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Routes in Notch Peak

Appetite for Destruction T 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
Book of Saturday T,S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R
Further On Up The Road T 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
La Fin du Monde T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Western Hardman T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Type: Trad, Sport, 1500 ft, 12 pitches, Grade V
FA: Robert Price and Tom Lyde
Page Views: 15,370 total, 117/month
Shared By: Michael Schneiter on Mar 10, 2007
Admins: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route

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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.
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.


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.


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.
ddriver   SLC
I noticed the comments re confusion on pitch 11 based on the description here:
"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."

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. Apr 17, 2017
This climb kind of ruined me mentally for a few days or a week. It was a very serious climb with an emphasis on the R rating...... I felt like I was climbing on some true garbage.. with every move being delicate and questionable. Again, as other climbers have posted I want to emphasize... this climb is not for average sport climbers who cannot deal with 20-30+ feet of runout on 10- choss!! The first two pitches were very well protected in my opinion. The rest..... NOPE. Pitch 11 was also a terrifying lead and the scariest pitch in my opinion.

The topo from the west desert guidebook practically saved us on the rappels because the bolts are very hard to see in places and are also very spaced apart. If you are off route it will be very clear as everything you grab will either disintigrate or rip off (more so than on the main route) as my partner found out - following in a 20+ foot whip onto a very well placed nut. Someone recommended leaving nuts? I disagree, we placed close to 8 nuts on the whole route... and they were welcomed. I think I placed more nuts than cams.

Despite having one of the scariest Saturday's on Book of Saturday, I always have fun on these type of routes.... several days later! Sep 12, 2016
benjaminleaton Eaton   Sandy, UT
Paul Robertson and I just climbed this on June 13, 2015. What an adventure. We linked up almost all the pitches and did it in 7 pitches (1+2, 3+4, 5+6, 7+8, 9, 10+11, 12). We used two 70 meter ropes (both in around 8.5mm in diameter) and did a lot of half rope system climbing, it sure helped with the rope drag when linking pitches. From the bottom of the route to the top of the route, it took us right around 6 hours. No speed ascent, but we surprised ourselves seeing how we felt like we were climbing slow on questionable features. We hiked up to the true summit and got attached by a million lady bugs that were swarming the summit register. We rapped down and with our two 70 meter ropes, we got down after 7 rapps, including the last rap from the base of the route to the descent gully.

Regarding sun on the wall, during this time of year, we climbed entirely in the shade. Although we thought we'd be climbing in the sun when the top half of the wall was getting blasted with the sun in the morning, but as the sun rotated towards the south/west, the sun backed off of the wall. But as we rapped the route, we were racing the sun as it was coming back to engulf the entire face for a hot evening. Right around 3 or 4pm, the whole wall was in the sun for the rest of the day. Made for a hot hike out of the canyon.

I did get beaned by a couple golf ball sized rocks that my partner or the rope knocked down and I did have some rock break off in my hand as I was pull the 5.10c crux on pitch 8. We never did get lost on the route, seeing how we had copies of the topo to give us a good reference as to where the route wondered at times. But I did somehow climb past the anchors at the top of pitch 7 without knowing while linking 7 and 8. (I must have climbed off to the right of them and they never came into sight. Jun 16, 2015
Petaluma California
stevecurtis   Petaluma California
I did this with John Robinson. It was a good, long day. There are a few spots with reasonably hard --10A --climbing, loose holds, injury fall. On pitch 7 or 8, there was at least 200 lbs of vertical rock ready to go, in the correct line. John knocked most of it off when he came up.

