Type: Trad, 150 ft
FA: Black & Gibbs '74
Page Views: 17,841 total · 97/month
Shared By: Peter Gram on Apr 4, 2004
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route

296 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick
Access Issue: Gate Buttress Area Recreational Lease: Climbs on Church Buttress above vault remain closed Details


Super classic. There are two ways to approach the upper section. I am describing the original start, which takes the most direct line. This way also makes the route best done as one long pitch.

Start in the huge dihedral downhill from The Green Adjective. This is also the same start as Touch Up and Perhaps.

Climb the dihedral, which is very moderate for the first fifty feet or so. Continue up through slightly increased difficulty to a big undercling flake.

Traverse left with powerful liebacks (first 5.9+ crux, not as hard as it looks), which quickly gets to the second crux, a hand crack through a bulge. The hand crack has bomber hands, but is awkward for the feet.

Finally, traverse right ten feet on good holds to the anchor. Make sure to protect the second through all the traverses.

A second option exists for this route which is also really good. Climb the 1st pitch of Perhaps and stop at the belay anchor. Begin here up Gordon's Hangover by climbing the left-most dihedral which leads into the over-hanging flake. Another great option and a different variation which is a more interesting start IMO.


Standard rack. This is a long pitch, so bring quite a bit of gear. A #3 camalot is good for the undercling traverse, and save a #2 camalot size for the crux bulging hand crack.


Double-rope rap directly to the ground. Alternatively, single rope rap to the fixed anchors on Perhaps, then one more single rope rap to the ground.


Nathan Fisher
St George
Nathan Fisher   St George  
The other way to start Gordon's Hangover is to do the 1st pitch of Perhaps and then come up the crack to the main part of Gordon's. Again, another great climb with committment. The initial crux (the bulgy layback) looks harder than it is, and is way intimidating. However, as Peter says, the bulging hand crack is tough. My partner could not do it easily. Sep 24, 2005
electric lady land
d-know   electric lady land
good line. a little crumbly about mid way up. consider pro right after the bulge for the follower. how about that step across to the anchor! Jan 25, 2006
Fabulous route. We did it as one pitch, although rope drag can be an issue. The route starts out easy, then gets progressively more difficult all the way to the anchors. The cruxes first feature a massive flake requiring sidepulling and high stepping, followed by a steep fist crack (I had to step out onto the face at right to finish). In all, worthy of a 4-star rating.

If this was the only route available, it would still be worth the boulder hopping slog. Sep 26, 2006
Nathan Fisher
St George
Nathan Fisher   St George  
Having climbed both variations of Gordon's, the Original long one pitch version is the best, if rope drag can be controlled. That is why I knocked this version down to three stars...not as sustained and fun. Sep 27, 2006
Salt Lake City, Utah
Wally29   Salt Lake City, Utah
Pretty mellow until intimidating undercling traverse, but good feet and bomber pro. Hand crack crux is akward on the feet and requires some commitment. Protect second for traverse to anchors. Oct 16, 2006
Tyler King
Salt Lake, UT
Tyler King   Salt Lake, UT
If touch up is a 5.9+ than Gordons Hangover is a 5.10- or maybe a 10a, I'm not sure of the difference! Great crack with some awesome moves. The undercling traverse is sweet and the hand jam on the bulge above is difficult if your not a hand jamming expert, especially because of the awkward feet. As 1 pitch it is long and excellent!

  • EDIT: Ok so after talking to tenesmus I thought I should add this disclaimer: The crux on this climb will feel harder if you are not super solid with hand jam technique, otherwise it does seem to fall in the 9+ category along with it's neighbor "Touch Up"
  • Edit 2: Even after being a ton better at jams the bulge is still hard. being taller would help a ton!
Aug 7, 2008
Andrew Gram
Salt Lake City, UT
Andrew Gram   Salt Lake City, UT  
I'm good at hand jamming and not good at face climbing. To me, Gordon's felt like 5.9 only because of the traverse, and the upper part felt fairly easy. Touch Up felt like 5.10. Go figure. Aug 19, 2008
Skyler Penrod
Skyler Penrod  
All I can say is slings! I ran out at just under the flake and the rope drag became atrocious. Even clipping the gear in the hand crack was difficult. Sweet climb though a definite must do. Oct 14, 2008
Perin Blanchard
Orem, UT
Perin Blanchard   Orem, UT  
If you happen to drag a #4 Camalot along with you, you can get rid of it at the top of the "undercling flake." That way your second has to haul it through the crux :-) May 24, 2009
Stan Pitcher
Stan Pitcher   SLC, UT
The long one pitch version is great but the climbing getting to the flake on the two pitch version is very good too. Plus the first pitch of Perhaps is a great lead for a beginning trad leader. If you do as one pitch - clip everything long up to the under-cling if possible. Sep 22, 2009
Absolute classic. Remember some slings for the undercling crux. I tried to jam the crux crack but laying back with high feet seemed best. Enjoy! Nov 13, 2009
Charlie S
Ogden, UT
Charlie S   Ogden, UT
Watch rope drag coming out of the overhang! While you might think the first overhang is the crux, it's not. Put decent runners on it or you'll regret it 10 feet later. Feb 11, 2012
Alex Quitiquit
Salt Lake City
Alex Quitiquit   Salt Lake City
Super Classic... Hand Jam or flail.

