Mountain Project Logo
To save paper & ink, use the [Hide] controls next to photos and comments so you only print what you need.

Naked Nebula

5.12a, Sport, 70 ft (21 m),  Avg: 3.4 from 149 votes
FA: Brian Smoot
Utah > Wasatch Range > Southern Wasatch > American Fork C… > White Wave Wall
Access Issue: Located in a National Forest Fee Area Details


This route probably deserves 4 stars, but I don't think it is quite as good as the 4 star routes on the Billboard. So really it probably gets 3 and a half stars. Also, this is probably the easiest 12a tick in American Fork, which may be of interest to some folks! After numerous AF sandbags, you might find this route to be more in the ballpark of what you expect for 12a.

This is the farthest left route on the Wave as you are facing it. Just right of it is a 12d called Knuckle Up, and there is also a linkup between the two lines. Anyway, stay left for Naked Nebula.

Starts slabbly, turns vertical, then steepens to overhanging. The steep part has lots of good holds - a bit reachy in spots. Don't get me wrong about the grade, it is legit 12a (just not a typical AF sandbag) and you will be pumped at the anchors. Fun!


9 bolts to anchors.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Natasha starting into the steep bit.
[Hide Photo] Natasha starting into the steep bit.
where the good stuff begins!
[Hide Photo] where the good stuff begins!
Lowering off - Shows the full route
[Hide Photo] Lowering off - Shows the full route
Logan Bradford, just above the roof.
[Hide Photo] Logan Bradford, just above the roof.
Working the crux.
[Hide Photo] Working the crux.
Hayden on his red point.  Wearing the wrong colors for a picture.  :)
[Hide Photo] Hayden on his red point. Wearing the wrong colors for a picture. :)

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Farmington, utah
[Hide Comment] This is a very pumpy climb. The start is fairly easy with crimps then eases up to a rest. Then the climb slowly gets steeper and steeper. I really like the big moves to big holds. The crux is going over the roof. Dont forget the key foothold and put some tape on your left fingers for the sharp 2 finger pocket you have to move thru. The top has 2 biners for clipping into, altho they should be replaced by something more permanent. i highly recommend this climb for the endurance factor. You'll figure it out quick, but the entire journey is taxing. Loved it. Thanks Perin for helping me thru this one! Jun 11, 2008
Bad Sock Puppet
[Hide Comment] Most of this climb is nothing special, but the final roof section makes it worth the climb. The start is easy all the way up through mildly overhung rock. There are lots of pockets, with some big moves. Pay attention through the crux because there are small 2-finger pockets on the left side, although I didn't think they were that sharp. The hardest part is telling yourself to climb above the 6th and 7th draws before clipping each, because that's where the best pockets are. The topout onto the face was surprisingly easy. Jun 7, 2009
Past User
[Hide Comment] A total handbag at feels the same difficulty as License to Thrill...11c
12 bolts to chains. Sep 25, 2016
Ryan Arnold
[Hide Comment] As a counterpoint to Brad; this was the 12a that took me the longest to send this year. Nearly 10 tries, when most others were 2-5. Having said that, I do far better on vertical crimps than on overhanging jugs, so it's probably a style thing. Oct 27, 2016
Ken Noyce
Layton, UT
[Hide Comment] I agree with Ryan, this thing is much, much harder than License to Thrill, and harder than many .12a's in the canyon (certainly not .12b though). Apr 16, 2017
Steve Miller
West Jordan
[Hide Comment] Super casual to about the 7th bolt with a hands free rest. then it gets steep. Lots of jugs to clip from. Fun roof pull.
Got it second go.
I'm okay with the 12.a rating. Aug 31, 2018
Benjamin Eaton
Sandy, UT
[Hide Comment] Thanks to some very generous soul, NN now has steal permadraws. No longer do you need to budget enough time to second the route to clean the route. Keep an eye on the top biners, they are almost in need of replacement. Jul 23, 2019
Wasatch Back, UT
[Hide Comment] As part of the SLCA's re-bolting efforts, all the White Wave routes have been equipped with stainless and/or stainless glue-ins. There is also now a bolted sister start to the right of the original Knuckle Up start in an attempt to reduce the log jam on the start which is shared by three routes. If you're heading up Naked Nebula, use the original start. If you're headed up Knuckle Up, try the right option. Mar 15, 2020
Jacob Northcutt
Bozeman, MT
[Hide Comment] The anchor biners at the top of this route are indeed sharp. I would recommend leaving and lowering off your own draws while working the route, and then rappelling rather than lowering off the sharp anchor biners when finished. This is what I did today. Someone please post when these biners have been replaced. It would make sense that the replacements be steel, in keeping with the rest of the hardware on the route. May 19, 2020
[Hide Comment] Jacob, would it have been possible for you to leave more safe biners there? May 21, 2020
Jacob Northcutt
Bozeman, MT
[Hide Comment] I could have left biners, but my reason for not leaving biners and posting here was to break the cycle of leaving aluminum biners at the top of equipped routes, which some unsuspecting person may lower through without questioning the quality of the hardware. In my opinion, equipping a route with chains or having more sustainable hardware (i.e. steel biners or mussy hooks) at the top of routes seems to make sense, especially given the number of people making "gym to crag" transitions these days and the popularity of this area and route. Jun 13, 2020