Type: Trad, 8 pitches
FA: Layton Kor and Pat Ament, 1963
Page Views: 13,173 total · 48/month
Shared By: George Bell on Oct 6, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

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Description Suggest change

This is the longest climb in Skunk Canyon and took us 8 full pitches with a 60m rope. It is a bit runout in places, but mostly where the climbing is easier. It is not as serious or unprotected as the East Face route (called Purgatory on this site).

You can begin in two ways. Best: start a few feet above the lowest point of the rock, which is just where the gully between Ridges 1 & 2 hits Skunk Creek, or about 100' farther up Skunk Creek. Getting to the farther start involves complex bush whacking and going around a large boulder. In either case you are heading for a belay under the left side of a huge, obvious roof 200' up.

P1: From the lowest point, head left and up a slab (tricky moves near the start, then easy but unprotected), stretch a 60m rope to a belay 10' under the roof, on the left side. If using the higher start, climb a slab past a tiny tree to the same belay at only 50m or less.

P2: Head up towards the left side of the roof. Clip 2 pitons (neither looks great, you can back them up with a cam) and crank over the left side of the roof. There is maybe one 5.8 move (well protected). Head up and left until an undercling crack leads back right to the ridge crest (5.7 tricky). Run up an easy (5.4) but unprotected slab to a belay to the left of a small roof with good pro and a nice pod to sit in. The higher and larger roof 30 feet higher has poor pro and is not as good a belay.

P3: Head up to the left of the next big roof. This involves 5.7 friction climbing with sparse pro and requires careful routefinding. The rest of the route is now easier. Continue up the easy face for a full 200' and belay on a spacious ledge with a fixed piton (left side of main arete.

P4: From the ledge, move right back onto the main arete and climb easy face and climb 190', belaying on a flat spot just past a bulge with a large horizontal crack (5.6 moves). Good pro on this pitch.

P5: Continue up and right on easy ground, heading for a seam. Look for a small bush and belay just past it using good cracks. You will not be summitting the subsidiary tower - pass it on the east face. 5.5, 190'.

P6: Climb almost straight horizontally, heading for a large tree in a major break in the rock. There is one tricky step down (5.7) move. That gets you to the gully with the large tree. Easily go up the gully until you run out of rope.

P7: Optionally unrope. Walk north, in and around some large boulders. Head for the east face of the summit tower. Set up a belay on a nice huge flat boulder with easy access to the east face.

P8-9. Easily climb to the summit with decent pro. Two pitches of 5.5 or simuclimb in one 300' pitch.

Alternate finish: the last two pitches can also be done more directly via a cool crack 50' west of the crest. The crux is about 50' up, climbing a black face which leads to the start of this crack (5.8 s).

You can bypass the summit pitches by scrambling down the gully heading west from the giant boulder to a 50' dropoff, where there is a sling for a short rappel.

To descend from the summit, climb down into a chimney to the west, and exit on a ledge which leads north to hiking terrain.

Protection Suggest change

Standard rack to 3".