Type: Trad, Alpine, 3 pitches
FA: George and Jeff Lowe
Page Views: 28,228 total · 163/month
Shared By: Joe Auer on Dec 31, 2004
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route

181 Opinions

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The best 5.8 in the cirque, on the left side of the wall. Start in a sweet handcrack in a dihedral and belay on a ledge. The next pitch is a wandering 5.7, as is the last, amazing pitch on the headwall which follows a crack with ample face jugs.


One set of stoppers and cams.
Andrew Gram
Salt Lake City, UT
Andrew Gram   Salt Lake City, UT  
Awesome climb - best route I've done in the Wasatch.

Pitch 1 starts well up and right of the rap anchor on Pete's Staircase. If you are using a rope on Pete's Staircase, it is probably best to belay at the first rap anchor and then again at the base of the dihedral. The dihedral pitch is amazing.

Pitch 2 is weird and traverses a lot. It is very easy to belay too low, and if you do I'm not at all sure you can make it to the top of pitch 3 with a 60 meter rope. Don't be tempted to belay at the first good ledge with a steep crack above it. Climb the crack for another 30 feet to another good ledge.

Pitch 3 is unreal. Fairly runout, but the chickenheads keep it comfortable. Very long and the features just keep coming until the spectacular topout. This is one of the best pitches I have ever done, anywhere. Aug 30, 2004
vincent pierce  
A total classic! The dihedral is beyond fun with totally solid hand and foot jams and the last pitch is a dream of patina with INSANE exposure! The final pitch really protects quite well, however, the climbing is so fun and easy that, before you know it you may be twenty feet past yr last piece. The only bummer is,of course, the approach. But hey, it is a character building experience.I did this as a day trip which I really regret. The extra gear for an overnighter would be well worth it in my opinion. Once you are up there, you will not want to leave. Sep 21, 2005
David Shiembob
slc, ut
David Shiembob   slc, ut
I guess I always knew the Lowe route was the most popular in the cirque, but this last weekend the large majority of the people coming up were there ONLY for the Lowe route. I can't imagine doing that hike for 3 pitches of climbing. They are some pretty awesome pitches though. The last pitch really is as good as everyone says, patina that comes right out of a dream. Jun 26, 2007
Jared Hargrave
Salt Lake City, UT.
Jared Hargrave   Salt Lake City, UT.
I agree with all of the above. The first pitch is a great crack with bomber hand jams. Really fun.
For some reason I remembered the second pitch as being easier, but the second time around it felt like a solid 5.7, especially the crack leading up to the belay for the 3rd pitch.
What can I say about the last pitch? Leading it is a sweet experience. I found it a little hard to protect and as a result, ran it out until there was a place to put pro. But the holds are so good that it wasn't too scary. Just don't look down too often! Sep 22, 2008
Just wanted to add that it is possible to do the 3rd pitch from the lower belay ledge with a 60m rope. We did it this weekend while waiting for a party that was still at the normal belay ledge and had plenty of cord. If you stop here to wait for a group or simply by accident, you don't need to make this into a four pitch climb. Aug 8, 2011
Spencer Weiler
Salt Lake city
Spencer Weiler   Salt Lake city
Great climb. Pitch 1 is really cool with a 2 pin anchor on top of the pillar that can be backed up with hand sized gear. Pitch 2 is a bit confusing, here are some landmarks to keep you on track: Obvious thin hands crack to a short traverse on ledges to the huge bong piton. Head up and you should see a bolt above you(you won't use it as it is not on route) where you begin to traverse back right. After traversing right you should spot the big grassy ledge above you. Do one more left then right and this will land you on this big ledge, with a good vertical crack for a belay. I recommend stopping here rather than continuing as this belay is much more comfortable and has more convenient gear then 30 feet higher on the 2nd ledge, though this makes pitch 3 longer and you can't see the climber for most of it, so take that into consideration. It is about 15 feet off the 2nd ledge to your first piece of pro but after that gear occurs pretty regularly through the patina. Sep 6, 2011
Courtney Pace   Sandy
There is a short traverse out right at the start of pitch 3. I would not have recognized this if my buddy hadn;t done the route before. You can only get gear way out right. So find your longest sling or wait til you get higher and try not to factor 2 onto your belay. Third pitch is amazing! A must do warm-up for any trip to the cirque Mar 3, 2012
West Jordan, UT
Ryan202   West Jordan, UT
I think it is a good intro to the cirque since it's short enough and easy enough to get to. That first pitch (5.8 dihedral) is pretty short. The second pitch zig-zagged on ledgey stuff most of the way. To get to it, find the top rap station on Pete's Staircase. You're kind of in a left facing corner. Climb that corner (thin flakes forming wide cracks) and mantle up on top to that nice ledge with slings on two pitons. Peek over the block and there's another nice ledge at the base of the dihedral pitch. You could belay from the tp rap station on Pete's Staircase since the first pitch is short, but you may get rope drag. From the top rap station, you probably could go down and around climber's right so you don't have to climb those flakes (didn't seem like good pro - I didn't place any). Jul 2, 2013
Mike Marmar
Salt Lake City, UT
Mike Marmar   Salt Lake City, UT
An excellent variation is to substitute the second pitch of The Answer. This gives you an extra pitch of amazing 5.8 patina pulling. It's super easy to link back to the last pitch of the Lowe Route, simply head straight up the incipient crack after traversing right off the belay around the overhang. Jul 28, 2014
Mike Sullivan
Durango, CO
Mike Sullivan   Durango, CO
Not only the best 5.8 in the Cirque, I'd go so far as to call it the best 5.8 in Utah, and maybe in North America. Ultra Classic moves on perfect rock in a spectacular setting. This route epitomizes why I love alpine climbing. Sep 23, 2014
Tyler N
Salt Lake City, UT
Tyler N   Salt Lake City, UT
Two #1's are very nice to have for the first pitch.
Third pitch is absolutely the best 5.8 I've ever done. Jul 17, 2017
Mike Marmar
Salt Lake City, UT
Mike Marmar   Salt Lake City, UT
Can be done in two pitches with a 60m rope with some rope to spare on each pitch. Take the first pitch all the way to the "lower" belay ledge at the top of the second pitch (just after the left, right, left, right section on ledges). Extend gear on the first pitch liberally if you do this. Aug 28, 2017
Looking at possibly doing this route in October, I would be interested to know what kind of pro people used since its such a long hike in. Thanks! Aug 21, 2018
user id
user id   SMOGden, UT
A better question would be: Has anyone ever climbed here in October? Aug 21, 2018
Good point. Has anyone ever climbed here in October? Aug 22, 2018
Eric Rydzo
Salt Lake City
Eric Rydzo   Salt Lake City
For those asking about climbing in October...we climbed it yesterday, Sept 23rd, and it was a little chilly with the wind. The whole question mark wall stays in the shade until around 4pm, so it can get cold. It looked like the crew climbing Summit Wall in the sun might have enjoyed their day a little more. Bring layers and you'll be fine!

For gear, mid sizes (#.5-2) and a set of nuts work just fine. Sep 23, 2018