Type: Trad, Alpine, 900 ft (273 m), 11 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Alex Lowe, S Scott, July 1980
Page Views: 53,248 total · 248/month
Shared By: Steven Lucarelli on Oct 3, 2006 · Updates
Admins: Mark Roberts, Mauricio Herrera Cuadra, Kate Lynn, Braden Batsford

You & This Route

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Warning Access Issue: SNOWPATCH SPIRE ROCKFALL DetailsDrop down

Description Suggest change

This climb is one of the best I have ever done! It follows a continuous crack system for almost 900 feet and has everything from fingers to offwidth. The following description is as my partner and I climbed it which was in six long pitches with a 60m rope. Done this way we thought that every pitch was in the 5.10 range. Bring two ropes to rap off (we had a tag line) and some warm clothes since you'll be in the shade for most of the climb.

P1: Climb up a steep right facing dihedral with two cracks and pull through a slight overhang on the left. Continue up an obvious crack bypassing the first anchor. The crack gradually widens to an offwidth as the wall gets steeper. Work your way up the solid 5.10 OW and pull onto lower angle rock to another anchor. I thought this pitch felt about 5.10c.

P2: Continue up the crack for about 10' until you get to another crack that angles slightly up and right. Hand traverse right until the crack starts heading straight up again and follow it past an anchor into a perfect 2" crack. Layback to the right off a wide crack and into a dihedral and belay at the anchor. (Note: I was about 5' short of the anchor so we had to simul-climb to reach it).

P3: Continue up the dihedral till you get to another overhang. Power through a crack near the left side of the overhang and then traverse back right to gain another crack that continues up and belays about 20' below the crux roof. This pitch is probably hard 10.

P4: The crux of this pitch and the whole climb is obvious. Climb up 20' until you're beneath a large corner roof. Plug a couple pieces at the lip and fire it, I didn't think this was too hard, just don't hang out or fiddle with gear until you're back on your feet. Climb past an anchor and up another overhanging bulge to a good belay stance.

P5: Follow the cracks up and slightly right in a left facing dihedral from what I can recall. The crack will gradually go back left following a large flake until you get to a stance beneath a splitter wide-hands/fist crack.

P6: This pitch is the icing on the cake. Jam the steep hand and fist crack for about 100' until the crack splits left and right. If you are spent you might want to consider going left at about 5.8 but it would be a shame to miss the crack heading right. Hand traverse right with great exposure and into a perfect hand crack that heads up and back left. As the crack comes to an end place one last piece and pull a few hard face moves to top out. This pitch is long but a 60m rope will just make it.

At this point you can rap back down the way you came up or jump onto one of the other routes nearby if you want to go to the summit.

Location Suggest change

This route is on the north side of Snowpatch Spire and not to hard to spot from the ground, just look for the offwidth. Head up the Snowpatch-Bugaboo Col and traverse left about halfway up to a ledge covered with loose rock. The start is almost directly below the offwidth/chimney that can be seen from the ledge and to the right of a large block dihedral. To get down just rap the route, two ropes are probably needed.

Protection Suggest change

Bring doubles from probably about .5" to 3" and at least one 3.5", 4" and 4.5" (you might want two 4.5's for the OW). All the anchors are slung webbing or fixed nuts and pins so you might want to bring some extra webbing.