Type: Trad, Alpine, 800 ft, 5 pitches, Grade III
FA: unknown
Page Views: 22,372 total · 198/month
Shared By: Spencer Weiler on Aug 30, 2009
Admins: Mike Engle

You & This Route

62 Opinions

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An excellent topo is posted in the photo section. This description is a supplement to that.

Pitch 1: Head up fun, well protected 5.6 warm-up terrain to the base of the corner proper. Hand jam for 10 feet, then through a short wide section(#4 camalot useful) to a decent ledge. Beautiful. Gear Belay. 190'.

Pitch 2: Another longer wide section off the ledge(#4 again, but small nuts protect crack out left, along with semi-tipped out #3 at top work okay) puts you below a crackless roof. Clip an optional sling belay anchor and smear out the face.(2nd best move of climb) Continue up easy blocky terrain to a slung chockstone. Belay here or gear belay up 10 more feet is more comfortable. 190'

Pitch 3: This pitch is a gimme. Tunnel up through a whole in the rock, avoiding the gaping chimney on the right,then up left on 5.5 terrain to the top of the dihedral onto the saddle. Great view! Gear belay or sling chockstone. 150'

The topo shows the next section as pitch 4, but it is a ropeless 3rd class scramble, so I will not call it a pitch. Scramble up right to the highest point in a notch. Belay here on fat ledge. 100'

Pitch 4: Highest quality pitch I thought. Climb the beautiful hand crack that tends right up to a ledge, over the hundreds of feet below. Proceed left up a 5.5 slab to another fat ledge. (Note: this last slab section is very easy, 30-35 feet long, but there is no pro available. A fall here would be very serious, but it is quite easy as long as you did a good job with runners so there isn't much rope drag. Plus this is good prep for the next pitch!) 100'

Pitch 5: Most unique of the pitches. Climb straight up from your belay to a big whole in the summit block. Tunnel through either the right hole(smaller but better for rope drag) or the left(bigger, but worse for rope drag)to the other side. Then comes the coolest part(or scariest) of the climb. Make a 5.8(topo says 5.9?) move off a fat ledge and lieback the unprotectable arete for 30 feet to the summit. Like the previous section, this could be bad if you fall, but the hardest part is right off the deck. The last 15 feet are 5.4 or less, so its only about 20 feet you need to worry about. We did not see the fixed pin mentioned on the topo. 3 bolt belay(1 bomber, 2 old). 120'
Sign the register and enjoy the super cool summit!

Descent: 3 raps. Rap off the summit block directly west(the way you finished the climb) down to another saddle. Hike from here due west along ridge down to a fat tree. Rap once from here to either of two more tree anchors. Rap one more to ground. 2 60m ropes will get you down in one. Hike back to the base of the climb to your gear.


If you drove to Upper Hell Roaring Trailhead, hike 1/4 mile to the confluence with the main trail that started at the lower trailhead. If you started at the lower trailhead, hike 2 miles to this point.

From the two trails intersection, hike 2 miles to Hell Roaring(HR) Lake on really flat terrain. Upon reaching the lake, a view of the finger can be seen for the first time by looking directly west.
From the lake, find the trail that leads to the toilet(marked) and follow this trail(not super distinct, but good enough) all the way to the west end of the lake. It skirts the lake quite closely. (Note: This is not the trail that leads to Redfish Lake, which is marked upon arrival at HR Lake)
When you reach the west end where a stream enters the lake, head north on the same trail up very steep terrain for about a half mile. You will eventually reach a pond, and then a bigger blue unnamed lake. The finger will be quite close now.
From this lake, hike around the south end on a trail, and take the path of least resistance up the drainage southeast of the finger, avoiding the cliffs east of the finger. Skirt the base of the finger heading north, then west up steep scree to the base of the route, which is the obvious clean 45 degree corner/diehdral on the north side of the finger. Time from trail intersection: 2.5 hours, (4-5 miles?)


1 60 meter rope. Standard rack is more than adequate. Most will want a #4 camalot or equivalent, but not required. Lots of runners. Topo shows their gear recommendation.
I loved this route.

More photos and a TR at piquaclimber.net. Sep 21, 2009
Ryan s Nelson
Salt Lake City, Ut
Ryan s Nelson   Salt Lake City, Ut
Fantastic route, beautiful granite and loads of hand jams make this route. Didnt see the fixed pin, there are now TWO bomber bolts along with the two old bolts on the summit. Jul 17, 2011
Mike Engle
Pocatello, Idaho
Mike Engle   Pocatello, Idaho  
Hey Ryan, did you climb it recently (this summer?)? If so, how was the snow in getting to the climb?

