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Routes in Slick Rock

Memorial Route (aka Caudill Queen King Route *original name*) S 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Regular Route T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Scenic Traction T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R
Slippery Slope T,S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Type: Trad, 1000 ft, 8 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 8,274 total, 66/month
Shared By: JacobD on Aug 21, 2007
Admins: WAGbag, Mike Engle

You & This Route


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Description

Can be pitched out however you want. I've done it in 10 pitches and I've also done it in 6 with a 70m rope to it's full capacity on every pitch.

Location

Follow the prominent triple cracks up middle of the face that lead directly to the summit.

Descent is a walk off to the right of the summit. Follow the trail down through some switchbacks, eventually you will reach an easy chimney down-climb, some people rappel this, others continue the down-climb. After this it follows the same trail through brush all the way down. If down in the later part of the summer this descent is lined with huge huckleberries! Some 4th class.

Protection

What rack you take depends on you experience. I now take singles in .5bd up to #4 tech friend, a set of nuts, and a few smaller cams. If not super solid on 5.6 or on building anchors in a vareity of situations I'd reccomend taking doubles. Runners really help with rope drag on full rope length pitches.
Joshua Benjamin
Nampa, Idaho
 
Joshua Benjamin   Nampa, Idaho
 
Great route. Climbed this in early July, with the weather approaching 90 degrees in the afternoon. We tried to get an early start (left Boise at 5:30 am, but didn't start climbing till 9). On the approach to the climb, a lot of the logs have washed out, making an awkward (but doable) crossing.

I thought the first half of the route (the runout part) was very easy, it felt like hiking. Then, it definitely gets more technical and becomes an honest 5.6. I'm not sure if I did the route right, but there was one section in the second crack, that if I kept going up, it felt like a very awkward move pulling out of a wide crack. Definitely not 5.6. The pro was good, but I just used a long runner, downclimbed, and busted out right on the face and then climbed up and got back into the crack above. Was I off route? Jul 12, 2017
Trevor.
Boise, ID
  5.6 R
Trevor.   Boise, ID
  5.6 R
Definitely the best route on the wall. A 70m rope is useful for linking pitches and skipping crappy belay spots.

The whole formation goes into the shade in the late afternoon(4pm around summer solstice), so if you're fairly certain you'll cruise it, a good strategy to avoid baking in the sun is to start mid afternoon and spend most of the climb in the shade. Not recommended if you're unfamiliar with the descent, not a good one to onsight in the dark.

Rack beta:
I climbed it with a single rack from #4 to #0.3 camalots, a set of DMM offset nuts, and a bunch of runners. This was enough to protect occasionally and build belays, but if you're not stoked on running it way out to conserve gear, the cams to double up are #3-#0.75

Make sure to not miss the traverse from the leftmost/first big crack to the middle/second one. It's on a runout but very easy horizontal dike that appears shortly after the second crack starts. I missed this my first time climbing this route and wound up off route in a bad spot. Jul 2, 2017
Ive done all four of the climbs listed in MP on Slick Rock. IMO this is the best route on the wall. Totally classic route. Hard for grade. Jun 15, 2016
Anyone up for climbing the regular (or other) route on Slick Rock next Sat. (Sep. 5)? I'm thinking of soloing but... Aug 30, 2015
George Zack
Orting, WA
George Zack   Orting, WA
Just climbed this route for the first time, and it was fantastic fun! What an impressive formation! My novice partner and I took 5 hrs to reach the top. Route finding was not as straightforward as I had thought it would be, and think that the climb would have gone better had I not been trying to follow the topo so exactly. Just take the line of least resistance up the triple cracks and build your belays near the end of your rope (we used a 60m and did 9 pitches).

The crux move pulling out of the shallow chimney (about midway up the second crack) was awkward and at least 5.7 by modern standards. You should be comfortable with (at least) 50' runouts/traverses on 5.easy slab if you are leading this route. I brought a single rack of cams from .3-4, a set of nuts, and also a set of the DMM hexes (similar in size to .75-3 cams), was happy to have every piece, and would take the same rack again. I didn't place much pro on the pitches, as my priority was to be sure that I could build bomber anchors, and it worked out perfectly with this rack. Doubles from .75-2 instead of the hexes would work just as well.

Jul 8, 2015
K Baumgartner
  5.6 R
K Baumgartner  
  5.6 R
Basically agree with Patrick's comments.

Here's my trip report for my local climbing community (DC-VA-MD) from my 25 Oct 13 ascent that varies a bit from Patrick's.

Slick Rock—Regular Route (5.6, 1000’+, six pitches, III)

  • ********** Alpine slab climbing on granite with a few pitches of crack. ***************

The Regular Route—featured in Issue 50 of Rock and Ice—ascends about 1,000’ and can be done in a few as six pitches and as many as 10, depending on your appetite for runouts on easy low angle slab.

