Mountain Project Logo

Routes in Penitentiary Wall

Cell Life T,TR 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c X
Climb and Punishment T,TR 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Climbs and Misdemeanors TR 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
County Lockup T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Deception TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a X
Jack the Ripper T,TR 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R
Jailbait T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Life Sentence T,TR 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R
Minimum Security T,TR 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R
Possession T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Rehabilitation T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Repeat Offender T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
S&M / B&D T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
Speed is of the Essence T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Sticky Zipper T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Tax Evasion T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Three Strikes T Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c
Type: Trad, TR, 80 ft
FA: Drew Bedford 1986
Page Views: 907 total, 6/month
Shared By: Nathan Fisher on Aug 13, 2005
Admins: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route

2 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick


On the right side of the Life Sentence slab is a thin edger's dream. This beautiful route climbs micro edges 6 feet left of the arete with no pro until about 18 feet off the ground. Here the pro (micro) starts, but the climbing gets a bit more technical. Very thin, very balancey, and a couple of razor blade holds that cut at your fingertips. A very enjoyable route. :) The climb eases and the gear gets better higher up, as Life Sentence joins back into this route. An easy (5.8) finish awaits.


Slings around a horn up top. If you decide to lead it, small gear, micro-cams, brass.


Wasatch Back, UT
drewford   Wasatch Back, UT
It's just climbing. If you feel bold, lead it. If not, I suggest running up Sticky Zipper and setting up a top-rope. Not sure why all the fuss. Feb 4, 2011
bheller   SL UT
"Well respected, not well protected" Jul 28, 2010
Salt Lake City, UT
triznuty   Salt Lake City, UT
Yeah let's just bolt every square inch of rock in the world so "everybody" has the option to climb any inch of rock safely and in any style they so choose. Then we need to put wheelchair access up these cliffs as the handicap should not be left out, right..? It wouldn't be fair...
Are you people who think they need every climb safe for themselves just plain nuts!! You must be!! Get a clue people!! Not all routes where put up with you in mind and nor should they be. Is life equal, fair, and safe for all? NO it's not, so why should climbing be any different? There is plenty of rock out there for you to find and bolt however you want. Just keep it out the Cottonwood canyons please!!! Sounds like you people who need everything safe should stay in the gym. They keep it safe enough for you there. Plenty of bolts for all... I think you people come across as very selfish. You don't have to be able to lead and or climb everything. Kind of like real life. We don't always get what we want do we... Jul 27, 2010
Leave the route alone!! All this talk of adding bolts to previously bold routes is a whole bunch of bullshit. If you don't like it, stay in the gym where you belong. Jul 27, 2010
Small Lake, UT
Boissal   Small Lake, UT
Nice troll.

I'll bite though. You know the drill around here, adding bolts to an existing line will only lead to having them chopped within hours and a shitstorm on the intardweb. It doesn't matter if it's 5.6 or out of most people's league. It doesn't matter how bad we'd all like to climb the route but feel like we can't do it safely.

But just in case you think there's a chance of getting things your way, let me suggest the right approach:
1. Get in touch with Drew, ask him what he thinks. Get shut down.
2. Assuming he's all about it, get the opinion of the "community", meaning start the 133rd debate about the FA's right on their lines once they've been out for years. Get shut down.
3. If that doesn't happen (it will) and the "community" is OK with retrobolting (it won't) get a concensus on number/location of the bolts and go up there with Drew to be certain not to screw up. Retrobolt. Succeed.
4. Your bolts are removed the very next night before you even get a chance to brownpoint the line on TR. Fail.

Sounds fun? Just get stronger and acquire a larger sack, that's by far the best option. Jul 27, 2010
Why not add the bolt as an option for those who want to use it? Those climbers like Zed who prefer to climb the route the way the first ascensionist did it could do so by simply not clipping in to it. That way, everybody's happy. Jul 27, 2010
Olympic Valley, CA
philfell   Olympic Valley, CA
Nate, I was making a joke. Sorry it didn't come off that way to all. Aug 17, 2005
I would disagree, Phil. Plenty of good routes that beg to be climbed. Penetentiary Wall is not an area where kids are goofing around learning to climb. A tragedy with a kid would be terrible. Unfortunately, us bolting every route out there won't save the lives of the dumb ones. Whereas, I would love to lead this route, with a bolt, I would rather wait until I have the cajones (sp) to do it the way it is.

P.S. Since everyone has been getting insulted. Please don't. Aug 16, 2005
Olympic Valley, CA
philfell   Olympic Valley, CA
Ken what if a teenage kid decides to climb this and falls before they get good gear in and dies. In the name of saftey for the kids of Salt Lake add the bolt.

On a different note I heard Drew was talking about maybe adding a bolt here and there to some of his older/bolder routes. I think this is one of his routes. If some bolts start appearing on his routes they might be placed by him. Although I think he may have decided not to do this. Aug 16, 2005
Ken Cangi
Eldorado Springs, CO
Ken Cangi   Eldorado Springs, CO
Lee, you have now turned this into a personal vendetta, because you have an issue with me. I suggest you put it to rest immediately. These routes have already been established in a time-honored fashion. You have no right to retro-bolt traditionally established routes. You really had better come to grips with your attitiude, because I am postive that I do not stand alone on this issue. If you feel some need to lash out at me, drop me an Email. I will give you my phone number, and we can discuss it on the phone or in person, like adults. Do not use this website to air your dirty laundry. It is not fair to the others. Email me at:, and I will give you my phone number. In the meantime, take a deep breath, because this is not a life or death situation. KC Aug 16, 2005
Okay, Ken, I'll put this in simple terms, so you can understand it. The coffin zone means that if you fall before you get your first piece of gear in this route, you will probably die. And that's dangerous, in anyone's book.My comment is beta on the route. You fall, you probably die. It's a fact. Hence the reason for "X" ratings.

And no one, not you, not Chris freaking Sharma, is going to dictate how I'm going to climb a route. If I feel like bolting it, I'll bolt it. You want to yank the bolt, yank the bolt. In the mean time, stop telling everyone what to think. Aug 16, 2005
Ken Cangi
Eldorado Springs, CO
Ken Cangi   Eldorado Springs, CO
Safety and sanity are relative terms. What is considered the coffin zone to some, is the pleasure zone for others. Some of us appreciate and enjoy the challenges presented by commiting routes. If this route was established in a bold style, changing it to compensate for a lack of skill and boldness is unacceptable. Walk away from it until you are up to the challenge. Aug 16, 2005
Not all climbs need to be safe sane and fun. Plenty of those around. Aug 16, 2005
The first chance to place pro on this route is right at the coffin zone. Climb it on toprope or be sure your insurance is paid in full. Adding just one bolt to this route would make it safe, sane, and fun. Aug 15, 2005