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Gold Wall

5.9, Trad, Alpine, 450 ft (136 m), 4 pitches, Grade II,  Avg: 2.3 from 16 votes
FA: Les Ellison & Chris Noble in1980
Utah > Wasatch Range > Central Wasatch > Lone Peak Cirque > S Summit Wall


Great route on excellent rock. Exciting traversing and route finding.

P 1 - Ascend a stepped right facing corner and finger crack for 140' to a belay.(5.9)

P 2 - Climb a beautiful hand crack. Traverse right under the first roof. Move up to the second roof and continue right around it to a hanging belay or continue higher to a narrow ledge. Great, improbable pitch. (5.9) Les at his best!

P3 - Follow ramps and corners leftward to a belay near the top. (5.7)

P4 - Scramble to the top. (5.5)


Hike up the talus to a point below the left side of the long roof above.


Standard rack, mostly small & medium cams, many runners.

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Looking up at the Gold Wall
[Hide Photo] Looking up at the Gold Wall

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Greg Gavin
[Hide Comment] Easy to link the last 2 pitches with one 60m rope. The 2nd pitch is the most unique I've done in the Wasatch. Beware of loose sections on pitch 3 and at the top out. Jul 8, 2012
Sam Cannon
Salt Lake City, UT
[Hide Comment] This page would benefit from a topo! I had a picture of the Ruckman topo and the MP description of the pitches. From a failed attempt at the route here's my take:

Finding P1 can be confusing if you just have the description here which lists the first pitch as a right facing corner. Climb up the gully (there was a finger of snow we had to work around) until you come to a bolt for the belayer. I'm pretty sure this marks the start of the route. Across from the bolt, on the wall, you'll see a small left facing corner. Climb this to get to a right facing corner comprised of a set of steps.

This is where I got off, I think. I was looking for a "beautiful handcrack" to mark the start of P2. I found a beautiful finger/tips crack below a huge/complex series of roofs just left of center on the wall. The tips crack looked hard, with a very sketchy, ill-protected traverse possibly going off to the right. It looked extremely committing with very little gear. I think I had gone too far up the right/corner staircase, and was maybe too far left on the wall. We bailed off a nut and some cordelette.

I could not see a "beautiful handcrack" anywhere. Perhaps it's been filled with plants/dirt?

Can someone PM me (or better yet, post here) and let me know if I was on route, or had gone too far? I'd really like to complete the route.
The circle on the left is more or less where we bailed, the circle on the right is a bolt with what looked like a rap ring on it that I was thinking maybe was part of the traverse
Jul 23, 2014
Sam Cannon
Salt Lake City, UT
[Hide Comment] As a followup, I was messaged by a friend who has climbed the route and it seems like I was on route. The bolt I circled on the right in the pic is for "Heart of Gold." It seems I was, in fact, on route, and that the traverse unfolds as you commit to it. My friend confirmed that the "hand crack" mentioned here and in the Ruckman guide is an inaccurate description. From what I could tell the crack leading up to the traverse was a clean fingers/tips crack.

Enjoy! Jul 24, 2014
[Hide Comment] I placed the single bolt in the approach gully in 2003. It does in fact mark the start of the route. Dec 4, 2021