Type: Trad, 1000 ft, 9 pitches, Grade II
FA: unknown
Page Views: 4,098 total · 25/month
Shared By: Bobby Hanson on May 20, 2005
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route

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Approach as for Challenge Buttress. Continue up the talus past Winky and Waxman to the Strone Crag on climber's right of the gully. Start here. Gain the ridge and ride it for 8 to 10 pitches. Expect sections of (very) loose rock (wear a helmet!), and sections of excellent bulletproof quartzite. Pass gendarmes on the right (west) for more solid rock.

Stop at the gully above Glass Ocean. Descend this gully (to the east). The top of the gully is loose and kinda scary, but it gets better. I'm guessing that the total descent time is about 30 minutes to an hour.

In order to preserve the adventure of this route, I don't want to reveal too much detail. Have fun.


A full set of nuts. Cams, blue alien through #3.5 Camalot, or hexes in the larger sizes. If you've climbed Outside Corner on JHCOB, use the same range of sizes.


The gear listed is a bit much. The ridge is very moderate and only has a few cruxy moves. Every time we did a "harder" move, it was over really fast. A single set of nuts and a hex or two is all you really need. Instead of a hex, maybe a yellow C4. Some slings would be a good idea as wel. Did a lot of simul-climbing and was surprised when we were done how much ground we actually covered. We also droped down to the west instead of east to descend. We did have to do a bit of 3rd class and one short rap from a tree. But after that, the gully went really fast and put us right back at the base of the ridge. We also did a variation on the last pitch, which I posted as the "5.8 variation". Jun 26, 2008
Ben Folsom  
This is a really nice ridge climb. I thought the rock was generally excellent! We pretty much were able to avoid any loose rock, in fact this route has WAY better rock and seemed WAY safer than the Outside Corner on JHCOB wall.
Maura and I climbed this route in 6 pitches (no simul-climbing). We were using a 70 meter rope. There was also a bit of unroped scrambling near the end of the ridge. We were also able to do some climbing on the Rush Wall, about halfway up the ridge, which was a nice diversion.
We brought a set of nuts and a set of cams to #3.5 camalot size. Maybe a bit much, but that is my standard rack for most everything in the Wasatch, and we used most of it. Jul 6, 2009
Just climbed this 2 days ago (Aug 4th, 2009) and wanted to add a few things.

The base of the Rush Wall is litered with a bunch of huge boulders... weighing a ton or so each. We had one of these slide off on us (fortunately my partner had the anchor on a different boulder). It was stacked on another angled rock... my partner had stood on it checking the belay. It slide later when I was about to start the pitch. Huge, massive rockfall, which probably went all the way down to the trail below which connects Challenge Butress to Narcolepsy. All of that to say that you shouldn't trust the boulders below the Rush Wall for you anchor system for fear of being pulled down with a boulder should it slide.

For what it's worth, there are also several death blocks waiting to kill someone on the pitch heading up from that, so be very careful what you pull on. Aug 6, 2009
Start higher up in the Challenge Gully. We started on the lowest point of this ridge and it was just bad loose rock. Sep 7, 2013
Greg Gavin
Greg Gavin   SLC, UT
The better quality start for this is essentially directly across the gully from "cTr 5.10a" on the west face of the challenge buttress. It entails about 30ft of easy 5th to a nice hand crack. Naturally there are some suspect areas of rock, but that's just a nice reminder to stay on your toes for the entirety of the ridge. Jun 22, 2015
We approached the ridge via Wealth of Nations, (Strone Crag) which adds a great pitch and sets you up right on the ridge. The climbing was moderate but fun and exposed in a few spots. We descended by hiking up and east above the Glass Ocean area. You can see the top of High Dive as you descend. We didn't need to make any rappels. I'd do this route again. Sep 3, 2017
Scott Stevenson
Scott Stevenson   SLC, UT
This route is awesome. Fun scramble with a few harder/wildly exposed spots. So fun. We soloed up to the finger crack and simuled (unnecessarily) after it. Mostly 3rd / 4th class. Dec 1, 2017
jawshoe uhh
Sandy, UTAH
jawshoe uhh   Sandy, UTAH
definitely not better or safer than outside corner.

Edit: for the descent, bring webbing if you plan to rappel above and SE of Glass Ocean. There is a chock stone threaded threaded with some mank tat that leads to a 2 scrub oak tree anchor with crusty tat, or healthy (nice) pine tree anchor sans any webbing. 5' of webbing for each station would be nice to thread the chock stone and avoid drag off the pine tree. Two 70m raps reach the ground just above and east of Glass Ocean. Jun 26, 2018
Great long route. I can’t believe neither of us had ever done it! We belayed everything... even part of the descent getting to the Glass Ocean Gully (not that obvious:)) which has slings around a tree a bit of the way down. We found no other fixed slings anywhere on the route or descent.
Patrique and I both felt in retrospect that the best descent could be achieved by descending the High Upper Steorts Ridge (way above where that climb normally ends) to the rap anchors on the East Face Slab Climbs of Back Of Beyond.

Another option would be to rap from a tree to the Itchy Scratchy anchors and then continue down that route. If I do this route again (very possible:)) no way will we descend the Glass Ocean Gully, which is not only dangerous, but detracts from the whole experience.
Take a lot of slings if linking pitches:)! Beware of a lot of loose rock and climb and make placements with care. Jul 2, 2018