Watched someone blow a #2 cam and rip the flake/jug about 2/3's the way up Gordon's Direct. The toaster sized block almost crushed his belayer and another party on the deck... sketchy. May 6, 2012
Ryan s Nelson
Salt Lake City, Ut
Ryan s Nelson   Salt Lake City, Ut
Just climbed this one today and had a few thoughts. First off this is a very neat climb with moves/characteristics I've not seen elsewhere that make the climb (two bulges were very cool). Second, the two route options do serve a purpose, the firing up and doing it as one pitch makes for a very long and physical climb. The pitching it out (using the chains at P1 of Perhaps)allows for a slightly different line with neat moves with greater variety than the single pitch line. Either way you choose will have a benefit and will be fun. For the weaker folk sucking air throughout the climb (such as myself) the two pitch variation might be a nice option. Also, rapping back to the anchors of the perhaps P1 belay puts you in line for a great link up for P2 of perhaps and the green adj. if you're looking for more fun.

For those just breaking into routes in the 9+ category, I agree that the second bulging hand crack is pretty physical and lacks good feet (tough to jam, lacking feet exterior to the crack till higher position is gained. Very well protected and can be sewn up as much as you can load your gear loops up with. Have at it! Jun 5, 2014
Finally got the clean lead on this one, it's had my number for a few years. The crux for me was definitely the undercling flake. I thought the second crux was bomber jams for both hands and feet, well protected, and saaaaweet!!! Apr 23, 2015
Jack Crockett
Jack Crockett  
The flake traverse was pretty easy I found by committing to the high feet on the ledge to the left. The pull through the bulge above was somewhat awkward but not to bad if committed.

The gear throughout the whole climb was stellar, use lots of runners. I wished I had saved a double length to sling the pillar just before the traverse.

2018 EDIT: Just did this a second time linked with the first pitch of Perhaps.

This involved traversing right from the dihedral to a beefy flake at a fixed pin in the face. Really enjoyed this variation!

Could see how the rope drag would be a problem with it. I was on 50 m double ropes and all the way up to the Gordan's Hangover anchors used almost the full length. Aug 25, 2016
Jeremy Polk
Sandy, UT
Jeremy Polk   Sandy, UT
If you like hand jams, you'll probably like this route. Crux for me was pulling through the bulge. Apr 11, 2017
grog m
grog m   Saltlakecity
I don't understand the anchor placement? Why is it way off to the right instead of logically directly above the climb? It makes cleaning it almost impossible if your second can't get up the climb. The traverse was cool, but the anchor should be to the left of the traverse.

Otherwise classic/awesome climb. Just annoying to clean. Jul 21, 2017
The anchor serves more than one route.

Also, it's outside. On real rock. Jul 21, 2017
Stan Pitcher
Stan Pitcher   SLC, UT
As we were starting up Touch-Up last week, some guys coming down said there was a loose block at the top of Gordon's (above the final bulge). They had wanted to trundle it but couldn't because there were people at the base. Just a heads up for anyone heading up there. Oct 10, 2017
Fernando Cal
Fernando Cal   CA, UT
One of the best 5.9s I've done anywhere. It's like a well written story; it starts off mellow and builds up as it steepens right before you get to the flake. Then an exciting airy pull and an exposed bulge with awesome hands gives to another airy traverse to the anchors. Rope drag is not an issue with extended slings in the right places. Long route, placed everything from BD#.3-4 and a few nuts, great gear all throughout! Will do again Aug 6, 2018
Matty Coles
Salt Lake City
Matty Coles   Salt Lake City
doing the first pitch of perhaps and then moving up the direct crack line to the overhung flake adds some fun slab and more interesting climbing than the entire dihedral IMO. Great route. The bulge felt harder than 5.9 to me. Sep 27, 2018
Jaron a
Jaron a   SLC
Somewhere between 10/27 and 10/30 the pillar just below the flake traverse was trundled. imho, it wasn't entirely necessary but it was done so if you're getting on this expect some debris while the pillar once was. As far as the grade without the pillar present, it is still pretty honest 5.9 with the crux being the bulge. Oct 30, 2018
So, nothing's really changed except it got more strenuous and committing? Makes sense. Dec 4, 2018
Boissal .
Small Lake, UT
Boissal .   Small Lake, UT
As I wrote, the changes aren't worthy of a grade change as the crux is still the hand crack bulge above. The flake traverse got slightly more strenuous since you place the gear while standing instead of sitting down, and slightly more committing because a big foothold is gone.
But while we're at it, I find it really fucking distasteful that whoever decided to pull the block didn't clean the mess it left behind. When I climbed it last I was a lot more concerned about the fist-sized blocks which filled the crack than I've ever been about the pillar itself... Dec 5, 2018
Parker Garrett
Parker Garrett   SALT LAKE CITY
Holy Crap! Very very fun route, make sure you bring ALPINE DRAWS for under the flake. Rope drag can and will be a total BIT*H without them. Mar 30, 2019