Type: Trad, Aid, 3 pitches, Grade II
FA: James and Franziska Garrett, 1992
Page Views: 1,353 total · 10/month
Shared By: RoadTripRyan on Jul 12, 2007
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route

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From the campground, you have a great view of the entire route. It starts on the north west side of Assembly Hall, below the obvious bowl. Leaving the campground, follow an old road, and washes to the gulley leading up to the base of Assembly Hall. There is a cliff band up high that had a fixed rope to facilitate climbing it when we did the route (7/7/2007). Once above this cliff band, it is a short distance to the base of the climb.

Pitch 1: Below the bowl are several cracks. The route starts in a hand crack in a corner on the right. The hand crack is short (30 ft.), then traverse left and up to a bolted anchor on easier ground. (5.9/5.10)

Pitch 2: Scramble 3rd and 4th class up the bowl to the base of the steep headwall. As you near the headwall, you can see the rappel anchor high on the right. The final pitch climbs a bolted line a bit left of the bolted anchor.

Pitch 3: The final pitch has many bolts (7+), but is no sport route. The first bolt is about 30 ft. up. You can get a small cam in midway up to the bolt, but the rock quality is very poor. Follow the line of bolts to a small overhang. Place a small cam here, then traverse right and up to easier ground and the final bolt. Due to rope drag, we built a gear anchor here.

The rappel anchor is off to the right from the last bolt, and easy scrambling gets you to the top. Admire the views, particularly of Window Blind peak. It is an amazing perspective on the area.

Scramble down to the rappel. Rappel 60M back to the base of pitch 3, scramble down the bowl, then make a single rope rap (70 ft) from the bolts at the top of pitch 1 to the ground.


Single set of cams to #4 BD C4, quickdraws
Salt Lake City, UT
  5.10 C0
RoadTripRyan   Salt Lake City, UT
  5.10 C0
Write-up, with some pictures, is also available at-

ajroadtrips.com/go/trips/sa… Jul 12, 2007
Andrew Carson
Wilson, WY
  5.10 C1
Andrew Carson   Wilson, WY
  5.10 C1
Note that the actual summit of Assembly Hall is the isolated, separate tower further north. It is clearly shown even on topographic maps. Rap into the notch, climb to the true summit. Leaving the rope to facilitate a return to the plateau summit is a good idea, though not mandatory. Some 5.8 climbing. Paul Horton and I went over there a few springs ago. Ask Paul for specifics -- he's the historian. Nov 17, 2007
Sarah Meiser
Boulder, CO
Sarah Meiser   Boulder, CO
I'm not sure where the C0/C1 is on this route. Does this aid rating refer to the few batman moves up the fixed rope on the approach? The climb itself goes free at 5.10.

The start of the last pitch is dangerous. I don't understand why there are no bolts for 30 feet and then very closely spaced bolts after that. I felt the hardest moves were before the first bolt and I fell there while following when a hold broke. Given the extremely marginal pro, pretty sure I would have seriously messed myself up if that'd happened on lead.

To get to the true summit (which is actually to the south, not north as mentioned in the previous comment), it is easy to construct an anchor with hand sized cams in a clean crack near the northern summit and rappel into the notch. Its mostly a scramble to the highpoint from there, with a couple of low 5th class moves. We jugged the rope on the return, though the climb out Andrew mentions looks quite reasonable, just chossy as heck. Apr 13, 2015
Hi Sarah,
Franziska Garrett and I did the FA of Heavy Metal more than 23 years ago on 22 October 1992 on one of her many birthday climbs.

I can understand your confusion as per bolt count and aid rating, but I have always tried to immediately report the most accurate rating for how I actually climbed the route. That said, many of the routes then and more recently end up with an aid rating attachment. The styles usually evolve and metamorphose greatly between the FA on lead/equipping/cleaning/ to subsequent ascents. Pretty sure Horton and Carson know what I am talking about getting an all free 5.10 Desert Tower FA being somewhat tricky on the first go:)

After the route was published in Eric's guidebook, I did return and schlepping quite a bit less weight, I free climbed the route at 5.10 as well....but with the chossy nature of the rock there, it doesn't surprise me in the least that a lot of people still "rest" here and there regaining composure:)....I was scared at the time of trundling loose rock onto Franziska all the while thinking I was drilling too much, and now I read here that some feel it is too run out...it is the nature of climbing obscure stuff that no longer is obscure...it is amazing to me that this climb has become as popular as it has...thanks so much for writing about your climb! Can't beat the summit views! Apr 13, 2015
Sarah Meiser
Boulder, CO
Sarah Meiser   Boulder, CO
Thanks for the historic info James. I wasn't expecting to hear from the first ascent party! Many thanks for the bolts up there! Apr 14, 2015
I think a more appropriate rating for this climb would be something like 5.8+ R.

There are a few options for the first pitch. We chose the rightmost, a left facing corner with double cracks which seemed about 5.8. It is about 30' right/west of another left facing corner. The left of the two corners leads directly to the 1st set of anchors.

Pitch two, the bolted pitch is definitely the business and possibly the technical crux. (I find it hard to accurately rate chossy rock.) Contrary to all the opinions we'd found online, the first bolt was about 15' feet up and easy to get to. (And unnecessary, there is decent natural pro around it.) The second bolt is a long way from the first, maybe 25', but even in that passage what seemed to me adequate protection can be found. About 10' below the second bolt there is a tricky move which would involve mantling onto a thin flakey rail; if this move is done directly, the pro is quite poor, small placements in very soft rock that might not hold body weight. However, just below this point, one can traverse ~5' right into a chimney, go easily up a few feet, obtain decent pro and traverse back left into the main line, bypassing the tricky move. Once the second bolt is reached the pitch feels safer but I don't know how it would be done at C0 since, with one exception, all the subsequent bolts are more than a body length apart. The climbing on this pitch probably feels harder than it is since many of the holds seem ready to break off but if one is determined to find gear, it need never be run out.

We had a double set of cams from tips to #4 Camalot which allowed me to place lots of pieces to supplement the bolts. Tricams were handy. If you plan on sewing it up, bring a lot of long runners. May 8, 2017
greg t
Chevy, Silverado
greg t   Chevy, Silverado
Great summit! The climb... not so much.

Bring 1 70m ( barely reaches, but is fine ) and a new summit register. May 1, 2018