Type: Trad, Alpine, 750 ft, 5 pitches, Grade III
FA: Mike Pennings et al
Page Views: 6,994 total · 46/month
Shared By: Ari Menitove on Jul 10, 2006
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route

19 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

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


Hogum's Heroes is an awesome route in a remote alpine wilderness setting. It's my favorite multi-pitch route in the Wasatch. It's relatively long, has mostly great rock, and is in one of the most spectacular and tucked away corners of the range. This route is packed with lots of sustained 5.10 range cracks with really fun stemming and balancey moves. You'll love it.

That being said, the first pitch sucks. It's loose, scary, and has marginal protection. Luckily, it clocks in at about 5.9, and the worst of it is only about 20 feet long.

Here's how it goes:

P1. Start in a recessed groove/gully about 20 feet right of an obvious rectangular cave. As stated before, not many people will enjoy this pitch. It's pretty easy until you have to pull a small bulge about 50 feet up. There's lots of flexi-flakes which sound like Tito Puente's backup band when you dare to bang on them. And that's where the pro goes, too. Stem past this section, and eventually move up and left onto better rock. Belay on one of several ledges below a shallow left facing corner, passing a junky fixed anchor on the left. 5.9R, 150 feet

P2. Jam and stem up the shallow left facing corner past a few old pins. Make a wild leftward crack switch at a chickenhead (5.10+), and climb a clean finger and handcrack up and over a tricky bulge. Once over the bulge, clip a fixed knifeblade, and make a cruxy slab traverse right (5.11a). Head for a huge left facing corner, and climb this to a small pillar. The guidebook says a #4 camalot is required for the belay here, but it isn't. Stoppers and/or smaller cams also work. 5.11a, 200 ft

P3. Climb the left-facing corner for about 10 feet (fun fingers and stemming), then step left into another corner for another 40 feet or so (more great jamming). At some fixed tat on the left, traverse right for about 15 feet and climb a thin left facing corner. When this system ends, you will be looking over the abyss to the right. Continue up on ledgy ground to a grassy belay below a crack. You are aiming for the left side of the HUGE left-facing fin/flake looming above. 5.9, 170 feet

P4. Climb up a short ramp to the right to gain a clean finger crack that gains a shallow right facing corner with some pins in it. Really fun 5.10ish climbing. Pull over onto a slab below the HUGE fin and clip some fixed gear past another thin cruxy section with lots of sideways pulling and pushing. Angle up and left into a finger and thin hands crack. Pass a ledge with a manky fixed anchor and climb behind a crisp, clean flake on face of the HUGE fin up to a big fat ledge. 5.11- 200 feet.

P5. Climb the cracks just right of the huge chimney system on the left. Start on the leftmost crack with a tricky fingery section (5.10) and then switch to the mostly hand sized crack on the right. Belay on the top of the technical difficulties. 5.10, 100 feet.

Descent. From the top of the route, drop down to the south about ten feet, then hike up to the ridge past several huge boulders. Descend any one of the gullies to the southeast, depending on how daring you are. In my experience, it's quicker (and way more scenic) to hike all the way around to the low point in the ridge than it is to navigate the fertile crescent of chossopotamia and steep snow that lurks in each of the steeper, closer gullies.


The route is located way in the back (southwest corner)of Hogum Fork. It climbs the tallest, most climbable looking feature, just right of a triangular shaped wall.

When hiking in from Maybird Gulch below the Pfeifferhorn, drop down to the flat area below the Pfeifferhorn, and contour around the point to the west. You will be able to see the route in to the southwest from near this point. Don't worry about conserving your elevation, because it's easiest to drop down and then climb back up to the base of the route. In July during most years, there is water on the final climb to the route. The approach will probably take 3-4 hours, and involves LOTS of boulder hopping.


A full set of stoppers, doubles on cams from 0.5" (green alien) to 2" (gold camalot), one #3 camalot, one purple tcu or similar. Lots of runners to clip the fixed stuff.
I remember how stoked I was getting the second ascent of this route, albeit I certainly didn't free it all as Mike did on the FA. I placed a couple of the pitons that apparently remain fixed on some of the pitches where it is otherwise very thin protection...usually pitons painted blue...are they still there? Mike said he was glad I did that as he just ran it out on those sections. It is a Wasatch classic....I agree with Ari and his choice of descent is what most people choose, I think Sep 9, 2006
Greg Gavin
Greg Gavin   SLC, UT
i've heard through the grapevine LCC local Kimber Almond was the first to scope this line but was beat to it by Mike! Jun 25, 2009
I climbed this route on Saturday (7/24/10) with my friend Chris Moore. I tried the route last year but my partner decided to bail from the top of the second pitch and couldn't finish it. Chris stayed with it and did a great job belaying and managing the rope. We found the gear I left last year to rap. Obviously, nobody had been there since then.