We completed the route in six pitches and about 1040’ (my estimate) in just about four hours with a 70m rope. We deliberately chose to link pitches, bypassing shuts on the neighboring Memorial Route, that involved running the rope nearly to its 70m length and building anchors. This approach offered a truer alpine feel without needing to clip bolts (with one exception) or use shuts.

Approach: From the road, descend 15 feet to Lick Creek, which is crossed by walking over a two tree wide logjam. Meander through a bit of brush up to where the granite begins on 4th class terrain to the base of the rock. There are sport lines immediately to the left and about 80 feet up and to the right. Many people wind up on other routes that will eventually link up with the Regular Route. The key is to find the short, left facing corner.

Temperature: 28 degrees leaving the car at 8am. 60s by noon on mostly bluebird day.

P1: SLAB: Linked the first two pitches by skipping a set of shuts to the right on the Memorial Route (5.4R-5.6.) after topping out on the left facing corner. I had looked for the shuts but couldn’t see them until my climbing partner pointed them out to me. There was about a 50’ runout on very easy low 5th class before setting the belay.

P2: SLAB: Linked the third and fourth pitches again on low angle 5th class slab (5.4R). Again, I didn’t see the shuts on the neighboring Memorial Route and stretched the rope up as far as I could. I used an alpine belay, backed up by a few .75s.

P3: SLAB to CRACK: Another rope stretcher that we turned into simul climbing for about 20-30’ (5.4.). Built anchor at the start of the first three cracks.

P4: CRACK: Crux pitch up a bit of a chimney that steepened and went to finger locks (5.6). A bit heady above the pod on small holds with gear about 7-10' below.

P5: CRACK: Up the third crack (5.6). [I lost count of the cracks and actually thought there was at least another one left until my climbing partner said we were basically at the top.]

P6: SLAB: Pulled a few undercling and lieback moves (5.5) and finished the last 40’ on low angle Slick Rock slab. [Thought route finding would be more difficult than it was.]

Descent: WALKOFF: The walkoff had a bit of low 5th class chimney down climbing that was not that difficult. As other's have pointed out, walk right and look for the small ramp on the backside that's easy to descend. Follow the trail right, veering left.

Beta from this site was sufficient.

All in all, there are many different ways to skin this cat. Enjoy! Oct 30, 2013
No topos available as of 10/22/13.

Here is the beta from our ascent yesterday.

Park at the second pullout on your left after crossing the creek via the bridge. Follow a well worn trail downhill; cross the river; and up hill to the base of slick rock.

The regular route (as we climbed it):
Pitch 1: starts at the base of an obvious 90' left facing flake/corner. Climb this and at the top of the flake traverse up and right unprotected across dikes to a two bolt anchor. 50m, 5.6r
Pitch 2: Climb up and left, unprotected, heading towards a big angling right facing corner; head straight up from the corner to another 2 bolt anchor. 55m, 5.4R
Pitch3: Climb straight up and slightly right, aiming for the wide crack with a roof at the bottom. You should now be at the base of the bottom left crack of the "triple cracks" that this route climbs. 65m, 5.4r
Pitch 4: This is where we might have gone slightly off the more regular route. Work your way up and right to a small right facing corner that marks the right end of a 20' horizontal roof. Climb straight up to the base of the center crack of the "triple cracks" right where is gets to the wide chimney section. 5.6, 50m.
Pitch 5: Follow the wide chimney crack straight up for 90', pull the somewhat awkward slab/stem/roof (5.7) and continue straight up till you find a suitable belay. 5.7,65m.
Pitch6: Climb straight up your belay following cracks and flakes till you get to a good stance with a horizontal bulge. Step right a few feet, pull the bulge (5.7) and follow cracks and flakes straight up. Do a underclinging left traverse to bypass a bulge and climbing straight up. With a 70m, belay at the horizontal crack that marks the bottom of a S-shaped flake system. 5.7, 70m
Pitch 7: Follow the S-shaped flake system for 80' then run it to the top. belay off a tree or find cracks or rocks for anchors. 5.6, 50m.

We rapped the Memorial route with double rope rappels.

