Type: Trad, Aid, 375 ft (114 m), 4 pitches, Grade III
FA: Bill Conrod and Steve Ellsworth, Sept. 1965
Page Views: 2,869 total · 17/month
Shared By: bsmoot on Nov 14, 2007
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, GRK, DCrane

You & This Route

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Access Issue: On private land. Details
Access Issue: Gate Buttress Area Recreational Lease: Climbs on Church Buttress above vault remain closed Details


This was the first route on the steep, southeast face of the Black Peeler. No bolts were placed on the first ascent; in fact, this route stayed bolt-free until the early 1980's. Although seldom done compared to the Peeler Direct, this natural line, which follows the principal weakness of the face, offers some great climbing. This route and especially the Peeler Direct became a rite of passage for all early aspiring aid climbers in the Wasatch...training ground for Yosemite.

P1: Climb a short, clean flake (5.10 or C1) to a large ramp. Hand traverse left and follow cracks to a hanging belay underneath a long narrow roof...great pitch. (You can also belay at the hand traverse, 2 pins).
P2: Traverse right underneath the roof...the crack is wide and thin (C2/3 or 5.10+) to a belay on a sloping ledge at 2 bolts.
P3: Shuffle right to a thin aid crack (don't fall here) and ascend this beauty to another ramp. Belay at its end (C1 or C2).
P4: Climb a short groove to a steep hand/fist crack. Jam or aid this to the top. (5.7 C2 or 5.10).

Rap bolts will be seen to the east. Two ropes are needed (160').


"First ascent was in late September, 1965 by Steve Ellsworth and Bill Conrod. On an earlier attempt with Ellsworth, we ran out of time and rappelled off, leaving a fixed rope. It was pitch dark when it was my turn to start the vertical rappel by stepping out of aid slings at a hanging anchor. Very scary.

"The next weekend we made the successful climb on a nice fall day, but the days were getting short and we were benighted at the top. Being young and inexperienced, we had no extra clothing so passed the night by intense shivering. It hit 29 degrees at the SLC airport. Fortunately for us, we were above the down-canyon draft and had the high metabolisms of youth.

"We aided most of the climb, and it was the hardest and most sustained aid route in the canyon at the time. Aid climbing still had a bit of a Yosemite-esque mystique."

—Bill Conrod

  • The first 2 pitches to the midway ledges were freed by Jim Donini and Mark Ward in the early 80's.
  • The first clean ascents were done in the late 70's.


Use this ?Approach Map? to get you to the base. The approach is a little tough for the last few hundred feet.

Begin below and left of the prominent lower ramp.


Clean aid rack including wireds, offsets, cam hooks and sliders; mostly small stuff. A few big cams will also be needed.