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Firebird

5.7, Trad, 950 ft (288 m), 5 pitches, Grade II,  Avg: 2.9 from 15 votes
FA: Unknown Canadians Nov. 30th 2008
Utah > S Central Utah > San Rafael Swell > San Rafael Swel… > Eastern Reef Ar… > A Crags

Description

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Location

This route is located on a formation we called the "Forgotten Buttress" as it was previously unclimbed before our ascent. This buttress is the second buttress to the north of Little Spotted Wolf Canyon. From the turnoff on the dirt road from I-70, drive south for 2.1 miles to a parking area and campsite on the West side of the road. From the parking, a good trail leads WSW into the wash. Walk up the wash a few hundred yards to some old cottonwood trees. From there, leave the wash and follow an old road/trail towards Little Spotted Wolf Canyon. Walk up a steep hill and down into the wash on the other side. From here you can easily see the mouth of Little Spotted Wolf canyon to the west. Instead of going into the canyon, follow the wash to the north for about 600 feet. About 30 feet before a small, white boulder in the middle of the wash are some large bushes on the left and a cairn. From there, follow a cairned trail to the NW and up the major talus tooth just south of Forgotten Buttress. At the top of the tooth there is a juniper tree and a sloping ledge heading north. Follow that ledge for about 100 feet, then turn west and scramble up easy 3rd class slabs to the base of the formation. Total approach time approximately 20 minutes.

Protection

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Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

At the summit near the register.
[Hide Photo] At the summit near the register.
Maura on lead.
[Hide Photo] Maura on lead.
McCullough at the crux.<br>
[Hide Photo] McCullough at the crux.
McCullough Inglis does her first ever rappel.  This was a great route for a first multi-pitch experience.
[Hide Photo] McCullough Inglis does her first ever rappel. This was a great route for a first multi-pitch experience.
Ben Folsom and Paul Ross.
[Hide Photo] Ben Folsom and Paul Ross.
A busy Thanksgiving weekend on I-70.  Taken from the first or second pitch belay on Firebird during the first ascent.
[Hide Photo] A busy Thanksgiving weekend on I-70. Taken from the first or second pitch belay on Firebird during the first ascent.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] nice work, ben and maura! i've got to make it down there soon! Dec 4, 2008
[Hide Comment] Very nice route! Ben has been adding more so there's now plenty to do if you head up to this area.

The rap down the 2nd pitch was exactly long enough with 60m ropes.

I'd unrope at the top of P2 - there's really no need to belay P3 up or down.

Don't bother with a cam - it was way too easy to need one plus we didn't see a placement.

Really big thanks to Ben and Maura for these great routes! Dec 7, 2008
[Hide Comment] Dennis Jump and I did this yesterday. Good climbing. The first 2 pitches are very fun. The problem I had was finding the start of the route!

We parked our packs directly under the route but the angle of the sun precluded seeing the bolts above. I spotted a line of bolts about 100 feet to the right and scampered up that pitch...5.6...6 bolts to a chain anchor at 100 feet. I figured that must be a new intermediate anchor or something. So I kept climbing and climbing...another 600 feet of unprotected 3rd and 4th Class to the lower summit!

After climbing to the summit, we found the register (4th ascent) and downclimbed an obvious ridge and found the top anchors. Rapped back down and climbed the correct line. At that point the bolts and line is obvious from the ground...so we dubbed our scramble to the right "Wusses Day Out"!

Anyway, great climbing Ben. I like all those bolts on the bottom 2 pitches. People are gonna show you love for them!

If you plan on climbing Firebird...don't follow that right-hand line of bolts. They're simply a one-pitch climb! Also, the rappel down the second pitch is damn long, 2 200-foot ropes barely reach. Tie knots and pay attention. We ended up rapping to the left anchors for Rumble Strip on a ledge and traversing down right to the other set... Apr 22, 2009