Avg: 3.6 from 26 votes
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 750 ft (227 m), 5 pitches, Grade III|
|FA:||Mike Pennings et al|
|Page Views:||8,520 total · 48/month|
|Shared By:||Ari Menitove on Jul 10, 2006|
|Admins:||Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, GRK, DCrane|
June 1st, 2017:The Salt Lake Climbers Alliance (SLCA), the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), and Access Fund announce the signing of an unprecedented lease for 140 acres in Little Cottonwood Canyon (LCC). The parcel, known as the Gate Buttress, is about one mile up LCC canyon and has been popular with generations of climbers because of its world-class granite.
The agreement secures legitimate access to approximately 588 routes and 138 boulder problems at the Gate Buttress for rock climbers, who will be active stewards of the property. The recreational lease is the result of several years of negotiations between LDS Church leaders and the local climbing community.
Access Note: The climbs on the Church Buttress above the vault as well as the Glen boulders that have been traditionally closed will remain closed.
Please help us steward this area and leave no trace.
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.
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.