That's how we did it with a 70m rope. We brought doubles from .4-2, single 3 and a set of nuts and it was a bit overkill but used every piece, just not all on a single pitch. Route got morning sun and went into the shade around 12:30pm. Oct 22, 2013
S.Lee  
K Baumgartner, according to a post from July 2012 there are topos at the visitors center in Ponderosa State Park. We didnt check when we went a few months back, just went off of beta from the comments on the route. Sep 26, 2013
K Baumgartner
  5.6 R
K Baumgartner  
  5.6 R
Where's the best place to get the topo for Regular Route? Coming out from VA next month. Sep 2, 2013
Eric Williams
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
  5.6 R
Eric Williams   Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
  5.6 R
Climbed this with a buddy in late July. We ran the first two pitches together with a 70m rope. Great climb -- the runout isn't bad if you are a confident on lead(40-50 feet of runout at one point on 5.5ish slab). We brought a full rack and did it in 8 pitches; I would agree that it's about 1200ft. The decent isn't bad, we didn't run into anything that we felt like we had to rappel. I would say if you have to rap, you went the wrong way. Aug 7, 2013
Jeff Botimer
  5.6
Jeff Botimer  
  5.6
Hands down one of my favorite climbs anywhere. The last time I climbed it I paid closer attention to the length of each pitch and I believe the route to be closer to 1200 ft. Mar 30, 2013
Chris Volk
Boise, Idaho
Chris Volk   Boise, Idaho
Climbed Oct. 12, 2012 with Frank Gould. Started on Reg. Route and finished last two pitches on the 5.8 to the right. Due to the routefinding, length, moderate runouts, and one or two surprisingly stiff moves, I'd upgrade the rating to 5.7+. Made one rap in the gully on the way down to cope with steepness and loose rock. Took 6.5 hours on the climb due this being our first trip. Some loose rock here and there, which could be dangerous if the rope swipes off a saucer. Lovely climb! Oct 20, 2012
Brad Winters  
 
First 2 belays are bolted. Go far right above the dike to some flakes 200 ft then back left 200 ft to just left of a small pine tree and back in line with the rest of the route. Walk off is not bad. Drop down off the top and then immediately head right on the trail. Can rap the steep part at the bottom from the big curved tree with a 60. Aug 7, 2012
Cory Harelson
Boise, ID
  5.6
Cory Harelson   Boise, ID
  5.6
Very fun route with a bit more variety than the other routes on the wall. Every pitch was great, and (also unlike the other routes on the wall) it is stout for the grade. Aug 7, 2011
Sims
Centennial
Sims   Centennial
I first climbed it in 83 with my brother inlaw who lived in Mc Call. It was his first climb and he cruised it. He had never belayed so assumed I had no belay. I saw only one bolt and the route was run out in a good way.
In 93 or 94 I knew I was taking my 8 & 9 year old daughters up so I soloed it the day before. I found two or three new bolts from 83.
I think for a 5.6 leader it may be stiff and very run out. Even a 5+ what ever sport climber could get sketched.
As my daughters and I got to the bench where the climbing starts a guy said oh shit girls.
We were ready to climb they were not, closest they ever got was two or three pitches. We walked off to the right front in the rain; they waited it out so they could finish the climb.
Not sure how you would rap a largely slab route ( I remember more face than crack ) with maybe three bolts and no fixed belay stations. Even if you could sew it up you would be leaving a big part of your rack behind. We did the route in 10 full pitches with 165' ropes. The longest climb my daughters had done before was three pitches. Nov 14, 2010
Shapp  
The route is way longer than 700ft, when I climbed it back in about 1995, there was only 1 old bolt on the whole route (all belays were gear anchors), why did someone feel the need for more? I cacluated at the time there was about 1350 feet of climbing (we did it in 9 pitches). You might not need anything biger than a #2 (what brand?) but there are lots of opportunites to place #3 and #4 friends or #4 camalots too, if you are a new leader.
Shapp Mar 5, 2009
Brian in SLC
Sandy, Utah
 
Brian in SLC   Sandy, Utah
 
Only climbed the route once, back in the mid 80's, but, I seem to dimly recall that it wasn't that R rated for a climber used to harder run out routes, but, do recall run outs, and, do recall thinkin' a 5.6 leader might be pretty sketched on some of the route. For the 5.6 rating, I'd call it R or PG. For the 5.10 climber used to that type of climbing, perhaps not. Oct 8, 2008
JacobD
Flagstaff, AZ
 
JacobD   Flagstaff, AZ
 
This route is closer to 1,000 feet tall and is definately not R rated. It eats up pro. There is only a few sections that are slightly run out. Oct 7, 2008
Frank Ford
cibolo, TX
Frank Ford   cibolo, TX
115°57'5.44"W 44°56'59.63"N Oct 7, 2008
jhump
  5.6
jhump  
  5.6
This was a few years back, but I remember a little a-frame crack move that requires some finesse to pull. It was toward the top, you pull into an apex with a finger crack above. I remember it being testy for 5.6. Aug 28, 2008
R. Emerson
  5.6
R. Emerson  
  5.6
This is a great route for a seasoned leader to "guide" a confident novice up. The second pitch, a long traverse on a dike (similar to those at Lover's Leap, Tahoe, CA) where both the leader and the second are exposed to a lengthy fall is the mental crux. Then there are a few low angle pitches up to the crack system above. Above the crack system is a slightly run out pitch on a little bit steeper rock. I'm not exactly certain why it is called slick rock since the rock has amazing friction that was definitely experienced while climbing the last two pitches in an afternoon thunder/hail storm. May 28, 2008
R Squared  
 
If you simul climb you can climb this route in about four pitches. Runners do help. Watch for loose rock because it is all over the place. The walkoff off the back isn't bad. The trail is easy to follow. It beats rapping the whole way down. You don't need anything bigger than a number two for this route. Nov 12, 2007