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Elevation: 5,915 ft 1,803 m
GPS: 39.24012, -113.39377
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Shared By: Andrew Gram on Dec 27, 2016
Admins: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, GRK, D Crane

Description Suggest change

The West Desert is the vast empty basin and range area of western Utah. The area is starkly beautiful with very few people. The climbing is definitely on the adventurous side - even sport crags are way out in the middle of nowhere, loose and/or sharp rock is common, road conditions vary wildly, and target shooters have been known to shoot at bolt hangers and on a few occasions climbers(this hazard is particularly acute at The Valley of Zion and especially Lone Rock - make your presence known).

The West Desert has a huge variety of rock types, quality, style, and stages of development. Ibex has wonderful and uniquely textured quartzite at the edge of a salt pan. The House Range is home to an intriguing mix of granite crags and domes and enormous alpine limestone walls on Notch Peak. South Willow Canyon has hard limestone sport climbing in a lovely mountain canyon. There are many other areas that are sparsely or completely undocumented, and lots of untouched rock to explore.

The few people in the area have had a big impact on the environment. Mining has a long history here, and mining activities threaten areas like Ibex. Nuclear waste as well as chemical and biological weapons are stored, tested, and dismantled in the area. Huge sections are off limits due to military activities at the Dugway Proving Grounds and the Utah Test and Training Range. Many places in the West Desert have been trashed by visitors without much respect for leave no trace ethics. Please consider packing out some trash and shell casings, bring your own firewood, and in general leave the place cleaner than you found it.

Weather can be extreme here - most climbing is best in the spring and fall, though some high elevation areas in the Stansbury and Oquirrh ranges are pleasant in the summer. Roads and salt pan crossings become impassable after rains, and self rescue is generally the only option. Cell phone reception is rare.

There are very limited services other than free camping in the West Desert - bring lots of water, keep a full tank of gas, and consider bringing a full gas can and an extra spare tire when visiting the most remote areas.

Hiking, gem and fossil hunting, and visiting ghost towns are good rest day activities.

Utah's West Desert by James Garrett is the excellent guidebook to the area - it is well worth picking up.

Getting There Suggest change

The West Desert is a massive area west of the Wasatch mountains. The climbing areas are spread out and approaches and driving directions will be posted in the individual areas.

774 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at West Desert

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V5 6C
 54
Topus Arete
Boulder
V7 7A+
 26
Ju
Boulder
V8 7B
 11
One Eyed Man
Boulder
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 30
Eye of the Needle
Sport 3 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 46
Aurora Borealis/Lunar Power
Trad 6 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 63
Western Hardman
Trad 12 pitches
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 31
Ride the Wave
Sport
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 78
Ewe.F.O
Sport
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 18
Anti-Crack
Sport
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 12
Nose Shadow
Sport 4 pitches
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 27
Narrowpathic
Sport
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 15
Labor Fruits
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 18
TKO
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 16
Nerve Agent
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 33
Slim Shady
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Topus Arete Ibex > … > Topus Mountain > Topus Boulder
 54
V5 6C Boulder
Ju Ibex > … > Red Monster Area > Red Monster
 26
V7 7A+ Boulder
One Eyed Man Ibex > Bouldering > Sunny's Boulders
 11
V8 7B Boulder
Eye of the Needle House Range > Marjum Canyon > Eye of the Needle Wall
 30
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport 3 pitches
Aurora Borealis/Lunar Power Ibex > Quartermoon Tower > E Face
 46
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad 6 pitches
Western Hardman House Range > Notch Peak > Lower N Face
 63
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad 12 pitches
Ride the Wave Ibex > S Corridor > Holey Moley Wall
 31
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Ewe.F.O Ibex > Corral Crags > Ewe For Real Wall
 78
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Sport
Anti-Crack House Range > W Sawtooth Canyon > Snake Dike Wall
 18
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Sport
Nose Shadow Ibex > Shadow Buttress
 12
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport 4 pitches
Narrowpathic Stansbury Mount… > … > Upper Narrows > N Narrows
 27
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
Labor Fruits Stansbury Mount… > S Willow Canyon > Fern's Ledge
 15
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
TKO Stansbury Mount… > … > Upper Narrows > N Narrows
 18
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
Nerve Agent Stansbury Mount… > … > Upper Narrows > S Narrows
 16
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
Slim Shady Stansbury Mount… > … > Upper Narrows > S Narrows
 33
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
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