Thanks! Jul 22, 2011
Kittery, ME
Cron   Kittery, ME
I just talked over the phone with a local guide company as well as a forest service employee who works in the park. The guide told me that they have been taking people up to the Perch and Finger recently, both sources told me the river crossing was sketchy and to be extremely cautious when trying to cross. Still lots of snow up there and melting fast, not sure if snowshoes/crampons will be needed. Anyone else have some good approach beta? Jul 26, 2011
Courtney Pace   Sandy
Mike and Cron-

As of 2 weeks ago the approach was not an issue. We were on snow very little. The stream is easier to cross up higher when very close to the finger rather than trying to cross down lower by the lake. No crampons or axe necessary. Also, we parked at lower trailhead and walked in instead of driving the heinous 4WD road which I hear takes years off your vehicle. We were able to go light and do the route IAD sans camping gear. Jul 31, 2011
Kittery, ME
Cron   Kittery, ME
Climbed the Finger last Friday. Approach wasn't an issue at all. Snow is covering the first 20' feet of the climb so it's a bit of a head start. Sliding down the snowfield in the decent gully was fun! Aug 1, 2011
Cory Harelson
Boise, ID
Cory Harelson   Boise, ID
Stellar rock, splitter cracks, and a spicy boulder problem right at the end, it doesn't get much better than this! Jun 24, 2012
Cory Harelson
Boise, ID
Cory Harelson   Boise, ID
I should add that the description above is pretty good. One thing to note is that the lengths of the last two pitches are much shorter than noted. We easily linked them with one 60m rope and had plenty of rope to spare. This made for a SUPER pitch that started with a splitter hand crack that still has me smiling the next day, then a "no pro" 5.5 slab with lots of exposure, the cool tunnel-through, and finally the exposed and scary "you better not fall here" summit block boulder problem that was both the technical and mental crux of the route. That said, I wouldn't recommend doing this as the rope drag on the final boulder problem was heinous. I ended up pulling up (with great effort) enough slack to climb the entire summit block before I started climbing, which added to the headiness of the finish.

Also, if you want to sign the register, bring a pen, paper, and a ziplock, as the pen was out of ink and all the paper was soaked. Jun 24, 2012
Ezra Ellis
Ezra Ellis   Hotlanta
Loved this route a real classic,
Highly reccommend taking a 4 and 5 camalot (new sizes),
and doubles in 1,2, and 3 camalots

P1= 170 feet
P2= 190 feet
P3 100 feet
P4 100 feet
P5 90-100 feet Sep 20, 2012
Jesse Wees
Jesse Wees   Boise
Spencer- I think your description of the last pitch is a little off. You didn't see the pin because you climbed the west side of the summit block.... the pin (and route) go up the east side. I assume this is why you didn't mention the "leap of faith" move after the summit block tunnel. Committing, but fun! Apr 12, 2013
The description is very good except for the last pitch. Do not climb the west face as described in the directions, it is more like a 5.10X. instead traverse to the south and there is a much easier way to the summit with a piton that you can use a protection. Jul 1, 2013
Mike McL
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Mike McL   South Lake Tahoe, CA
The corner can be done in 2 pitches with a 70 m rope. 1st pitch ends at the small ledge just right of the roof. 2nd pitch goes all the way to the big ledge. If done this way, 2 #4 camalots can be useful if you want to sew up the 2 short, wider sections on P1.

Stellar climb. Jul 24, 2013
Cory Harelson
Boise, ID
Cory Harelson   Boise, ID
Jesse and Ben, The 5.10x comment makes me feel better. I finished on the west side of the summit block and couldn't believe the route got a 5.8 rating, but figured it must have just seemed harder due to the exposure and massive rope drag from linking pitches 1 & 2.

For those that want to try the west side, it's more like 5.10R, not X, as the rope running through the tunnel would catch you as long as you clear the ledge when falling, but you would be taking a huge ride! Fortunately the bottom third is the hard part, and it eases as you go. The problem consists of laybacking up the arete and fighting a barn door over LOTS of exposure. Mar 4, 2014
Spencer Weiler
Salt Lake city
Spencer Weiler   Salt Lake city
Sorry for my bad description on the last pitch. It seemed obvious when I was there, but I guess we made it harder than it needed to be. Follow these other guys directions Mar 6, 2014
peter heekin  
First ascent goes to Dick Dorworth I believe. Apr 22, 2014
Andrew Mayer
Driggs, ID
Andrew Mayer   Driggs, ID
Stellar route. Tape is nice for the abundant hand jams. I found a 4 friend (equivalent of old BD 3.5) and a new BD 4 to protect the wider sections very well. Also, retreat is possible from below the summit block (when your GF has a panic attack at the leap of faith and forces you to bail). Rap off the slung chockstone 15ft east of the leap of faith down into chimney. Then walk 25ft to the west to another slung block. Rap 25m down to large ledge and pull rope far to the east to keep from snagging in crack. Then scramble up the obvious chimney/gully to the west to gain the west ridge and the standard descent off 2 slung trees to the north. Jul 20, 2014
Avi B.
Avi B.  
Beautiful route, with P4 definitely being one of the most fun alpine lines I've done! It's possible we went through the wrong tunnel, but there were some huge loose boulders that creaked every time we touched them. Encountered some rope drag issues on that last pitch, as well... I'm not sure that runners would have helped, I think it was just all of the turns that the route took, combined with some bad luck. Sep 9, 2014
If you add new webbing, please be sure to remove the old, weathered webbing. Let's keep this a wilderness climb.

