Mortal Earth Rock Climbing
|GPS:||43.72, -113.077 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
|Page Views:||6,570 total · 940/month|
|Shared By:||Mike Engle on Jul 24, 2017|
|Admins:||WAGbag, Mike Engle|
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DescriptionMortal Earth is a *mostly* newly developed area at a slightly lower elevation than the main Fins climbing area. The area was known as the Burning Spear area and there were 6 routes on 3 different crags mostly developed in the late '90's and early 2000's. Despite excellent stone, a few good routes, and tons of new route potential; the area did not receive a lot of traffic and there was no established trail to the crags and the climbing.
Development in the summer of 2017 by Chris Barnes, Vernon Phinney, and Mike Engle opened up new crags and new routes at a rapid pace (40 new routes as of early September). After consulting with Dave Bingham (route developer of 5 of the existing 6 routes), Dave agreed to the proposal that the new route developers could name the area and rename one of the crags. Route development is continuing at a rapid pace.
There is now an established trail from the parking. The approach is 15 to 20 minutes. The parking is accessible by 2 wheel drive vehicles.
The routes in Mortal Earth are on less than vertical to vertical grey limestone with the occasional small roof, bulge or overhang. In general, these routes tend to be less steep than The Fins and as a result the climbs are of a more moderate nature. Climbs range from 5.6 to upper 5.11 with most of the routes in the 5.10 to easy 5.11 range.
Each crag seems to have different character to the rock but you will find shallow pockets, sometimes deep pockets, pinches, rails, crimps, runnels and some amazing Chert pinching. The rock is of high quality and ranges from very clean to having some lichen. btw, Chert is a hard, dark, opaque rock composed of silica (chalcedony) with an amorphous or microscopically fine-grained texture. At Mortal Earth, the chert provides a large variety of small to massive positive holds.
Routes tend to be long single pitch or sometimes 2 pitch climbs (75' to 200') with the average bolt count being around 10 bolts per pitch. The climbing is characterized as thoughtful, technical, and sustained. The route developers are building safe routes with lots of bolts and usually the clips are right where you want them.
Nearly all the routes can be descended with a single 60' meter rope (with the 2-pitch climbs requiring 2 rappels). There are a few single pitch climbs requiring 2 ropes to get down. Top anchors are either sport anchors consisting of an open cold shut and a steel carabiner for convenient lowering or in the cases of multi-pitch routes, anchors are two lengths of fat 3/8" chains where you have to thread the rope for the rappel.
Getting ThereStart your mileage at the turn off of Highway 33 onto the gravel FS 557 road. Continue up the main road to The Fins for about 3.3 miles. The road to this point is accessible by 2-wheel drive vehicles. Park near some powerlines and signs warning of buried power cables. If parked smartly, there is room for about 6 or 7 cars. 4-wheel drive is strongly recommended if you want to continue on to the main Fins and the upper parking.
There is a trail that contours the hillside up to Mortal Earth. Follow the trail to the crags. About 15 minutes to Psychedelic Rock, Burning Spear & Classic Rock and another 5 minutes to Rock of Ages and The Watchtower and another 5 minutes to Darkside of the Moon and Stone Temple.
The developed crags of Mortal Earth are visible from the parking, see the beta picture.
Check out the aerial overview for trail and crag location.
Classic Climbing Routes at Mortal Earth
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season