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Routes in The Sail

Bong Bong Firecracker T 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Brass Monkey, The T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Castaway 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R
Flying Dutchman T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Ream Crack T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Wilson-Love T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
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Type: Trad, 90 ft
FA: Ellsworth and McQuarrie ('64!)
Page Views: 4,392 total · 26/month
Shared By: Mark Michaels on Aug 10, 2004
Admins: Perin Blanchard, grk10vq, Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Gate Buttress Area Recreational Lease: Climbs on Church Buttress above vault remain closed Details

Description [Edit]

A really nice splitter, great rock until the last few feet, where it gets a little coarse/gritty. An interesting tunnel move to finish the route. Belay back from the edge off a mahogany. Walk off west.

Protection [Edit]

Standard LCC rack.
When the guide says "large nuts helpful" they mean hand/fist size hexes. Rack accordingly. Mar 23, 2006
Brian B Ballard
Laramie, WY
Brian B Ballard   Laramie, WY
For some of us big guys that tunnel aught to be avoided for some face moves.. Oct 16, 2009
Rap down from the horn at the top of the dutchman instead of walking off. A 60m will just barely make it. Nov 19, 2009
samg Gileadi
samg Gileadi  
Splitter hand crack, old school rating, consistent in difficulty. Mar 14, 2010
Greg Gavin
Greg Gavin   SLC, UT
3 #3 c4 and 3 #4 c4's Apr 9, 2010
Maybe, but I led it years ago with only 2 #3's and 1 #4 and it didn't seem run out. But that was then... Apr 11, 2010
samg Gileadi
samg Gileadi  
I agree with Zoso. Three #4's definitely seems excessive for this route, two would do maybe if you like to sew things up. With one #4 and two #3's it didn't seem super runout. Apr 19, 2010
This climb is true to its rating. I carried a standard assortment of eight Friends, three Hexentrics, and rack of nuts. I fired every one of the cams and deployed at least one Hex and one nut in persuit of the summit. A sustained crack with a variety of moves from perfect hands to wide, followed by a bonus section of caving at the top. Worth the hike! May 12, 2010
Michael Buchanan  
Some history. The Wasatch Granite guide by Dave Smith (1977) book said you needed large nuts. This seemed to prevail to all the guidebooks, including the current one. Did they distinguish between hexes and stoppers in the mid to late 70's? Reading Dave's guidebook makes me believe they didn't. He clearly distinguished between bolts, "nuts" and pitons, but not hexes. Dough Robsinson never mention hexes in his infamous 1972 Chouinard Catalogue. I think that the "large nuts" pro recommendation just filtered through the guidebooks from year to year. I placed a medium stopper at the bottom (there is a fixed angle pin, but would you trust it?, the routes FA was in '64, who knows how old that thing is?) a .75 through 3 camolot throughout the climb, with the addition of the three largest hexes. A sweet old school route that needs to be done again and again!

If you are a climber of the era, I would like you to weigh in. What did you call a large nut back in the late 70s? Sep 2, 2010
Seemed harder than 5.7 to me. Judging by other wideish 5.7 cracks like parts of tingeys, and hatchet crack, this felt harder. Felt harder than bushwhack (5.8) to me. Maybe my fat crack technique sucks. Oct 10, 2010
Spencer Weiler
Salt Lake city
Spencer Weiler   Salt Lake city
Another beaut up here on the sail. This thing looks wide, and it is in a few sections, but the middle is nothing but slammer hand jams, though you kind of have to dig for them. I only placed 1 each of #2, #3 and #4 camalots but I felt really secure in that middle section so doubles in each wouldn't be unreasonable. Don't tunnel at the top, it will just ruin your shirt/back. Fun. Jul 9, 2011
Ben Folsom  
One of the best hand cracks in the Wasatch. Dec 19, 2011
Salt Lake City
Phil   Salt Lake City
If this route had an easier approach it would be a really popular 5.7. Nice jams and great gear the whole way up Mar 12, 2012
Garret Nuzzo-Jones
Salt Lake City, UT
Garret Nuzzo-Jones   Salt Lake City, UT
Great route the whole way up. Sandbagged for sure, but it's more just about the effort it takes to climb through the awkward sections than the insecurity you'll feel at any point. Lovely jams for those of use with larger hands and feet.

I took doubles in Camalot #4 and triples in #3 and I didn't feel unsafe at all. The route will take as many #3s as you want to haul up there. A BD #.75 is a nice final piece of pro once you pull up towards the tree area.

No bolts up top but there is the slung horn and a great tree to belay off of. Jan 6, 2014
Eric Chabot
Salt Lake City, UT
Eric Chabot   Salt Lake City, UT
Didn't carry the #4 up to the sail, but made do with 2 #3s. If 5.7 is your limit you'll probably want one. May 16, 2014
Peter Lenz
Salt Lake City
Peter Lenz   Salt Lake City
Re: Michael Buchanan's question:
I can only speak for myself, but I called all artificial chock stones, including large hexes, "nuts," in the 1970's. The origin of the term "nut," was the early practice of using machine nuts, threaded with rope, as artificial chockstones. Nearly any piece of passive protection that wasn't a piton or sling, might have been called a "nut," or a "chock," in my youth. Most of these were divided into the "hex," and "stopper," categories, which also happened to be the commercial names of the Chouinard products. Then, as now, there were other "nuts," that did not quite fit into these categories, such as Peck "Crackers," and a bit later the SMC "Camlocks," (a fairly large triangular cross sectioned, hollow extruded nut.) Some climbers even used wood to make wedges to protect large cracks, although I never did.
By the way, I just climbed Bong-Bong Firecracker yesterday, and thought it was a superb route. Like everything else I climb at age 59, it felt difficult for the grade. What's that whining sound I hear every time I get on the rock? Mar 28, 2015
Salt Lake City, Ut
rging   Salt Lake City, Ut
In true Wasatch style there was a a great November weekend so I headed up to the sail with a friend that wanted to get payback. Three years ago he was bailing off and broke his ankle in the process. After placing one piece he was five feet above it in the small shallow part of the crack and slipped on some grit and came tumbling down along with his one piece as he rolled past his belayer toward the cliff edge. Fortunately the small trees stopped him. After another attempt he lost his nerve and finished up but he followed in fine style. At least he didn't break anything this time. Nov 7, 2015
Crag Turkey
Holladay, UT
Crag Turkey   Holladay, UT
As one with big mitts, this is my favorite hand crack in the canyon. Seems to offer a lot of aspects of Little Cottonwood climbing. Not to mention the easy TR set up for the Dutchman! As mentioned before its sandbagged, so bring extra 3's and 4's if you want to sew it up. I like 3 #3s and 2 #4s. Easy four stars Mar 17, 2016
Nick Spirop
Salt Lake City, UT
Nick Spirop   Salt Lake City, UT
Definitley bring your big cams. There are a set of chains near the edge at the bottom of Bong Bong that you can rap down from. That way you don't have to walk back down the way you came up, which is a huge pain in the ass. Oct 4, 2016
It wouldn't be a terrible idea to bring extra #3 or #4. Although, if you had three #3's then I think two #4's would be fine. Cool climb. Felt a little sharp inside the crack, so I might wear tape next time. Jan 5, 2018

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