Mountain Project Logo

Routes in Waterfall Dome

Bellagio, The T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
For Whom the Bells Toll T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Type: Trad, 600 ft, 5 pitches, Grade II
FA: Tristan Higbee and James Garrett, 5 June 2009
Page Views: 6,135 total, 60/month
Shared By: James Garrett on Jun 5, 2009
Admins: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route

14 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick
Private Property now at the entrance to Bells Canyon. Details


After the 5 minute traverse over from the base of Kinabalu on East Waterfall Dome, start climbing up the low angle slabs and aretes. This enjoyable romp in Bells Canyon was traditionally equipped. It is well protected without ever presenting very difficult climbing and generally follows a straight forward line of ascent as well as descent.

Pitch #1: Climb the slab passing a fixed piton to a two-bolt belay. 5.5, 50m.

Pitch #2: Climb straight up and over a small roof past a fixed piton and continue up a short right facing dihedral. More fun slab moves brings the climber past a new glue in rappel station (replacing the fallen tree...whoops:)) and a nice ledge just above it. 5.5, 35m.

Pitch #3: Continue up delightful patina on great rock. Pass a two-bolt rappel station and follow 6 more bolts to a ledge and two-bolt belay. 5.6, 50m.

Pitch #4: Go straight up past one bolt on the slab to a steep massive boulder protected by two bolts. Climb up the wondrous knobby jugs, turn the corner, and reach the two-bolt belay in short order. 5.7, 35m.

Pitch #5: A fun final pitch climbs chicken heads and stretch across a gap to more knobs and a mantle finale onto a table top two-bolt belay party summit. 5.5, 20m.

Great 360 degree views into Little Cottonwood Canyon, into the Salt Lake Valley, and of course down to the waterfall in Bells Canyon.

Rappel 7 times easily down the route with one 70m rope. Some of the raps are rope stretchers, so tie knots in the ends of your ropes and take care.


Best access seems to be the approach as for the route Kinabalu on East Waterfall Dome. Continue 20m up past the base of that route and find a cleared trail back west into the gully separating the two domes.

After crossing the once rickety (now nicely fortified bridge) continue up the ever fainter trail until coming to a rock with piton and maybe a piece of sling to where the trail veers off left (North) on an even fainter trail directly to the base of Waterfall Dome after about 150m or so.

This route ascends the far right (east) side of Waterfall Dome and is characterized by a plethora of Wasatch granite chickenheads and knobs. A small cairn marks the beginning of the route and the rope up area.


QDs and small assortment of Camalots from C3 - .75. A few long slings. One 70m rope works best and is recommended.
Dan Finn
Sandy, UT
Dan Finn   Sandy, UT
Had a pretty hard time finding this but after hours of bushwacking eventually got on it. A little more info that might help some people out: the 3 log wooden bridge is right below the 2nd falls. You'll cross that and get on a faint trail which will take you to a small meadow. From here there doesn't seem to be a well defined trail, if there was it's now very overgrown.

For all the trouble getting up there and all the bushwacking the climb itself was a bit of a letdown. It was mostly walking up a moderate granite slab with one fun move to get up onto a large boulder. Pretty amazing views from the top though. Oct 23, 2017
To reiterate: there are 2 waterfalls - lower and upper falls, respectively.
The approach to this route is past the 1st falls (you can cross and bushwhack for fun at the 1st, like we did, but I don't suggest it) for at least another mile, to a clearing along the main trail with big boulders, where there exists a side trail along the river (left, off the main trail) to the 3 log bridge.
The trail was overgrown for us this time of year and hard to follow, but it got us there.
Once at the rock you can see webbing indicators to the west on the trees that lead to the route.

Note also: this route is bolted all the way now, the first pitch is a little run out, but almost walkable so we felt safe. Jul 25, 2017
Climbed a few days ago, the 3rd pitch had some ice on it where the bolt line follows because it is a water flow. Be prepared if you do this early or late season Apr 17, 2017
Patrick Michel
Groveland, CA
Patrick Michel   Groveland, CA
Climbed this around 09/17/2015 with a 70m rope and was able to reach all the rap stations safely. There were fairly new slings extending the raps to make it just long enough to reach each rap station with a foot to spare on both ends of my rope. Rapped into the gully for the scramble decent as there was significant tree/bush growth between rap stations (stations 4 to 5 I believe) that would probably cause a rope to get caught. Oct 6, 2015
Samantha Mitchell
Salt Lake City, UT
Samantha Mitchell   Salt Lake City, UT
As an additional FYI - the rickety log bridge is after the 1st waterfall but before the 2nd waterfall. After passing the 1st waterfall you continue up the trail for a bit. The main trail will continue right while the trail to the bridge goes left and crosses the creek over the rickety log bridge. From the rickety bridge follow Garrett Nunzo-Jones' directions as they are spot on. Oct 5, 2015
This route is a wonderful day outing. It took us about seven enjoyable hours car to car and the climbers trail between the domes is marked with old webbing in the trees. Beautiful hike, good rock, well protected, quick rap and incredible views of the second waterfall and cirque. Always wonder why people choose a 5.7 route then have to justify why it was too easy for them. Just have fun out there on your own terms. Jun 10, 2015
Not as good as the Bellagio, but worth it to find the rap stations. P1 and P2 are unremarkable 5.4 slabs. P3 is a fun, 5.5 or 5.6 slab that is reminiscent of the City of Rocks. We combined P4 and P5, which was features well-protected three move 5.7 that should be done on the Bellagio. Beware the rap to the mid-way rap station on P3 as a 70m barely makes it. We skipped the last rappel and rapped into the gully and walked back to the base of the route (approximately 1 minutes scramble). Apr 5, 2015
The rotten huge tree lying useless in the gully was truly impressive! A new glue in rappel anchor was installed to replace it. Additional added improvements to a fun route on an excellent colorful Fall day. No gerry rigging needed to rappel the entire route with ONE 70m rope.

