Avg: 2.1 from 9 votes
|Type:||Trad, 1000 ft, 10 pitches, Grade III|
|Page Views:||2,959 total, 29/month|
|Shared By:||Spencer Weiler on Aug 8, 2009|
|Admins:||Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq|
DescriptionThis route climbs the prominent southwest ridge of london spire. Overall it is a very easy climb, ranging in the 4th class to easy 5th class range, with one pitch of 5.7. The rock quality is overall pretty good, though there is lots of loose rock and scree. However, there is definitely enough good rock to make it worthwhile and protection is plentiful.
Most competent parties can easily solo the majority of the route with little concern, though almost everyone will want a rope for the 5.7 pitch. I felt slightly less comfortable soloing this route than upper exum or the west slabs, but it is comparable in difficulty. The number of pitches is therefore a bit ambiguous. Belays can be set up basically anywhere with lots of ledges. I have broken my description into sections, rather than pitches.
Essentially, follow the ridge the whole way up. Lots of options. There are no fixed anchors
1. Start up the ridge from the saddle. The first obstacle is a small roof 40 feet up. We passed it on the left on good holds. Maybe 5.6. Belay if you wish.
2. Easy terrain with lots of big ledges will lead you for a couple hundred more feet. Belay as necessary.
3. The main obstacle of the climb is encountered about halfway up. It is a large roof that you don't want to climb over. This is the 5.7 pitch most will want to rope up for. Climb out right of the roof on good holds over a very exposed drop. Climb up into a diehdral of sorts and up a good 60 feet till the climbing turns easy again and belay. Good pro. 100'
4. From here the climbing turns even easier. Mostly 5th class moves to top. You can make this section difficult or easy, depending on your desire. Lots of steeper stuff, but also easy stuff to bypass it. You know your on top when you come to a wood pole with some underwear on it.
Time: 2 hours with mostly soloing, 1 pitch with rope.
This climb is very fun, with great views and an alpine setting. The approach and descent aren't fun, but its a worthy adventure. Very few people seem to do it.
To get to the route, you have two options. I recommend the first:
1. Park on Highway 89 in Willard somewhere legal and where it looks like you are basically in line with the rocky ridge that leads up to and connects with the southwest ridge. Some of this land is private property, but also plenty of public access, so act appropriately. Bushwack up the rocky ridge until you reach the saddle where the route starts, doing the best you can to avoid the really thick stuff. Not real fun. (2.5 hours)
2. Hike up the descent canyon. This is not as bad for bushwacking, but harder to get to the route because you can't see it since you're in a canyon. Hike up from the road, aiming for the spot where the canyon just south of the spire would start. The entrance to the canyon almost looks like famous pictures of the subway, the zion slot canyon, very narrow and vertical with a river coming out of it. Hike up this canyon for a long ways, probably 2 hours. On your left(north) you will spot a ramp system where the rock changes color that looks like it leads to a saddle, which is the beginning of the route. It looked like 4th or 5th class most of the way. 2.5+ hours?
Descent: From top, hike maybe 30 yards east, and then down(south) towards the canyon on the south of the ridge. Scramble some easy rock for 100 feet till you see rappel slings. Rap 20' if you want, but a downclimb there or up(west) is pretty easy. Follow loose scree canyon all they way out. 3 hours