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Routes in Squaw Peak

Squawstruck S 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Type: Sport, 1900 ft, 22 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Tristan Higbee, Thomas Gappmayer (T. Higbee w/ Christian Burrell earlier on lower pitches)
Page Views: 48,275 total, 553/month
Shared By: Tristan Higbee on Sep 21, 2010
Admins: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

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Description

For a much better printable (PDF) topo and the history of the route, go here.

Welcome to the world of sportaineering. Squawstruck goes right up the south face of Squaw Peak (also known as Squaw Mountain). The line isn’t the most direct in the world, and some ledges and short pitches could be considered a drawback, but the rock is mostly good, the climbing is great, and the route is long! The route is also remarkably sustained, with five 5.8 pitches, four 5.9 pitches, twelve 5.10 pitches, and one 5.11 pitch. I tried to keep the route 5.10 or under the whole way, and almost succeeded.

The route is entirely bolted; no trad gear is necessary. The climb is characterized by slightly less than vertical pitches punctuated by roofs, though there’s pretty much a bit of everything. There are several large ledges that interrupt the route. Some of them you can walk in your climbing shoes, but some you need to change back into your approach shoes for.

You’ll encounter a wide variety of limestone on the route, from a few choss sections to beautiful water-streaked loveliness. You’ll see rock of all colors, including light and dark gray, white, black, tan, red, orange, brown, and blue.

This route was over two years in the making. More than 2/3 of the bolts on the route are stainless. Every belay has at least two bolts and a nice ledge. Apart from 3 & 4 and 7 & 8, I wouldn’t recommend linking any pitches. Pitches 9 and 11 kind of suck, but everything else has good climbing. The whole route is south facing and gets a lot of sun. Winter is too cold and snowy, summer is too hot.

Pitch by pich beta

1) 5.10b, 110’, 13 bolts – Sharp slab to chossy roof. Turn roof on left side. Hollow jugs above roof. Some crimpy moves lead to easier climbing two a two bolt anchor (bolts don’t have chains).

2) 5.8, 75’, 8 bolts – Cross from the pillar/tower to the main wall via the “Leap of Faith” and clip the chain anchor (this is where you rappel from if rapping the route). Climb up easy terrain to a dihedral.

Unrope and scramble up easy 3rd class terrain up to the big, sloping ledge. Angle right after the scrambling. (Keep your climbing shoes on. It’s a short walk.) Pitch 3 stars in a shallow, chossy dihedral.

3) 5.9, 60’, 8 bolts – Make some mantle moves on chossy rock. The rock gets better shortly. Go to the right of the bush on some 5.9 moves and belay on a nice ledge.

4) 5.10b, 50’, 7 bolts – Nice slab leads to steep climbing over the left side of the roofs. Belay at a great ledge. (Can combine 3 & 4)

5) 5.9-, 60’, 8 bolts – Go right, then up through the “Frosted Flakes” and some beautiful white rock. Turn a roof before the belay on a ledge.

6) 5.10c, 105’, 10 bolts – Climb through a band of chossy rock to the first crux, then head right over a sandy brown roof (second crux). Belay (3 bolts) on giant ledge.

Move up and left to the base of the next pitch, which starts just left of the edge of the pillar (belay at a flat spot to the right of the pillar).

7) 5.10a, 95’, 9 bolts – Turn the roof and climb up jugs on good rock to the ledge.

8) 5.8 or 5.10a, 40’, 5 bolts – Go up and right. Carefully stand on very tip of pillar and make an interesting move (5.8 or 5.10a, depending on how you do it) to the belay (3 bolts). (Can combine 7 & 8)

Walk right a couple hundred feet to the base of the next buttress. Pitch 9 starts on a blunt arete to the right of a broad trough.

9) 5.8-, 110’, 11 bolts – Dirty climbing on somewhat suspect rock leads to a large, dirt-covered ledge. Belay at the base of the next section of cliff. Go right and then up at bolt 8, not straight up.

10) 5.10b, 75’, 9 bolts – Lots of slopers lead to a small roof. Funky climbing beyond the roof leads to a corner, then a layer of orange julius rock to the belay.

11) 5.8, 105’, 10 bolts – Go left on the ledge, then up past a couple shiny bolts to a ledge with a large pine tree. Head up steep part left of tree, then trend right to belay (hangers only).

Scramble up to flat spot and unrope. Put approach shoes on and head northwest uphill till you see a short red fixed rope. Scramble up short cliff band (using fixed line), then head up and left. You’ll see a dark cave/mine at the base of the next section of cliff. Aim for that, switchbacking your way up the slope to make it easier. Pitch 12 starts just right of the mine. The mine offers a nice respite from the sun.

12) 5.10c, 100’, 13 bolts – Thought-provoking slab climbing with a couple bulgy sections.

13) 5.10c/d, 100’, 13 bolts – Climb up the steep wall using the cracks to a ledge. Climb up the steep funky flaring chimney thing to a large, sloping belay ledge.

14) 5.11-, 50’, 9 bolts – Tan slab with horizontals leads to a corner, which leads to a roof. Enjoy the exposure, get a rest right before the roof (there are bolted variations to the left and right here, as I didn’t know which would be easier. The left one is easier and better, and the right can lead to a bigger pendulum fall. So go left.) and then make insecure, desperate moves to the belay. This belay (an exposed stance) is the worst on the route.