No 5.11 climbing. Be adept at easy 5.10, way over your gear, on loose rock. I was most impressed with my 70 year old partner. We swung leads the entire day. A single set of cams, maybe with two red aliens, up to yellow camalot, is adequate. Aug 2, 2014
John Robinson
Elk Grove, ca
John Robinson   Elk Grove, ca
Did this July 2014. Previous comments suggest bolts incorrectly placed. I agreed while climbing the route then, when I got down, I read that the route was put up, ground up so I figure the bolts are where the first ascensionists needed them and I needed to just suck it up. Fun route but don't expect it to be a sport route even tho there are 100 bolts on it. If you want adventure and a long day, this route is for you. But, this isn't Spanish Limestone. Don't know what the fuss is about pitch 11, just go up and look around a bit. If you get up a ways and don't find a bolted belay, you're in the wrong place. I didn't find any 5.11 on the route. Aug 1, 2014
Peter Valchev
Truckee, CA
  5.11a R
Peter Valchev   Truckee, CA
  5.11a R
Definitely a full-on adventure! My partner and I grew up on a steady limestone diet in the Canadian Rockies and still felt like this route is chossier than most... suspect rock in several areas, heads up for sure. Pitch 11 could use a couple of more bolts in my opinion, the beta for it is very confusing - multiple people said to "go right" after the big hueco. Well, I went right, and ended up ~40 feet run out with no gear in sight, until I spotted the last/second bolt directly on my left. So go straight up and you should see two bolts *slightly to the right*. The way I went the rock was even chossier and a gingerly horizontal traverse left eventually brought me to clip the last bolt & finish the pitch. Weird that pitch is so runout, while pitch 9 had twice as many bolts as it needs, and so does the 5.11a pitch... at one point I could reach 3 bolts from a single stance! Pitch 11 felt like it was needlessly dangerous but again, I suppose I was off route (like many other reports?). The only other "noteworthy" thing - I managed to also initially miss that pitch 7 traverses diagonally left - remember not to go straight up after clipping the 3rd or so bolt, but keep heading left.

We linked pitch 1/2 and 5/6 (a little simul-climbing as we used twin 60's), on top at 2:30pm. Oh, another thing - we almost brought the 80 meter single, thinking we can rap with it... don't do it! Not all the stations are actually setup to rappel, so a single wouldn't work well, bring two ropes.

That said, a thanks to the first ascentionists for putting this thing up - I can't imagine the work and dedication it took, in such a remote area. Kudos!

Also, on the driving beta - I doubt you could get a "sedan" up to the "big boulder" parking, it is quite rough and high clearance is needed. Also the directions don't make it obvious but it's ~30 mins of driving after the gravel pit, it's not short. I drove a 4-door long bed Frontier all the way to the camping area but it was narrow and tricky in one spot inside the wash. Shorter trucks would do better and watch the sidewalls on the tires... some sharp rocks in there waiting to bite you!

Overall, a day to remember! To echo other comments - if you want good climbing, don't go there, but if you want to have a wild adventure in one of the most remote places in the lower 48, go for it! (Feeling of remoteness compared to the Ruth Gorge in Alaska... except there you probably have a better chance of rescue if things go south) Aug 13, 2013
Steven Lucarelli
Moab, UT
  5.11a R
Steven Lucarelli   Moab, UT
  5.11a R
Just climbed this with double 70m ropes and linked 1/2, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, 9/10 & 11/12. All the pitches linked easily with minimal rope drag and four of them were full 70m pitches with no simul-climbing required. Also rapped the route in the same manner for 6 rappels plus one to get down from the starting ledge.

A single rack of 5 cams from .4 to 2 is plenty plus about 16 shoulder length runners. Jul 10, 2013
ddriver   SLC
Re the pitch 11 description, the inital bolted face (3 or 4 bolts) is easy enough to follow. Once you pull up on the slab below the huge hueco, move right around its end. The first bolt is actually somewhat low and right. I placed it and when I first came back to repeat the route I missed clipping it so I know that one is easy to miss. But, the following bolt on the steeper face is easy to find.

Apparently, someone has recently done an alternate finish (on purpose) by going around the left end of the huge hueco and combining pitches 11 and 12. Report was positive regarding the climbing, but of course a bit run out. EDIT: I see its been posted up now, "Further on up the Road," 10b/c R. Jun 13, 2013
June 2013 - If anyone is headed up there soon, it would be nice to bring along some leaver-biners and cordlette. Someone was kind enough to install chain on many of the anchors, but only one chain per station. Everything was in good shape, but it could be made a bit more straight forward with some additional cordage at the anchors. In most cases, the webbing / cordlette was tied straight through the bolt, so it will last longer and be safer by adding a biner or quick - link Jun 10, 2013
Fun climb full of adventure. The bolting is a little schizophrenic, some pitches are well bolted others are not- grade or rock quality didn't seem to be the determining factor.

