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Elevation: 6,560 ft 1,999 m
GPS: 44.1487, -114.9184
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Shared By: Brad Brandewie on Jan 6, 2007
Admins: Mike Engle, Eric Bluemn

Description Suggest change

The Sawtooth Range in central Idaho is one of the most beautiful and overlooked alpine climbing destinations in the United States. Only two and a half hours northeast of Boise (1hr north of Sun Valley), these mountains tower above the tiny town of Stanley and offer an incredibly pristine setting in which to climb.

Topping out under 11,000 feet, these granite peaks cover an area roughly 30 miles tall and 20 miles wide. The range was protected by Congress in 1972 when they designated it the Sawtooth Wilderness and a National Recreation Area. The Sawtooths are also one of the pilot sites for the 'Fixed Anchor Ban', so new routing can be tricky. Fortunately the rock is often vertically fractured, lending itself to natural protection.

The best month for rock climbing is August, but there is some type of climbing to be had all year long. Many impressive couloirs split the jagged peaks and towers and exposed alpine scrambles are far too numerous to count. Winter here is very cold.

The Elephant's Perch is the center of rock climbing in the range, offering 25+ routes from 5.9 to A4 and up to 12 pitches in length. Other standouts include the Finger of Fate, The Super Slabs, Barron Spire, Mount Heyburn, Blue Rock Buttress, and the extremely remote North and South Rakers.

Though the rock quality is impeccable in some places, there is no shortage of bad rock in this range, so expect some adventure when you're off the beaten path.

There is no modern guidebook to the area, but many of the classics have topos that can be found online. Beyond that, the best overview for the range may be Idaho - A Climbers Guide by Tom Lopez.

Stanley offers a few restaurants, a small grocery, laundry, and hotel rooms during the summer tourist season.

Getting There Suggest change

From the west on Interstate 84:

1. Take the ID-21 / GOWEN ROAD exit- EXIT 57- toward IDAHO CITY.
2. Follow ID-21 for 3 hours through Idaho City and Lowman to reach Stanley.

From the east on Interstate 84:

1. Turn north on 93 (used to be 75) near Twin Falls.
2. 93 will become 75 and leads over Galena Pass into the Sawtooth Valley.

From the northeast:

1. Take 93 south through Challis.
2. A few miles south of Challis turn right (west) on 75 and proceed to Stanley.

43 Total Climbs

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Location: The Sawtooth Range Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at The Sawtooth Range

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Steep Snow
 8
Chockstone Couloir
Trad, Snow, Alpine
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 41
Regular Route (aka Central Gully)
Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 34
SE Face
Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 90
Open Book
Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 251
Mountaineer's Route
Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A1+ PG13
 5
SE Face
Trad, Aid, Alpine 5 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 33
Sideline
Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 96
Astro Elephant
Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R
 6
Divine Guidance
Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
5.11- 6c 22 VIII- 22 E3 5c
 83
Myopia
Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 116
Direct Beckey
Trad, Alpine 12 pitches
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 27
Original Beckey
Trad, Alpine 12 pitches
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 95
The Fine Line
Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 43
Sunrise Book
Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b PG13
 6
Mojo
Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Chockstone Couloir Grand Mogul
 8
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Steep Snow Trad, Snow, Alpine
Regular Route (aka Central… Super Slab
 41
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
SE Face Warbonnet Peak
 34
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
Open Book Finger of Fate
 90
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
Mountaineer's Route Elephant's Perch
 251
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
SE Face Baron Spire aka Old S…
 5
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A1+ PG13 Trad, Aid, Alpine 5 pitches
Sideline Elephant's Perch
 33
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
Astro Elephant Elephant's Perch
 96
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
Divine Guidance Elephant's Perch
 6
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
Myopia Elephant's Perch
 83
5.11- 6c 22 VIII- 22 E3 5c Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
Direct Beckey Elephant's Perch
 116
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad, Alpine 12 pitches
Original Beckey Elephant's Perch
 27
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad, Alpine 12 pitches
The Fine Line Elephant's Perch
 95
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
Sunrise Book Elephant's Perch
 43
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
Mojo Elephant's Perch
 6
5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b PG13 Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
More Classic Climbs in The Sawtooth Range »

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