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Areas in Hoback Shield

Far Right (Warmup Area) 1 / 7 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 8
Hoback Shield Left 0 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Hoback Shield Right 0 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
McFlatus Roof Area 0 / 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7

Description

The Hoback Shield ("The Shield") is a slabby escarpment of nice limestone with a good selection of route different than any found elsewhere in the valley. If you enjoy calf pumps, pinches, dimples, and a few good roof pulls, check this place out!

Best in spring and fall. Summer is OK until the sun hits it at about 11 AM. The cliff is directly south facing. A good combo day can be made by hitting the Shield in the morning and Rodeo Wall in the afternoon.

Most of the routes were developed by Joe Sottile (AKA Maxwell Yanoff), Greg Miles, and a few others in the early 90s. Miles returned in the early 2000s to retrobolt a few of the sportier classics, thus making them extremely popular. Also in the early 00s, Trevor Bowman added a nice selection of moderate sport routes. Despite the rebolting efforts, routes here are still considered sporty by some. Bring your slab head!

There are a handful of trad routes here which should prove exciting for anyone interesting in polished limestone cracks. Also, many of the sport routes have second pitches that go to the top of the cliff and are protected by trad gear. Please be careful if you decide to top out. Much loose rock exists up there.

Getting There

(NOTE: these were amended 6/2015 after being inaccurate for many years)

The Shield sits above the Hoback River. If you're driving from Jackson, make a left at Hoback Junction onto Highway 189/191 into Hoback Canyon, paralleling the Hoback River. Drive approx. 11 mi, crossing the river 4 times. Shortly after crossing the Hoback River the 4th time, park in a large pullout which will appear on the right (south) side of the road. The south-facing cliff is visible and sits above you across the road.

Cross the road and encounter a nice trail, which switchbacks up to the base of the cliff. Allow about 10 minutes.

25 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Hoback Shield

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 39
Shady Grove
Sport
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 8
Patti's Butt
Trad 3 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 19
Mulvado Edge (Electric Arch)
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 19
Jam or Slam
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 26
Hook It
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 28
Drill and Repetition
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 19
A Thousand Cranes
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 7
The Joker
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 8
Petzl Logic
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 9
McFlatus Roof
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Shady Grove Hoback Shield Left
 39
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Patti's Butt Far Right (Warmup Area)
 8
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 3 pitches
Mulvado Edge (Electric Arch) Hoback Shield Right
 19
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Jam or Slam Far Right (Warmup Area)
 19
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Hook It Far Right (Warmup Area)
 26
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Drill and Repetition Far Right (Warmup Area)
 28
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
A Thousand Cranes Hoback Shield Left
 19
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
The Joker Hoback Shield Left
 7
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Petzl Logic Hoback Shield Left
 8
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
McFlatus Roof McFlatus Roof Area
 9
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Hoback Shield »

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Photos

Stevie Nacho   Utah
Way better than the Rodeo Wall. This place can provide some fun climbing, but should not be a destination. The routes are well bolted with new bolts and hanger, to protect the sometimes greasy hand and footholds. Its fun for a day or so.

TDA Oct 26, 2008
boulderkeith
Boulder, CO
boulderkeith   Boulder, CO
Was hot in the July afternoon sun. Would be great for a morning or a cloudy afternoon. Aug 1, 2009
Hendo Henderson
Denver, CO
Hendo Henderson   Denver, CO
You have to cross the river 4 times...this is really important. Additionally, it's not a good idea to give directions in minutes. People drive different speeds (not all of us drive the speed limit, and that's assuming the person that wrote these directions drove the speed limit). Lastly, after you cross the 4th river crossing, you'll see a pull-off on your right, but the wall will be across the street on your left (south-facing, like the author noted). Hope this helps someone...we literally were on a treasure hunt for over an hour because of the "2 river crossings comment". Aug 9, 2010
DCSwish23
Maine/Spain
DCSwish23   Maine/Spain
After a tough time because of the "two crossings" I finally found it. It's ~10-11 miles from the junction with rt 26. Aug 3, 2011
Free miniguide available here:

tetonclimbing.com/pdf/hobac… Jun 19, 2012
Nick Stayner
Wymont Kingdom
Nick Stayner   Wymont Kingdom
Sorry for leading you guys on "treasure hunts"! I updated the directions to reflect your comments. Jun 14, 2015
Hello! Due to a thunderstorm I had to leave 3 draws up on the 9 to the left of the ceiling and I was hoping that if someone found them they could get them back to me! I can be reached at 978-866-7387 or twilson922@gmail.com. Thanks so much! Jun 14, 2016
Sept. 1, 2017.
After a long time doing other projects mainly building houses and updating routes at Rodeo Wall, I returned to the "Shield" this summer and realized this place needed some serious love. Its been ignored for too long. Very little has been done by anyone to update anything at this great little roadside crag. Sure, its not overhanging pocket pulling, but it's far from being a simple slab as the intro comments above would lead one to believe. It is fun climbing with the beauty of the Hoback River below. With that said, yes, wear a helmet when climbing here. I bolted a new route to the right of "Deception" with Lanny Johnson, who spotted the line. We called it "Hot Blubber" 5.11, reflecting that we are not in our 30s or 40s anymore and for me, barely 50s. I've also been updating old chain anchors with new 1/2" Fixe ring anchors. Thanks to Rex Hong and Teton Mountaineering for donating! I've bolted some other seldom climbed lines on which I did first ascents some 25 years ago, creating some fun, well-protected warm-ups. I will continue to upgrade anchors with the hope of getting through most on the cliff. I will also continue to upgrade bolts primarily on routes that I established bringing them into the modern world of sport climbing.
I'm using plate steel Fixe hangers and Rawl 5 piece plate steel bolts. Roadside cragging in Jackson is in limited supply. Lets keep these crags current and fun. Greg Sep 1, 2017
Greg Miles, I was just up there, and believe we climbed your new Route "Hot Blubber"...was a really fun route, and a bit longer than the rest at The Shield. Keep doing what your doing! Sep 7, 2017
Some updates, on 5.15.18. A route called Fisher/ Hong that was a marginal sort of trad route got bolted to the roof. Nicely spaced bolts and fun 5.10 for a couple of moves before the new anchors below the roof. Directly to the right of this”She’s gotta have it” another nice 5.10 got new bolts and shares the same anchor as the Fisher/Hong. You can use this anchor or pull through to roof to the above anchors.

On 5.20.18 Between “Fandango” and the recently bolted “Hunter” a new route was added that goes to the roof. An anchor was installed and “Frida’s Bone” .-5.10 was estsblished with 8 nicely spaced bolts to get you to the anchor. A second pitch has not been established yet. Anchor upgrades and bolt replacement on older routes will be ongoing throughout the spring and early summer season. Enjoy, Greg May 21, 2018

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