The description of pitch 11 IS NOT GOOD. You find yourself looking in the vicinity of the hueco for the final bolts....they are NOT there. The bolts are around a corner a fair distance to the RIGHT and are not visible from the hueco.

Easy to combine the first two pitches. Sep 11, 2012
ddriver   SLC
See the Notch Peak overview page for an update re the ladder at the approach step. There is now a permanent installation. May 29, 2012
bernard wolfe
birmingham, al
bernard wolfe   birmingham, al
the name is from the name of a song by the band King Crimson Aug 23, 2011
Matt and I just climbed this on Sept. 22nd.
We had a 70m rope and were able to link pitches 1&2, 3&4, 5&6, 10&11. You can also link pitches 7&8 but we didn't.
Some of the pitches that we linked were called 80-85m on the topo we had, but all were really less then 70m.
Pretty fun climbing that big of a route on limestone in western utah! Sep 25, 2010
Sandy, UT
notmyname   Sandy, UT
Great route, one you'll remember for a long time. Not as quality as western hardman, but way more aesthetic for sure. Also quite a bit more serious than W.H. All the beta is spot on. Gear I enjoyed on the route were blue metolius master cams (green aliens) to a gold BD camalot and a shit ton of slings. Nuts can be placed, but I would leave them at home. I placed a tri-cam once, but could have swapped it out. I brought a few offset mastercams and really liked those babies. Someone said the hard pitches weren't the ones to look out for, it's the 5.7-9's. I disagree. The 10c pitch wasn't that bad except the fact i went too far right and skipped about 3 bolts (whoops), but the upper 10a and 10b are heads up, especially for short people with even shorter arms. They do have more bolts than most pitches, so a fall probably would be ok, it would just scare the crap out of you. Yes, the 5.7/5.8 pitches are quite run out, but if you think those are bad...start rappelling. The 11a pitch is probably the psychologically easiest on the route. W.H. felt like a picnic compared.

some ideas:
You can camp right at the base of the route in a bivy spot, or on a little knoll before the final talus to the traverse in ledge. The latter is a really nice spot where you can make a little fire and stare up and not worry about hiking in the next day. Hiking in the dark without knowing where you are going can be challenging, Stay right as you get pushed without knowing it into the side canyon on the left that contains a supposed spring. climbing after a rainstorm will greatly increase the chance of rockfall, as will climbing on a holliday or weekend because local rednecks love to trundle this summit. I came VERY close to getting the axe with my G.F. once from summit trundlers.
If you want (and probably should), drive to the hiking trailhead just past the cabin (google the summit hike beta) and post a sign explaining that trundling will kill you and the day you'll be climbing.
If you want a plush worry free descent you could bring two cars and hike off.
Camping in the wash about an hour in (just past W.H.) is also really nice, also lots of wood for a fire.
If you pre-set a camp on the knoll below book of sat, you could climb W.H. and casually camp on top, doing BOS the next day. If you do camp, don't forget how much water two people can consume.

The upper face doesn't get any sun in early sept on until VERY late. If you are in the sun, you were climbing bring a jacket. I did the lower face in october and froze my ass off.

Just some suggestions from someone who's spent some time there.

p.s. as of 9/10 the fixed ropes are still in place. I broke a rung on the ladder a while back, and also had to put a knot in the lowest rope, so bounce test these first before batman'ing up them. I believe there are now 46 ascents...although I forget who it was, but someone has done this route like 10 times so still not a lot of folks have sampled it's delights. Sep 8, 2010
Stu Ritchie
Stu Ritchie   Denver
As of June 29, 2009 the rope ladder is in place. The rap from the base is about 100 meters left of the start, not 50 feet.

This is an excellent adventure route with an easy descent back down the climbing line. The rap pulls are remarkably clean. A very good effort by the FA party. Jul 1, 2009
The rope ladder is gone, but has been replaced with new fixed ropes as of July, 2007 Aug 15, 2007
Michael Schneiter
Glenwood Springs, CO
Michael Schneiter   Glenwood Springs, CO
According to James Garrett's Ibex guide, it's "Book of Saturday," named for the Saturdays that the first ascentionists spent completing the route over a period of two years. Mar 14, 2007
I thought it was call The Book of Saturdays. Mar 10, 2007