Type: Trad, 300 ft, 3 pitches
FA: 2nd Pitch: Unknown. FFA: Andrew Ross, Shingo Ohkawa, November 2009
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Shared By: mountainsense on Nov 28, 2009
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Gate Buttress Area Recreational Lease: Climbs on Church Buttress above vault remain closed Details


Enter the Dragon climbs the long and varied corner system to the left of Valentine Crack. To access the obvious, right-facing corner, climb any one of three approach pitches described below. Once beneath the steep, streaked green wall, layback and jam your way up the splitter, fist-to-hand crack to a roof. Undercling right along flakes to a small alcove--home to a decent-sized, rectangular detached block. Move right--past the block--and to the start of a steep ramp. Tiptoe past a slabby bulge** to a stance, then through a section of sustained, undercling-lieback moves to reach yet another bulge. Surmount the bulge, then commit to more underclings, past a sporty crux with a bolt, then to a two-bolt belay at a stance. Left of the belay, mantle chickenheads onto the slab above, then up and right past a short, slanting finger crack. Clip the first of four bolts, then launch into the steep-slab Kung-Fu above, past a scary--yet solid--flake, and to a wild finish on chickenheads. Run it out on an easy slab to the two-bolt anchor above. Brilliant! Who knew such line still existed in the canyon?


To gain the large, right-facing corner below the roof, choose any one of three approach pitches:
Option 1--3rd class the first twenty feet of Valentine Crack, then traverse left along bushy slabs to reach the corner.
Option 2--Twenty-five feet downhill from the start of Valentine's is a shallow, left-facing corner with a crack. Climb the crack until it is possible to traverse left along a narrow ledge to a prominent chickenhead. Mantle the chickenhead, then scramble to the base of the corner.
Option 3--Climb left out the undercling flake of Gritish Deal, past two bolts, then onto a right-angling crack at 5.10. From the stance above the crack, climb easy terrain to the base of the large corner.


Bring a standard LCC rack, with doubles in fingers to hands. **Small DMM Peenuts, a 00 or 0 TCU--a hybrid works particularly well here--protects the first bulge. The second pitch is long and involved, so be sure to bring plenty of long slings to protect your second! For the final pitch, we took a blue and a yellow TCU, four quickdraws for the bolts, and--though useful, but not necessary--a hand-sized cam. Rappel the route; from the first bolted belay, a single 60m will reach easy ground in the gully right of the start to Gimme Danger.
The route's second pitch, we believe, has been the scene of many thwarted attempts throughout the years; on our initial reconnaisance, we'd found hardware spanning nearly three decades--two rusted 3/8" stud bolts with Leeper hangers, a fixed straight-tapered Chouinard Stopper, several Chouinard and Chouinard-Salewa carabiners and two ancient fixed pins--a Clog LA from the 70s and a Chouinard Baby Angle--at the highpoint, just below the first crux. We also discovered a much more recent sign of passage--a #1 BD wired Hexentric with a bail 'biner, slotted behind a detached block, much lower on the route's second pitch.
The Ruckman guide's topo for the Dragon Arch shows a single bolt below the large roof; upon closer inspection of older Wasatch guidebooks--Thanks, Brian!--we found no mention of any reported activity there. Due to the extent of their wear--both bolts were badly oxidized, and the second, higher bolt protruded by nearly a 1/2"--and to the availability of solid gear within inches, we opted to remove both relics from the route. Their locations--both holes were drilled just below finger-sized cam placements--may also reveal the era during which they were placed. Nov 28, 2009
cool! Nov 30, 2009
bheller   SL UT
Great route! Bring loads of slings for the pitch that begins under the large roof- every piece of protection needs a sling- and I found myself placing lots of protection! Nov 30, 2009
Mega route. Feb 21, 2010
Ben Folsom
Ben Folsom  
Great route! Had a lot of fun on this climb. This newly established route will become a classic. Great line, position and movement. Jul 7, 2010
Sandy, UT
jasonk   Sandy, UT
“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”

Way to find this line, very cool. Jul 8, 2010
Spencer Weiler
Salt Lake city
Spencer Weiler   Salt Lake city
Really great route, very fun with many short crux sections followed by no hands rests. A #4 camalot protects the initial fist crack section, though you can bury a #3 camalot in the back as well. Am I missing something, or is the first crux bulge where Shingo suggests small Peenuts or tcus for pro now protected by a bomber bolt? I was happy it was there for sure. I did not place anything smaller than a blue tcu on this pitch. The exit moves past the horn before the anchor are awesome!
Another great .11 crack in LCC. Mar 17, 2013
Very much worth the hype! Pitch 1 is one of the best 5.10 pitches in the canyon. Highly varied, great gear with two nicely placed bolts. If you're a .10 leader, this is a must do. Don't be intimidated by the beginning wide crack as it's probably only 5.8 with a cool lip inside through most of it. And, you can rap from the top of this pitch with a single 70. I think this is way cooler than Mexican Crack - even though that is still a classic.
The last pitch was also super cool. I've seen a few of those layaway seams around and love the way this one kept giving and giving. Seems like getting into it was the business, then hanging on.
If you like this you'd love most of what you find at the East Gate. Climbs like:
Christopher of the Everglades
Negro Modello
Greying at the Routes
Vertical Horizons
and El Pipe Dream
Finally, if you like the last pitch you'd probably also like The 7th Way Nov 3, 2013
Mr. Hummus
SLC, Utah
Mr. Hummus   SLC, Utah
This is a great route. Especially pitches 2 and 3. Comparing pitch 1 to Mexican crack is a bit misleading. The 5.10 approach is definitely the way to go, but definitely not the highlight of the climb.
I personally though that pitch 3 was the crux of the route.
Also worth noting is that a standard LCC rack should suffice. I was expecting to be placing a bunch of small gear, but really no need to double up on the microcams.
With the recent trail improvements, getting to the Egg and Dragon arch is quick and easy. Apr 17, 2016
Tyler N
Salt Lake City, UT
Tyler N   Salt Lake City, UT
Messed up and left some gear...if anyone feels charitable let me know, if not I understand. Nov 19, 2017
Leroy Fielding
Salt Lake City, UT
Leroy Fielding   Salt Lake City, UT
Re: Bryce's comment - I climbed this last week and felt that while the flake was pretty spooky/hollow, it was definitely more solid towards the (climbers) left side. When climbing, I think you move fairly quickly from right to left on the flake and it does not warrant a trundle attempt. Will it last forever? Definitely not, but i think as of now it is solid enough. I'd say leave it as a jug. Oct 8, 2018