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Routes in Big Willow Cirque

Basque Cirque Route T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Giggles T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Description

Ominous South and west facing walls surround the cirque. A great place for the adventurous or reclusive climber. Highly featured granite makes up these 500 ft walls. Routes are modest in difficulty and there is a lot of potential for new routes in the upper cirque and on the various walls along the way. Water is hard to come by in the upper reaches of the cirque, however, snow can be found at the base of the walls through most of the summer. Beautiful campsites can be had at a few flat spots a little ways below the cirque.

Lone peak can be accessed from the Big Willow Cirque by one of two ways. The first is to scramble the steep, unstable talus field to the south of the cirque. However, great care should be taken of large rockfall. I witnessed large rockfall twice within 8 hours of each other and continuous small rockfall in between. The second way is to scramble up the notch on the far north east, to the side of the wall that Giggles is found. At the top of the notch the ridge to the south can be followed until the col between Lone Peak and Big Willow Cirque is reached. The walkoff for all routes is to go east and south (north for "Close Encounters") until the notch can be obtained. Rap slings leading into the notch can be found by carefully heading south, however take great care of loose brittle rock.

Getting There

Refer to directions for Big Willow Canyon for information on parking and general trail info. The trail becomes faint in the upper reaches. Small red markers are found intermittently along the trail at this point. Gently curve south using the walls as a reference. Be careful not to get on the trail that heads more north to the saddle below Rocky Mouth Peak.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Big Willow Cirque

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Giggles
Trad 5 pitches
Giggles 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 5 pitches
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Boissal
Small Lake, UT
Boissal   Small Lake, UT
I was there a couple of weeks ago and couldn't remember if the sign used to be there of if it's new. The gate has always been there. The closure is the same as for LCC/BCC, ie no canines (see here) unless something changed recently. The language on the sign is ambiguous at best.

The cirque is a ways away. I haven't gone up there in the summer but approaching from BW looks painful, the brush is dense past Twilight. The winter approach might work better, it stays on the ridge between Big and Little Willow (sawmill trail? head right directly at the gate). I think it's about 4 hours on skis but I wasn't exactly running. There's rock on the way (Jon's Hideout) and the area is described here on the proj and in the Ruckman's guidebook. Lots of exploring/new routing to do if you don't fear the choss. Mar 25, 2011
steven sadler
SLC, UT
steven sadler   SLC, UT
Does anyone know anything about the canyon being closed? I went up there last summer to do some climbing on a wall just 45 min up from the mouth and we had to hop a gate that said the canyon was closed for water shed reasons if i remember correctly.
Also how long of a hike is it to the cirque? and is there a guide book or anything or is there really only two established routes up there? Mar 24, 2011
Xover  
Thanx a ton Tyler King; you kill it!!! I have long wondered about the actual climbing in this long, lost forgotten but beeeautiful cirque in the Wasatch. I have been in the cirque multiple times to ski the aprons and surrounding slopes, but have seriously wondered about the quality of rock up there and accuracy of routes after hearing a few sandbag stories of Giggles. I'm going to make it a point to get there this coming summer. Thanks again; you rawk!!! Feb 23, 2009
Nice photos and info for this area, thanks for posting it up! Sep 9, 2008

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