Type: Trad, Sport, 1500 ft (455 m), 12 pitches, Grade V
FA: Robert Price and Tom Lyde
Page Views: 23,998 total · 114/month
Shared By: Michael Schneiter on Mar 10, 2007
Admins: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, GRK, D Crane

You & This Route


36 Opinions
Your To-Do List: Add To-Do ·
Your Star Rating:
Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty Rating:
-none- Change
Your Ticks:Add New Tick
-none-
Use onX Backcountry to explore the terrain in 3D, view recent satellite imagery, and more. Now available in onX Backcountry Mobile apps! For more information see this post.

Description Suggest change

Book of Saturday climbs the amazing north face of Notch Peak. The climb is reminiscent of the Dolomites, climbing fractured limestone via bolts and some traditional gear. This is not your typical sport crag route - there are long runouts and loose rock and you should be an extremely confident 5.10 climber. To compare it to stuff in the states, it's got the commitment of a long wall or alpine route and the seriousness of hard, sand-in-your eye desert routes or adventure routes in the Black Canyon. To top it off, Notch is a long way from anything which adds to the adventure because of its seclusion. And, as my wife, the nurse, pointed out, "you better not break your leg out here because you're going to be waiting for help for a long time." When my wife and I finished this route we could only think of a few friends that we would recommend this route to - not due to route quality but due to its seriousness. We were in excellent shape (recently having run a 50 mile race and climbed six days a week) yet it still felt like a long, hard day to us. The route is also described in James Garrett's Ibex guide, including a good topo.

From the end of the road, hike up sandy washes in front of the granite cliffs of Painter Springs and around the granite to a large wash. Hike up this wash for 1.5 to 2 hours. Initially it didn't seem that far but after an hour we realized that we still had a ways to go, such is foreshortening. Eventually, the wash narrows and you'll have to do some 3rd/4th class scrambling. A prominent steep chimney is passed via a fixed rope ladder and above there is a steep, smooth bowl with a fixed rope. Climb up the bowl and then traverse right underneath the face (and past Book of Saturday) until you can find a way through the lower cliffband. Then, traverse back left to the start of the route, which has a rock cairn, some pieces of wood, and a golf club at the start (no guarantee that it's all still there but it makes it pretty obvious as the first bolts are hard to see).

Pitch 1 (5.10a): Climb a right-facing dihedral past bolts with an occasional piece of natural gear to the belay.
Pitch 2 (5.11a): Climb a steep corner on sandy rock and then traverse left on steep rock that is well protected to the belay.
Pitch 3 (5.6): Climb up and into a chimney via easy climbing. End at another nice ledge.
Pitch 4 (5.9): Climb a left-facing dihedral to face climbing and some ledges with a lot of loose rock. Above a couple of bolts the guidebook says to to "go straight up to a short, right-facing corner" instead of going right. I had difficulty figuring this section out and there was scant pro so I stayed right, and managed it fine. End on another great ledge.
Pitch 5 (5.8): It's only 5.8 but there are also only a few bolts protecting the pitch. This pitch and the next climbs in a giant chimney on good, featured face climbing. From the belay go right and up to the first bolt, then meander up the face to the belay.
Pitch 6 (5.7): Again, it's only 5.7 but there are also only a few bolts on the pitch. Climb up and to the right of the large arch at the top of the chimney and belay on a large ledge.
Pitch 7 (5.9): Traverse left and up past some neat holes/huecos. A very cool pitch.
Pitch 8 (5.10c): Negotiate the steep face above the belay. A good example of how the route is not always obvious, but if you spend time looking for your next bolt you can figure out where the route goes. At the top of this pitch, the bolts are sparse at times and there seemed to be some committing moves high above your last protection, that or I was off-route. Definitely a pitch where you want to be solid and confident.
Pitch 9 (5.10a): Traverse left and then up, passing bolts to a left-facing corner. Go up and to the right of this corner. At the top of this pitch are some crazy, stacked blocks that you precariously climb around. Again, end at a sweet ledge.
Pitch 10 (5.7): Climb straight up on easy terrain.
Pitch 11 (5.10b): Climb straight up and then left at the 3rd bolt to a big hueco and then the face above. A great, exposed pitch.
Edit to add from ddriver: The "then left" is misleading and seems to throw people off. Climb the hueco bolt face (3-4 bolts) above the belay up to lower angle terrain under a massive hueco. Bypass this hueco on the right. There is a lower step right that will reveal one bolt (which I have missed myself) but the one that gets you past the hueco is clearly visible at its right edge. From here climb crimps up and left (one or two more bolts) to a vertical seem with bigger features, ending on a good ledge essentially directly in line with the previous belay.
Sorry for any confusion. Maybe I didn't quite climb it right myself!

Pitch 12 (5.8): Climb a right-facing dihedral and then up and left to the final belay stance where there is also a route register.

Hike 5 minutes to the summit.

To descend, rappel the route, praying every time that your ropes won't get stuck or dislodge large rocks on top of you. At the base of the route, traverse climber's left to rappel anchors and a fixed rope or two (that are pretty crusty and stiff). That rappel takes you to the top of the bowl and the wash where a couple rappels and a long hike leads back to your car and cold beers.

Cheers to the first ascent team for the hard work putting up this cool route.

Location Suggest change

From the end of the road, hike up sandy washes in front of the granite cliffs of Painter Springs and around the granite to a large wash. Hike up this wash for 1.5 to 2 hours - it initially didn't see that far but later it seemd like we hiked forever. Eventually, the wash narrows and you'll have to do some 3rd/4th class scrambling. A prominent steep chimney is passed via a fixed rope ladder and above there is a steep, smooth bowl with a fixed rope. Climb up the bowl and then traverse right underneath the face (and past Book of Saturday) until you can find a way through the lower cliffband. Then, traverse back left to the start of the route, which has a rock cairn, some wood, and a golf club at the start (no guarantee that it's all still there but it makes it pretty obvious as the first bolts are hard to see).

Note: as of September 6, 2014 there is no cairn nor a golf club. There was a short piece of rebar held in place with a few stone. Thirty feet or so left of the start of the route is a flattened bivi area delimited with stones.

Protection Suggest change

Bring about 12-15 draws, including extendable trad draws. For trad gear, bring some stoppers and cams up to hand size. Two ropes. All belay anchors are bolted with typically three bolts each.

Photos

loading