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Routes in Snowpatch Spire

Buckingham Route (easy version) T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Bugaboo Corner T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a C1
Flamingo Fling T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Furry Pink Arete T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Kraus-McCarthy T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Minotaur Direct T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Snowpatch Route (aka SE Corner/Wiessner's Route) T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Southwest Ridge - Direct Finish T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Sunshine Crack T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Sunshine Wall T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c R
Super Direct T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Surfs Up T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Warrior Way T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a A2
Wildflowers T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Wile Flowers T 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a R
Type: Trad, Alpine, 500 ft, 7 pitches, Grade II
FA: unknown
Page Views: 8,745 total · 70/month
Shared By: Hans on Dec 2, 2007
Admins: Kate Lynn

You & This Route

36 Opinions

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The Route

A popular climb on the right side of the west face of Snowpatch Spire, Surfs Up follows broken cracks on somewhat poor rock for three pitches to Surfs Up ledge, then finishes with another two or three pitches of beautiful cracks on excellent granite. Thanks to Steph Abegg for the excellent route overlays shown below.

Begin at the right side of the west face of Snowpatch Spire, near the Pigeon icefall. Climb 3 pitches of indistinct cracks leading up and right to an alcove.

Though protection is somewhat limited on these first 3 pitches, the climbing is easy. Note that many parties get lost and climb up too far. Slings may indicate bail anchors and be off route.

Pitch 4 is a traverse right from the alcove to reach Surfs Up ledge. This is another place where it's easy to go wrong and go up instead. The ledge itself is an excellent place to have lunch, take a nap, or just enjoy the view.

The crack pitches above Surfs Up ledge are excellent, and make the route worthwhile. Follow an obvious handcrack for 2 pitches to the top of the wall.

Scramble or simulclimb to the south summit from here, and descend the Kraus-McCarthy rappel route.

Overall, a recommended route. Avoid the alpine start, as it's pretty cold over there until the sun hits the route.

Getting there and getting down

Located on the far right (south) side of the west face of Snowpatch Spire, Surf's Up is located just above and left of the Pigeon Icefall rappel route. Approach via the Bugaboo-Snowpatch col.

Descend via the Kraus-McCarthy rappel route (chain anchors). Four 60m or eight 30m rappels reach the bottom. The second rappel (or first if doing double raps) is a notorious rope eater, so beware. Typically it will get stuck near the station and not be too hard to fix.

If rappeling with a single 60m rope, note that some of the rappels are rope stretchers. Be very careful and be sure to knot the ends of your rope.

The base of the rappel route is close to the base of Surf's Up and there is no need to carry over approach shoes, crampons, or an ice axe.


A set of nuts and cams from 0.2 to 3 or so is sufficient. An extra 0.75 and 1 may be useful but not necessary. Crampons and ice axe are required for the approach but can be left at the base of the route
N. Aksamit
Canmore, AB
N. Aksamit   Canmore, AB
The scramble pitches on the ridge were a bit more involved than I imagined, but maybe I was just tired. Little to no sun on the route until hitting surf's up ledge after starting the route at 11 on July 24. First three pitches were slung horn belays, upper pitches were all gear. Jul 30, 2017
Mike Sullivan
Durango, CO
Mike Sullivan   Durango, CO
First few pitches can be cold and windy, and the climbing is fun but not amazing. Once you hit the Surf's Up ledge, the upper part of this route is FANTASTIC -- great climbing and great fun. Sep 23, 2014
Jared Spaulding
Central WY
Jared Spaulding   Central WY
It would seem that the picture in the Atkinson/Piche guide is a bit off. It shows a traverse at the top of pitch two. Instead go up and right to the dihedral, then straight up on pitch two to the "flake" belay, a giant slung flake or horn. Then on pitch three's start, move right, back towards the "corner" and up to the "alcove" belay, also with a slung horn.

Overall an excellent route. Route finding challenges can be had on first four pitches, but protection is readily available. Granite is not too gravelly at all. Jul 30, 2014
More pictures and a TR at
Brad Jan 4, 2009

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