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Routes in Middle Bell Tower

Arm and Hammer T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Butcher Knife T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Cymbals Of The Sun T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Dire Direct T,S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Ellsworth-McQuarrie Route T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Gendarme, The T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a R
Gin and Tonic T 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Lowe Variation T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Regge Pole T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R
Winged Warrior T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b A1
Type: Trad, Aid, 900 ft, 8 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Jeff Lowe late 60s. FRA and variation: James Garrett and Tristan Higbee, 27 June 2009
Page Views: 3,272 total, 32/month
Shared By: James Garrett on Jun 28, 2009
Admins: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route


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Private Property now at the entrance to Bells Canyon. Details

Description

Winged Warrior is named after the winged horse Pegasus of Greek Mythology. You'll be riding high above the Wasatch on this one! This climb has the most "big wall" feel of any climb I have done in the Wasatch. With some low angle approach pitches starting from the lowest apron of Middle Bell, all varieties of climbing up rope stretching pitches are encountered until reaching the upper apex tower pinnacle. Plan on a long day, it doesn't seem to be an exaggeration to call this a Grade IV.

I had long looked at this line, yet though seemingly striking and obvious, history was lacking. A two bolt belay appears under the dihedral pitch on page 399 of the Ruckman Guide. In conversations with Les Ellison after finding ancient bolts in certain sections on the wall, we learned of an unreported 60's ascent by Jeff Lowe. His route, typically, was long, bold, and ahead of its time.

Pitch #1: From the lowest point on Middle Bell, climb weaknesses past some bulges through a swath through bushes to a two-bolt belay. 5.5, 25m.

Pitch #2: Continue straight up using the bush trimmings as markers to another two-bolt belay ledge. 5.6, 30m.

Pitch #3: Follow a groove/crack to a nice ledge and two-bolt belay immediately under the first prominent roof. 5.5, 33m.

Pitch #4: Climb a hand crack, up a steep shallow corner passing an old two-bolt hanging belay to a 3-bolt belay ledge. 5.10, A0, 40m.

Pitch #5: Climb out left, surmount a flake and gain more ground up the wild and steep groove/flake system. The Lowe route continues right up these grooves. WW moves more directly up slightly trending left at this point past bolts to the "railroad tracks", a pair of thin cracks that lead to the base of the Great Dihedral. 5.9, A1. 58m.

Pitch #6: Layback up the wide right facing corner to hands, eventually moving left to a two-bolt belay ledge. The only crack of its kind in the Wasatch? 5.9+, 56m.

Pitch #7: Climb directly above the belay to the left arete of the tower pinnacle. Follow more than 13 bolts and fixed protection up the slab to a 3-bolt belay. This pitch may likely be the only entirely new and independent pitch from the Lowe route. 5.10, A0. 55m.

Pitch #8: Scamper the final moves up the decomposed rock past a drilled piton to the tower's tiny top. A drilled piton was added to Lowe's single anchor found here. 5.5, 2m.

Rappel the route.

Location

Hike up Bells Canyon and approach Middle Bell as for Arm and Hammer. After the boulder field stay right and low and find a small clearing directly below the route. Though some of these early pitches are easy and low angle, belay and rappel stations were installed to facilitate descent.

Protection

QDs and slings. Camalots from C3 to #5. An RB or hook. A few thin pitons, though this may go clean in subsequent ascents. This might be a candidate for a free ascent, but I suspect it might be 5.13 or so steep slab climbing. If a strong free climber would like to add a few bolts to avoid the nailing of the "railroad tracks" and make this feasible, great idea!....go for it. All belays bolted. All bolts used at least 3/8" x 3". Many 1/2". Two 60m ropes recommended
johnny utah
Salt Lake City
  5.10 A1
johnny utah   Salt Lake City
  5.10 A1
This is sort of a funky route with a lot of time climbing in transition from free to aid or aid to free. That said there are some pretty fun moves off of hooks etc. but the line itself is pretty improbable in places without the heaps of bolts on it (pitches 5 and 7). We intended to replace some hardware on the 4th pitch but were running late and didn't end up doing so; the original fixed gear there needs to be updated baldy as there isn't really a good way to avoid using it for aid and free protection. The broken wire above the old p4 hanging belay should be removed also and perhaps replaced with a permanent pin if one fits or bolt to use as an A0 supplement.
On the P5 nailing section we used six thin pitons from blades to 1/4'' arrows. The nailing is probably the easiest aid movement on the entire climb as it is plug and chug - all aid. I would be very surprised if this were able to be free climbed right now but maybe that could change with traffic with the formation of some bigger pin scars. Overall its a worthy outing in a great setting that will challenge your skills to make the top! Oct 19, 2017
Mike McMahon
Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah
 
Mike McMahon   Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah
 
Regarding that broken nut... I was sitting on that piece back in July when one of the wires very unexpectedly broke, which needless to say, got my attention really quickly! It ultimately held for me, and apparently is still half intact.

I thought the OW / layback crack was actually quite physical, and also really difficult to protect. Oct 10, 2017
Garrett Green   Utah
Attempted this on August 5. Bold route that could do well with some traffic. Rock is exfoliating like crazy.

Pitch 5 requires a good amount of pitons unless you are into back cleaning 40-50 feet of aiding. We only had 3 thin pitons and decided to bail.

I also took a gnarly decking whipper on pitch 4 above the old 1/4" bolts. Had two cams and a nut blow out. There is a busted nut or head taking up a good gear placement in that area too, but I couldn't get it out.


Aug 7, 2017
Charles Nolt
Salt Lake City, UT
Charles Nolt   Salt Lake City, UT
This wonderful climb gives a wild day of big wall feels right here in the Wasatch. A small rack of thin pitons and a hook made for a grand time on Pitches 5 & 7. We found a single rack of cams .1-4 and a set of stoppers was adequate. Be ready for a fun little scramble to the top of the Pinnacle and be rewarded with a wonderful view of the canyon! Cool history on this climb, seeing and using old pins and bolts placed by icons of the time. Apr 2, 2017
Thomas Martin
Salt Lake City, Utah
Thomas Martin   Salt Lake City, Utah
Can anyone verify if pitch 5 has seen a pitonless ascent. Has it been aided on just cams? Nov 6, 2014
ABG
Winston-Salem, NC
 
ABG   Winston-Salem, NC
 
Great route. Finished it in early june and it was already getting too hot to be up there. The nailing pitch will probably go clean on micros and small cams but bring a few pitons just in case. The lieback crack was amazing. Jun 26, 2011
drewford
Wasatch Back, UT
drewford   Wasatch Back, UT
Drillled piton on the summit? Is your name Olevsky? Jul 14, 2009
bsmoot  
Great job guys! Thanks for the photos & history Jun 29, 2009