Mountain Project Logo
To save paper & ink, use the [Hide] controls next to photos and comments so you only print what you need.


5.8, Trad, 500 ft, 5 pitches, Grade II,  Avg: 2.7 from 15 votes
FA: George Lowe and Jock Glidden, 1972
Utah > Wasatch Range > Big Willow Canyon > Big Willow Cirque


Giggles is the BWC Classic. Fun climbing with a variety of techniques. True handjams can be useful but are not necessary. There are a ton of cracks all going the same direction (UP), therfore, good routefinding skills are necessary.

  • P1-5.5: Climb a short pitch through a variety of flaring cracks to a small belay ledge.
  • P2-5.7: Climb and on the right side of the dihedral stemming, jamming, or face climbing. Finish up to the right of a pine tree (has some old slings).
  • P3-5.7: Start out by moving above a dead tree (on the belay ledge) and to the right until a small crack is obtained. Straight up until the next belay ledge.
  • P4-5.8: Start in the hand crack next to the left facing wall. This is the crux (and the best part of the climb IMO). Continue up and slightly left to the flaring cracks above. The next belay is hanging so pick a point and set your anchors.
  • P5-5.7: Find a good crack and follow it to the top.

Note: all belays require gear for anchors! This could be done in 3 pitches by combining P1 and P2 and combining P3 and P4 and leaving P5 as a long pitch. Might need a 70 meter though?


Start at the large (southwest facing) wall just left of the notch. Giggles is found at approximately the middle of the wall, see topo.

A walkoff is found by going down and east, then eventually south to the "notch" If you go south too early there you will encouter difficult downclimbing that leads to a sheer wall. However, rap slings can be found for descent. Be careful, especially with a 60m rope.


Bring a standard rack. A couple of large cams may be useful, but medium/smaller pro can be found by the creative leader.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Hoskins placing pro on pitch 5
[Hide Photo] Hoskins placing pro on pitch 5
Giggles Topo.
[Hide Photo] Giggles Topo.
Fett and Rudster setting the rap into the notch.
[Hide Photo] Fett and Rudster setting the rap into the notch.
Evening hike out of Big Willow Cirque
[Hide Photo] Evening hike out of Big Willow Cirque
Juli starting up Giggles
[Hide Photo] Juli starting up Giggles
The steep loose notch going back to the BWC
[Hide Photo] The steep loose notch going back to the BWC
A rap into the notch.  A 70m helps
[Hide Photo] A rap into the notch. A 70m helps
Hoskins enjoying the view of the valley.
[Hide Photo] Hoskins enjoying the view of the valley.
Me taking it in at the top
[Hide Photo] Me taking it in at the top
Looking down Pitch 4.  Nice exposure!
[Hide Photo] Looking down Pitch 4. Nice exposure!
Moving up Pitch 4.  Look at that nice hand crack and smooth face to the left!  too bad it's not longer...
[Hide Photo] Moving up Pitch 4. Look at that nice hand crack and smooth face to the left! too bad it's not longer...
Looking up Pitch 3
[Hide Photo] Looking up Pitch 3

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] Thanks for the great photos TK! Looks like you had a great trip after all the planning! Sep 8, 2008
Tyler King
Salt Lake, UT
[Hide Comment] Are you talking about the notch? If so, wow! It was scary to go down it when we were there. We left a large purple sling around a rock at the top and rapped down as far as a 70m would take us. There was also a ton of extremely dangerous rockfall on the talus that leads to the Lone Peak Cirque. Check out the pic on the Big Willow Cirque area page. Hmm...I wonder why there is so much activity up there... Sep 25, 2008
Smog Lake City, Utah
[Hide Comment] Digging it. Tyler’s photo-topo was spot-on. We ran pitches one and two together with a 70 meter rope and only had meters to spare- and part of pitch one was still deep under snow. We also rope-stretched pitches three and four together. Perhaps this wasn’t the best way to do it- I’d recommend combining pitches one and two, climbing pitch three (to the pine) and then running pitch four long to a small ledge on the right side of the upper face (in a small right facing dihedral). This would avoid the hanging belay which was less than comfy and leave a short 30 meter pitch to the top. Overall, pitches one and two were just ‘alright’, but pitches four and five were fabulous and made the route.

The new bolt atop the final pitch left me baffled (there was another older, odd bolt just right of the P2 belay). We followed the descent described by the Ruckmans which left us exactly at the notch without a rap. Dropping back into Big Willow was nasty- lots of fresh rubble, but [presumably] survivable. Some careful rapping off trees on the south side of the gully left us glissading back to camp still grinning from 600 feet of excellent climbing. Jul 20, 2009
Tyler King
Salt Lake, UT
[Hide Comment] The news of this new bolt is disappointing... I admit to have considered setting up some rappel stations somewhere on the wall, with the FA consent of course, to avoid the dangerous hike down. But a lone bolt!? What are people thinking?! Did they honestly place it on lead because they couldn't get any gear, or did they lower to place it? So many questions with only possible ridiculous answers! May 26, 2010
[Hide Comment] Didn't Giggle either. Just didn't really like it.
Pitch 1 was short, easy and uninteresting.
Pitch 2 was dirty loose and and finishes in a tree.
The hand crack is cool but too short, about 15 feet of climbing.
As far as the rest goes picking a crack and going that is a bit misleading. They are all flaring, full of veg and hiding loose rock. You need to pick the best of the worst that might offer some pro at a place that you can barely see from where you are standing.

Go to Bells or Lone Peak Cirque! Oct 9, 2012
Tyler King
Salt Lake, UT
[Hide Comment] Not misleading at all. Find a "good" crack and follow it. Can't and won't detail out every nuance of a climb. It's called route finding for a reason and we didn't have any trouble, even as new 5.8 leaders.

This climb, IMO, is more about the raw alpine nature of it and beautiful setting. Yes, the climbing in the LP cirque is better quality, but this is worth it if you want some solitude and something different... Jan 27, 2014
Boissal .
Small Lake, UT
[Hide Comment] I hear Bushwack is a much better alternative... Jan 27, 2014
New Jersey
[Hide Comment] How is this route only grade II when 11th Hour on Sundial Peak is grade III? Both climbs require a the same length of approach from the looks of it, the same difficulty and same number of pitches. Aug 2, 2017
[Hide Comment] Approach is rarely a consideration for grade, and 11th Hour is a Grade II regardless of what this site may say. 4 pitches of 5.8 should only take 2 hours to climb. Aug 3, 2017
Scott Stevenson
[Hide Comment] Did this today! It was cool. Careful of the rock we had 3 holds break on us. 2 of them were chicken heads that just popped off the wall. We decended down the notch on the north side of the summit. And downclimbed bits before rappelling the last bit. LOTS of loose rock. Fun route though!! Jun 2, 2018