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Squash Head

WI4-, Ice, 300 ft (91 m), 2 pitches,  Avg: 3 from 51 votes
FA: Doug Hansen
Utah > Wasatch Range > Southern Wasatch > Santaquin Canyon > Santaquin Canyon Ice
Warning Access Issue: Mt. Nebo Wilderness on south side of Santaquin Canyon. DetailsDrop down
Warning Access Issue: Access Closure DetailsDrop down

Description

Usually done in two pitches. The first pitch is a steep curtain of ice about 40 feet tall. In poor conditions there is a bolt ladder on the left to bypass the first curtain. The 10 bolt ladder is a route called Martini (A0, M8-9).

P1 (WI4): Usually lots of water running down the first curtain and lots of air pockets. Hopefully good screw placements can be found. Pull over the top to low angle climbing for 30 feet, then walk up a short distance to a scramble to chain anchors on the left.

P2 (WI3): Another exciting pitch. Climb the narrow formation for 50 feet to a low angle chute. Chain anchors are up the chute on the left.

Rappel the route, or continue on to Backoff. To get to Backoff, scramble up the rock/snow above Squash Head's top anchors to the top of the ridge to rappel chains. Rap down the other side of the ridge using a single 60m rope to reach the bottom of Backoff.

Name History: Squash Head was an indian chief that saved the lives of local settlers when he heard of an impending indian raid. Squash Head warned the settlers and told them to leave or they would be killed. After the incident the settlers wanted to name the town after him. Squash Head instead asked that the town be named after his son Santaquin.

Location

The route is on the south side of the canyon .50 miles up the canyon from the Trumbolt Picnic Area locked gate. The climb is easily seen from the road. Short hike from the road to the base.

Protection

Pro: Bring long ice screws for the first curtain. Shorter screws may be needed over the top.
Rope: 60m (1 rappel to Backoff, or three rappels back down Squash Head)
Anchors: chains

Under the right conditions avalanches can rip down this gully.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Avalanche debris at base of Squash Head (Jan. 07')
[Hide Photo] Avalanche debris at base of Squash Head (Jan. 07')
The fun and casual pitch 2 (1/27/19)
[Hide Photo] The fun and casual pitch 2 (1/27/19)
The WI4 curtain off the deck (1/27/19
[Hide Photo] The WI4 curtain off the deck (1/27/19
Squashhead 1/26/14
[Hide Photo] Squashhead 1/26/14
JR Rowley - January 2013
[Hide Photo] JR Rowley - January 2013
Cell phone photo of [[105879672]] on 12-22-07.
[Hide Photo] Cell phone photo of Squash Head on 12-22-07.
[[105879672]]: Usually done in two pitches. In poor conditions there is a bolt ladder ([[107944763]]) to bypass the first curtain. Chains for the top of the last pitch are up the chute on the left. To get to [[105879679]] from here scramble up the rock above the anchors to the top of the ridge to rappel chains. Rap down the other side of the ridge using a single 70m rope to reach the bottom of [[105879679]].<br>
(Photo: Feb. 10, 2005)
[Hide Photo] Squash Head: Usually done in two pitches. In poor conditions there is a bolt ladder (Martini) to bypass the first curtain. Chains for the top of the last pitch are up the chute on the left. To get…
Squash Head from the road
[Hide Photo] Squash Head from the road

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] Warning! Squash Head is prone to avalanches from above. In Jan. 07' my partner and I found a huge debris field with timber in it at the base. Other than that, great route when combined with Backoff. Oct 10, 2007
[Hide Comment] Also, it should be noted that you can reach the base of Backoff from the top of squash head with a single 60m rope. At least we were able to yesterday. Jan 25, 2009
johnny utah
Salt Lake City
  WI4
[Hide Comment] The anchor at the top of the second pitch below the shrubs should not be used in its current state. The bolts are very loose in the rock and may fail! Jan 11, 2019
Scott Stevenson
SLC, UT
 
[Hide Comment] I think that the 2nd pitch is much longer than this description suggests. I was well past the halfway point of a 70m rope when I reached the chains. The ice section is more like 100ft than 50ft followed by maybe 50ft of snow to the chains. Also, I very much agree with the anchors at the top of the route. They are old and rusty and bent. I could screw one of the nuts with my hand and the other is sticking about a cm out of the wall. Jan 26, 2019
John Ross
Wasatch Front, UT
  WI3-4
[Hide Comment] @Scott_Stevenson, hope you enjoyed the climb. It sounds like you missed the first set of chains but from the previous comment (@johnny_utah) those chains are not usable anyway. If no one els gets to these before spring I'll go up and replace both sets with SS glue-ins. Jan 26, 2019
Double J
Sandy, UT
  WI3-4
[Hide Comment] updated anchor bolts on the top of the climb were added in Feb. 2021. Feb 9, 2022
Brandon Marshal
Victor, ID
  WI4+
[Hide Comment] In early season conditions (right now) the starting pillar is full value grade four ice, if not slightly harder. To connect with Backoff, a fixed rope above the second pitch Squash Head anchors can help with the sketchy limestone slab drytooling required, though it may be buried with snow. As a general rule of thumb, climb the rock directly above the bolts for about 5M, reach the snow and trees above and traverse left along the edge of the major cliff to find the bolted rappel anchors. A 30M rappel here will take you to Backoff.

Did the link-up two days ago - great fun! Dec 19, 2022