I don't agree with the III grading. I think is should be graded IV. The approach is very long and difficult and takes you to a remote location where an injury would be a disaster (we approached the route by hiking around the south side of the Pfeifferhorn and droping into Hogum Fork and came back through Hogum, Maybird and Red Pine forks; the approach around the Pfeiff. is prettier and easier but much longer). The route is sustained and hard, with bad protection at some points and potential for a bad factor 2 fall on the anchors (particularly the start of pitch 4). I think escaping the route after pitch 3 would be extremely difficult.

The 4th pitch (200 feet, 11+) is the hardest. The protection at points is marginal (micro-nuts if you want to back up the old bolt on the slab section). From a guide's perspective, I think it is better to cut it in 2 pitches so you can keep the communication with your partner, reduce the rope drag, and not run out of gear).

It is important to read the route carefully if you don't want to go off it and get in trouble. There are some old anchors on top of pitches 1, 2 (the cord I left last year, not to be trusted) and 3, but need to be backed-up.

This is a great route that should be given more attention. Jul 26, 2010
Returned on 7/7 with Willi B, after failing years ago due to routefinding issues.
This route is the full meal deal. Expect bold alpine climbing and route finding, as mentioned. We broke up pitch 2 at the top of the corner, before the slab. The rest of the pitches worked out well. From the Tito Puente pitch to the splitter on the last pitch leading to Chossopotamia. Real Alpine Value. None of the descents are straitforward or easy. Good luck. Jul 9, 2012
LoganJamison Jamison
Salt Lake City, UT
LoganJamison Jamison   Salt Lake City, UT
Awesome route that makes for a LONG day. Don't let the first pitch fool you, this thing is pretty killer. Oct 2, 2012
steven sadler
steven sadler   SLC, UT
So is the fourth pitch .11- or .11+? That's a pretty big difference and on a route that far back in there I'd like to know what I'm getting myself into before heading out there. Apr 18, 2013
Salt Lake City
JeffL   Salt Lake City
Did this route a few days ago, big day. We hiked with half a liter, and filled up in the pools in Maybird. If I did this again, I would hike past Red Pine Lake, then behind the Pfeifferhorn. If you avoid the summit of the Pfeiff, and walk south, you end up in some alpine meadow/fields that are pretty casual to walk in. You could also summit the Pfeiff and follow the ridge to the best place to drop into Hogum Cirque. Leave your pack on the ridge and hike for 30 minutes to the base of the route. Google Earth is quite valuable to scout any of the approach methods.

For water, there was a good sized pool south of this approach path, maybe 10 minutes out of the way. If you are earlier in the season than late July, you could perhaps find water without diverting to the pool. Red Pine Lake is also an option.

For the route, I'd call it 11b. There is a bolt at the crux that looks nice as you approach it. It's old, rusted, and spins, but it held my fall! Can be backed up with an offset nut, or offset blue/green alien. For the rack, We brought singles, purple c3 to #2 camalot, an extra .5 c4 or orange metolius was the only double we wanted! Also carried 4 offset aliens which were quite helpful. We placed every piece, thought the rack was perfect. We brought 9 slings, I'd bring 11 slings next time. Don't forget offset stoppers and peanuts (or RP's). They were crucial and I dislike placing and cleaning nuts. The cruxes were well protected, but expect bold climbing above your gear. The cruxy slab traverse to the right on P2 is probably more scary for the follower. A 60 meter rope is perfect for the 200 foot pitches. The belay stances are pretty good, the pitch by pitch description on here is pretty good. Lastly, the first pitch isn't that bad if you can 5.9 stem. Jul 22, 2016
Greg Gavin
Greg Gavin   SLC, UT
Beat Out beta coming from Red Pine Lake to Hogum col.

Gain the LCC/AF Ridgeline via the red pine lake/pfieiferhorn summer trail, and immediately cross over the ridge dropping through a very short 3rd class cliff band. Traverse beneath the Pfief roughly ~200 vertical feet aiming for grassy sections on it's southern slope. This grade will guide you directly toward the Hogum col where you gain regain the ridge line, and drop in.

Great route, good gear, and fantastic belay ledges. Aug 9, 2016