow Man before any rock is encountered on the right. Jul 10, 2011

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