Camping: Remember campfire rings are NOT allowed. If you wish to have a campfire you MUST use a fire pan or fire blanket. Aug 14, 2015
Boise, ID
Trevor.   Boise, ID
On the 5.5 "no pro" slab section, there is actually a small but solid thread about halfway up out right. I seem to recall a skinny double length runner working best for it. Jul 17, 2016

7/16/16 Lost Red BD X4 Pitch 3

My partner and I did the open book last weekend 7/16 and I got a cam stuck and left it for him to fidget with and get out. Due to a communication breakdown my partner climbed past the piece and left it without wiggling and attempting a removal.

If you come across the cam and manage to wiggle it out Im willing to offer up a finders fee!! Thanks all and happy hunting! Jul 21, 2016
Herm-Dawg Millionaire
Bozeman, MT
Herm-Dawg Millionaire   Bozeman, MT
This climb was a little sketchy for a couple first-time crack climbers (duh, I guess), and that no-pro section at the top was definitely scary in the snow squall that hit us in the top section (literally, almost got blown off coming off the finger crack). Ha! That said, super fun climb, and I'll definitely be back for Tiptoes. Sep 13, 2016
Jon P
Duluth, MN
Jon P   Duluth, MN
As of June 29th, 2017 the approach was snow from the unnamed lake, all the way up to the base of the climb. The approach took us nearly 5 hours from Upper Trail Head as it was early and the snow hadn't softened up yet. The decent probably took around 3 hours. This was the first time we did the approach so there was some route-finding involved, but I don't think we could have done it much faster given the conditions.

The dirt road going to the Upper Trail head isn't too bad and doesn't require 4x4, but does require high clearance. We did it in our 4-banger Ford Ranger with no issue. It is exactly 2 miles from the dirt road "315" fork to trail head. This makes the hike from Upper Trail head to Hells Roaring lake longer than given in the description ("315" road was shortened at some point after initial route description).

The wide sections in pitch 1 & 2 are fairly short, but we felt they were definitely the crux of the route. I don't think two BD 4's would be overkill for those who aren't very comfortable in wide cracks.

We climbed the West side of the summit block so didn't see the piton. I brought my partner through the tunnel before beginning the boulder move. She belayed standing directly under the rap rings, and therefore over a large rocky bulge from where I was climbing, and I felt secure making the one or two 5.8/9 boulder moves up to better hands. The rest was nearly a walk-up.

The rap off the first big tree on the saddle (2nd rap total) would not bring us down to the next tree rappel with a 60m rope. We had to rap to a slung chock stone on climbers left which was a bit awkward to get to.

All the rap slings have been replaced very recently and there are two chances to rap the route at the base of the summit block, although we didn't use them so I can't be sure how easy it would be to pull the rope once rapped from the 'bail' raps.

Very adventurous day overall and we were exhausted by the time we got back to the truck! Jun 30, 2017
  5.8 PG13
CThornton   Boise
  5.8 PG13
If you want to tunnel though and climb the summit block in one pitch, you can use a constriction between blocks inside the tunnel and a finger size cam (0.5 C4?) in a block to the right after you tunnel through as a directional to keep your rope from getting stuck. This made drag fairly manageable until the airy mantle onto the summit block. I would recommend breaking this into 2 pitches to reduce drag and avoid twisting the hell out of your rope.

I carried singles in small sizes and doubles from 0.5 to #4 (w/out nuts) and thought this was the ideal rack. a single 4 works if you're comfortable on wide cracks, but I think many will prefer 2 #4's. A tiny cam and micro stoppers were useful on the 3rd pitch, but you could easily go without them if you're comfortable soloing 5.6.

This is a fantastic route, but not for the 5.8 leader. Expect some loose feeling (but seemingly solid) rock at the top of the book and be prepared to run it out on easy terrain. Pulling onto the summit block felt R-rated; if you blow the move there is a good chance you will hit the ledge below and probably break an ankle. Sep 4, 2017
A comment on the approach beta: we didn't see any signs for toilets upon arrival at Hell Roaring lake and ended up hiking on the main trail all the way to the west end before realizing we went the wrong way... The correct climbers trail is on the north side of the lake and is fairly distinct and hard to miss if you just start walking along the north edge of the lake. You should break off from the main trail and head north when you get to Hell Roaring lake and see a fork in the trail leading to Redfish. Jul 9, 2018
Alex Zucca
Salt Lake City, UT
Alex Zucca   Salt Lake City, UT
I would 100% recommend doing the summit block as its own pitch. If you use the boulder to the right to stem up to get to the piton ledge, the moves are very easy (5.7). Also, when turning the corner before the mantle, you can get a red alien/BD 0.5 in a pocket for piece of mind. Sep 4, 2018