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Falcon Guides' "Rock Climbing Utah" guidebook?

Original Post
Dany Tancou · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0

Hi everyone,

Heading to Salt Lake City for a week at the end of the summer for some climbing (and peak bagging too), and wondering if this is THE book to get, for researching crags/routes. Since won't be there for long, and only 3-4 days will be dedicated to climbing, it makes sense to pick at least the crag(s) to visit, if not actual routes, in advance. (This will be our first time in the area, but we've climbed in Colorado, France, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and other places in Europe.)

Asking because reviews on Amazon (…;showViewpoints=1) are somewhat mixed, with the first particularly mentioning that there's not as much info as one may want for the immediate SLC area. We'll have a car but would rather not drive 3-4 hours each way (i.e. to Moab or whatever--that's a different trip) only to climb for the same amount of time.. it just doesn't make sense.

Or should we save our money and just get all our info from here (i.e. and maybe other such sites? What we're looking for is routes which don't require more than a couple of hours to get to from SLC, and relatively straight-forward approaches. ..Not that we're lazy about long approaches, but, again, we'd like to maximize our CLIMBING time.. you know what I mean, I'm sure. :)

Naturally, if anyone has any suggestions for where to go, or, perhaps, for another guidebook to get, they would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much!


BrokenChairs BrettC · · Sultan, WA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 245

If you're wanting to climb in the SLC area I would pick up "A Granite Guide" it's the new book covering Ferguson to Lone Peak in great detail. The Falcon Guide Climbing Utah is in fact a cliff notes version of the climbing the the area. The information on Mountain Project for Big and Little Cottonwood is good and should help you find some crags while you're here. Good luck and enjoy.

Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,135

You really need to first decide on where you might want to go. At the end of summer the sandstone rock around Moab and S. Utah is hot, damn hot, real hot. Many people will be avoiding the granite in Little Cottonwood in Salt Lake because it is south facing. Further up canyon and on the north side is better or places like Maple or American fork (were they will be people with the local guide book to poach from).

If only for a few days. I would probably use Mtn. Project and grab topos for longer route.

Thumer · · SLC, UT · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 230

I second broken chairs. Mountain project documents the routes pretty good and you may not even need a guide book. If you do get a book, granite guide is the best, but it doesn't cover big cottonwood. Are you climbing trad, sport, multipitch? What grade?

Dany Tancou · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0

Wow! Your answers came so quickly guys! Thanks so much! :)

Alright, so I'll research here as much as possible and post any questions in this thread--and THEN consider purchasing "A Granite Guide".

Heat was another main reason for which I figured we'd best avoid climbing in southern Utah at that time of year. Thank you for the tip on Maple & American Canyon, Allen! Will definitely keep those in mind! (When you say "grab topos for longer routes"... do you mean from the guidebooks? Sorry if this is a stupid question.)

As for what we are looking for, in terms of grade, we're good up to mid or even high 10s, as long as the routes are "good", by which I mean not (too) polished, well-protected, with as few runouts as possible and no sandbags. (I'm describing virtually every crag and route near Toronto, Canada (this is where we live) where it's basically impossible to climb even 8s and 9s because they feel like 11s due to polishing and a lot of poor protection. CRAZY. Anyway.) We climb sport, and a multi-pitch or two would be great (although we've only done this a couple of times, so, to be safe, we'd want easy stuff, no higher than 8 or 9 at most).

Thank you so much again for your kind advice!


Austin Baird · · SLC, Utah · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 95

What are you looking for in terms of peak bagging?

Rob T · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 10

Based on your background I wouldn't recommend the Granite guide. It's a great book but focused largely on trad climbing and slabs. I think you're actually an ideal candidate for Rockclimbing Utah, a survey of most of the state. This will get you at least some info on all of the areas listed. I haven't read the reviews but could see complaints about people's favorite crags at each area being left out, a necessity to keep it smaller than a phone book.

If I were you I'd use RC Utah to get to areas and for a general overview and MP for specific crags. Based on your description of your climbing I'd recommend looking at Maple, AF and Big Cottonwood canyon.

Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,135
Dany Tancou wrote:When you say "grab topos for longer routes"... do you mean from the guidebooks?
If there are some specific routes you wanted to do that were longer I would get the full topo description from MP. If just a crag with lots of routes I would just print out an overview picture and enough details to get yourself to the crag and the routes you want to climb. Again from MP. Though a great book I would not suggest buying the new Granite guide for someone who is visiting for a few days.
Dany Tancou · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0
Austin Baird wrote:What are you looking for in terms of peak bagging?
I honestly don't know.. yet. :) I did order "60 Hikes within 60 Miles of Salt Lake City" though, so I'm sure we'll fine at least a couple from there. Aside from that, we typically just look at Google Maps, look at peak names, research them and eventually find stuff we like. But, of course, I would welcome any suggestions -- as long as I don't get in trouble for hijacking a rock climbing forum with such questions.

In terms of peak bagging "experience", we're not beginners.. We climbed a bunch of 13ers and 14ers in Colorado (Sherman, Sneffels, Notch, Holy Cross, Princeton, Matterhorn, Wetterhorn) and a bunch of high peaks in Europe as well (Breithorn, near the Matterhorn in Switzerland, most of the 3000m+ peaks around Innsbruck, Austria, and many of the peaks around Chamonix, France, which didn't require pro). Essentially we're good for up to grade 3+ scrambling and exposure is not a problem (as long as it's safe), but we haven't yet learned how to scramble safely in Class 4 terrain. Actually, hoping that maybe we can find a guide in SLC who may be able to take us out one day and show us all that stuff.


Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,135

If you want a couple of peaks the S. Ridge of Superior is good fun. The approach is killer. Park the car cross the road and you are at the base. The more adventuresome will chalk up and do the sit start (snicker, snicker, inside local's joke). If you want a bit more of an approach and alpine look at the N. Ridge of the Pfeifferhorn. A great full day adventure.

BrokenChairs BrettC · · Sultan, WA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 245

I second the S ridge of Superior. There's also great sport climbing at the Hellgate Cliffs just East of Mt. Superior. 

Rob T · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 10

South Ridge is a great climb but based on your comments about 4th class terrain you guys may want some gear. It was rated as high as 5.4 in an old guide(Smoot?)

NickO · · Utah · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 35

Worth taking a look at the Uinta mountains too.  Higher elevation, lots of sport climbing in your range, lakes, peaks, car camping.  

Thumer · · SLC, UT · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 230

Hellgate area has tons of sport routes, and it is some of the best protected climbs I've ever done.  There is a really good sport multipitch called Hellgate Highway 5.8.  The area is definitely not sand bagged at all either.  Big Cottonwood has a good bit of sport climbing and usually well protected.  Check out Challenge Buttress, S-Curves, Glass Ocean, Ambush Wall.  I have the 60 hikes in 60 miles book too.  Broad Forks Twin Peaks is a good 3rd class scramble, and it is in that book.  Mt Olympus has a good scramble too.  Also, American Fork Twin Peaks is a really fun scramble.  You can skip the approach hike and ride the Snowbird tram up straight to the fun part.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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