Did some trail maintenance to the pretty overgrown trail. Hopefully it is easier to find. Thanks to whoever added the needed supports to the rickety bridge! It is so nice now. Oct 12, 2014
Did this climb yesterday. Fantastic time to do the hike in, to see the great waterfalls. However, the big, dead tree for the belay at the top of the second pitch is now lying, useless, in the gully about the level of the top of the first pitch! Do not plan on belaying or rapping from that tree. You can get gear at the ledge at the top of the second pitch to belay (or continue up to the intermediate rap anchors on P3). We rapped off the intermediate anchors over to the gully and scrambled down to the base. Jun 1, 2014
Kirk Schleiffarth
Flagstaff, Arizona
Kirk Schleiffarth   Flagstaff, Arizona
I did this route today. Route-finding was a bit tricky as the climbers path is not well-traveled, but we found it eventually. We soloed the route, except for the 5.7 move over the bulge. In fact, we decided to down climb the route to make things more interesting. Great views, long approach, mediocre route. Jun 14, 2013
Ty Falk
Park City, UT
Ty Falk   Park City, UT
I have done it between 1h 30 min and 2h 15min from the car to the base of FWTBT depending how fast your moving. May 17, 2013
Sam Cannon
Salt Lake City, UT
Sam Cannon   Salt Lake City, UT
How long is the hike into the route? May 15, 2013
Garret Nuzzo-Jones
Salt Lake City, UT
  5.7 PG13
Garret Nuzzo-Jones   Salt Lake City, UT
  5.7 PG13
I found the approach to not be too hard to find. Cross the creek just before the waterfall at the rickety three log bridge. Hike up the trail for roughly ten minutes. Once you cross another small creek/seep you'll immediately be in a little meadow area with some ferns. Less than 5 minutes after you pass through that area start looking for a very faded trail on the left. If you keep a careful eye open you'll see a small boulder with a piton drilled into the top of it. That's the trail we took up to the base of East Waterfall. From there just follow the edge of the rock until the faint trail cuts west across the gully near the pines.

The route has cleaned up surprisingly well since it's only a few years old and I'm pretty sure we were the 16th ascent based on the register (and the first of 2013). Still plenty of gravel to be found though. Some additional quicklinks and rap rings are needed at almost every station if the next party up feels like hauling up some extra metal.

A 70M rope is an absolute requirement to rappel the route. Rapping down the 2nd and 3rd pitches there are 35m rappels. On these rappels the rope is actually a couple feet short and it's basically necessary to rap off the end of the rope to reach the next station. Terrible planning by the FA, there was no reason for those rappels to be so difficult. Also watch out for the rap off the summit, the rope can swing into a pinch right of the route and get stuck easily.

I brought a decent rack and placed almost none of it. It's only necessary for the first two pitches where it's hard not to run it out anyway. I placed a #1 Camalot on the first and second pitch and a #2 on the first pitch. That's it. Almost no placements for nuts, leave them at home. Bring lots of slings and probably 8 quickdraws or so.

It's also quite possible to just not even bring any trad gear and just skip the first two pitchs (or sling bushes and run it out a bit on very easy terrain). The third pitch, where the climbing gets more interesting can be accessed by hiking up the loose gully and cutting left to the dead tree with slings. It's also easy to avoid rapping down pitches one and two by scrambling over to the gully from the dead tree on the way down.

This climb felt kind of like South Six Shooter in Indian Creek. A long approach with a two star climb rewards you with a 4 star summit. May 13, 2013
Had a lot of trouble finding anything that looked like a trail. No game trails, just an abrupt end after the ten minute hike past the bridge. It looks like a really fun climb (for the want to get alpine experience + some trad and sport, beginner climber like myself) but could probably use a lot more travel. We spent 2 hours hiking and had to bail on the route because we couldn't find a reasonable way (even after a substantial amount of bush whacking) to get to the darn thing. Jun 11, 2012
Brian B Ballard
Laramie, WY
Brian B Ballard   Laramie, WY
Nice route. Felt Easier than grade on most pitches. Hike was more strenuous, heck self checkout at Albertsons was more strenuous.. Oct 18, 2009