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Wheels on Fire

5.9, Trad, 120 ft,  Avg: 3.3 from 169 votes
FA: Wheeler, Alred, Gilbert '78
Utah > Wasatch Range > Little Cottonwo… > Green Adjective Gully
Access Issue: Gate Buttress Area Recreational Lease: Climbs on Church Buttress above vault remain closed Details

Description

Wheels on Fire is a continuously difficult climb with good gear and can be quite strenuous. Approach up the Green A gully, looking for the obvious thin crack on the right with a giant flake up high.

Start up a really slick section of scrambling to gain a higher ledge. Either approach the crack directly for a little more challenge, or traverse in from the left up higher. Jam and lieback up to the big flake (crux right below the flake). Hand traverse left, then fire up the really cool left-facing dihedral. Keep an eye to the right for the anchors, so as not to climb right past them!

Protection

Standard Rack. I placed gear ranging from tcu size up to a #3 camalot. Passive pro works really well too.

Descent

One 60m rope rap gets you all the way down past the slick scrambling. This is a rope stretcher, but it is very safe, and is not the 130' mentioned in the guidebook. Make sure to watch out for the rock eating cracks near the anchor.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

A better shot of Mikey at the end of the traverse...I know a few folks who have fallen from here and swung back into the flake/crack...resulting in hurt ankles, etc.  I think its because they tried to place gear before moving all the way into the crack.
[Hide Photo] A better shot of Mikey at the end of the traverse...I know a few folks who have fallen from here and swung back into the flake/crack...resulting in hurt ankles, etc. I think its because they tried…
Wheels as seen from up canyon.  Final dihedral is surprisingly long.  Exit the crack climber's right onto the face 10 feet before the top to find the chains.
[Hide Photo] Wheels as seen from up canyon. Final dihedral is surprisingly long. Exit the crack climber's right onto the face 10 feet before the top to find the chains.
Another view with lines<br>
1) Wheels on Fire<br>
2) Wheels on Fire Direct
[Hide Photo] Another view with lines 1) Wheels on Fire 2) Wheels on Fire Direct
Mike Buchannan living in the wrong era!
[Hide Photo] Mike Buchannan living in the wrong era!
Wheels on Fire, as seen from the the approach to Sinsemilla Crack.
[Hide Photo] Wheels on Fire, as seen from the the approach to Sinsemilla Crack.
John D. on the direct.
[Hide Photo] John D. on the direct.
Great rest after the undercling traverse
[Hide Photo] Great rest after the undercling traverse
Gettin in done across the positive undercling!
[Hide Photo] Gettin in done across the positive undercling!
Rob, moving on the traverse.
[Hide Photo] Rob, moving on the traverse.
Loving this no-hands rest.
[Hide Photo] Loving this no-hands rest.
Wheels on Fire climbs the crack until the obvious traverse left and then up the left facing flake.  Direct avoids the traverse and hits it's own left-facing flake.
[Hide Photo] Wheels on Fire climbs the crack until the obvious traverse left and then up the left facing flake. Direct avoids the traverse and hits it's own left-facing flake.
Resting before the traverse.
[Hide Photo] Resting before the traverse.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Nathan Fisher
St George
  5.9
[Hide Comment] Another great route in an already great gully. Beside the lower section, this route sews up with medium to large nuts. Great stances to place great gear. Also, bring some runners. May 24, 2006
Nathan Fisher
St George
  5.9
[Hide Comment] The climb is right at a massive chockstone with a seep, that blocks the east side of the gully, just beyond Solo Slot, the oh so obvious easy squeeze chimney. May 24, 2006
David Shiembob
slc, ut
 
[Hide Comment] Fun route, a good one to do while waiting for the cooler temps, it's nice all morning in that gully... Sep 6, 2006
[Hide Comment] great climbing and movement but seemed like it was going to fall down way back in 1998. one huge fractured flake? Jul 6, 2014
Aerili
Los Alamos, NM
 
[Hide Comment] For me this route felt much harder than After the Fall so I was surprised to see a lot of people up-rating AtF but maintaining the 5.9 grade here. I felt it was the reverse (WoF feeling closer to 10a or 10-). This route offered a lot of rattly fingers and flaring hand-sized pods and butt-cracks which felt really insecure at times.

The gear is not finicky to place for the most part, but in order to minimize rope drag and avoid hollow rock you have to give some thought to where, what, and how to sling...so I didn't find it to be a no-brainer.

A 70 m rope comfortably reaches all the way past the slippery chockstone on rappel. After the Fall was a great warm-up for this route and I'm glad I didn't do it in reverse, haaa. Aug 31, 2014
Charlie S
Ogden, UT
 
[Hide Comment] I agree with Aerili on this. The direct version might be easier, too. The direct is more classic, in my opinion. Mar 28, 2015
Blake Summers
Park City, Utah
 
[Hide Comment] LOST and FOUND PM me Jun 8, 2015
[Hide Comment] I accidentally climbed past the anchors. Ample features above for a natural anchor, a comfy ledge, and a easy downclimb climber's right to the actual anchors.

I'm bummed I missed the committing move to the face. I'll definitely not miss them next time. Nov 21, 2016
[Hide Comment] On my sole day climbing in LCC I hit Green A, Gordon’s Hangover, and Wheels on Fire. All 3 are amazing climbs but this was my favorite. Such a fun climb and making the move around the traverse is exciting. Jun 10, 2019