15) 5.10b, 60’, 7 bolts -- Climb up the face, then head into the corner to some guano-draped holds. At the roof, turn the arete to the right and face massive exposure as you crimp your way to the belay.

16) 5.10d, 50’, 7 bolts – Move the belay to two bolts 10 feet to the right. Climb up the very thin slab. Some balancy moves, some big moves. Hard pitch to read. Belay at 3 bolts .

Put approach shoes on. Go up the slope, using the fixed line if necessary, then head right along the base of the cliff. Continue right (east) a few hundred feet to a shallow, right-facing dihedral. There’s a 10’ length of rope attached to the first bolt, making it easier to see.

17) 5.9, 90’, 10 bolts – Climb the dihedral and pass a couple bulges to the belay.

18) 5.10c/d, 110’, 14 bolts – Long pitch with 3 cruxes. Make some burly moves to a big pocket, then more burly climbing leads up and left, left, left. The whole pitch angles left significantly.

19) 5.10c, 75’, 10 bolts – Thin slab leads up and left to beautiful rock and then back right on desperate and tricky holds.

20) 5.8, 100’, 9 bolts – The “Marble Slab” pitch. Climb up a steepish section, then enjoy the sweet slab with cool rock to the next belay.

21) 5.9+, 105’, 12 bolts – Thin holds over a less-than-stellar roof make you wish you were at the top already.

22) 5.10, 90’, 10 bolts – Keep climbing up then right over some roofs with depressingly small holds.

Unrope here and scramble up 30’ to the summit of Squaw Peak.

Descent

Option 1: Hike the great Squaw Peak trail back down to Rock Canyon (4.2 miles). This is the fastest, easiest, and best option. From the summit of Squaw Peak, walk north. After 50 feet or so, the trail becomes well defined. Follow this for a couple miles back down to the main trail that goes up Rock Canyon, then follow that trail down canyon to the parking lot.

Option 2: Make 19 rappels (walk around pitches 9, 10, and 11 to the west) with one 70m rope down the route. From 18, rappel straight down to a 3 bolt rappel station, then another rappel to the large ledge b/t 16 and 17. Rappelling the route is the slowest and worst option. I HIGHLY recommend taking the trail down.

Location

The route starts on the lowest point of the limestone, up a tower/pillar.

Option 1: Hike up Rock Canyon. After 10 or 15 minutes, you’ll come to a green gate at a climbing area known as The Kitchen. A few minutes past the gate, you’ll come to a really big limestone boulder on the left side of the trail (this is just past the climbing area called PA’s Mother). Cross the seasonal stream in front of this boulder to a campsite on the opposite side of the stream. Locate a horizontal concrete thing and follow the trail over that. This leads to some scree slopes (not bad; the rocks are large and stable). Trend left toward the right side of a ridge, but don’t go onto the ridge top. Instead, switchback your way up through the thin brush to the right of the ridge. Once you’re almost level with the lowest point of the limestone to your right, cut right across a couple talus slopes to the start of the route.

Option 2: Hike up the talus gully between The Appendage and PA’s Mother until you gain the ridge top. Follow the ridge up and then head right to the start of the route.

Protection

12 quickdraws
4 24” slings w/biners
Whatever slings & biners you need for belays
1 70 m rope
Helmets
No trad gear needed

Photos

kalockwood
SLC, UT
  5.11a
kalockwood   SLC, UT
  5.11a
Lots of comments on this thread but I'll add my twist on the route:

Climbed on 10/22/17, high of 62 and sunny. Good temps for the route. Brought 34 draws, two microtraxions, and a 35m rope. Simul-climbed most of the route. Climbed in 8 blocks (1-2, 3-6, 7-8, 9-11, 12-14, 15-16, 17-19, 20-22). Fun route. ~30 min for the approach, ~5.5 hrs climbing, ~1 hr back down. 7:22 car-to-car.

Hanger on pitch 22 is still missing. Consider replacing with a glue-in, or add some epoxy or loctite to keep the nut on. The climbing isn't too hard near the bolt, it's just a little heady. The nut and washer are missing in addition to the hanger, does anyone know the thread on those bolts? 3/8-16?

Oct 22, 2017
My buddy and I did this yesterday -- because we are total-dumbs we:

(1) parked at the wrong parking lot (over by the soccer field rather than at the canyon entrance) and wandered our way into the canyon
(2) failed at our alpine start goal (left car at 11am)
(3) walked up the scree field, then went 'left toward the ridge' near the top, then barely went any higher before traversing back right to the base ... if there is a good way up by hanging to the left, would recommend.
(4) endured an epic route finding fail at top of pitch 2 ... You are supposed to go "RIGHT" to the base of pitch 3 -- we didn't check the topo and saw a cairn off to the left at the base of the same formation which seemed like it ... No ... in fact -- this is definitely a 'different' way up the same formation than the normal pitches 3-8 ... An -- epically -- horribly -- different way. Thinking we were in the right place, I tried to link pitches 3/4 on this other route. I kept thinking 'jeez these two pitches seem long, I guess the anchors must be just passed that next bolt' -- and 'wow I sure have a lot of rope drag, I wonder how people link these pitches' -- until I ran out of rope with epic rope drag and belayed off a single bolt at an awkward ledge ... The topo for pitch 3 describes loose rock at the bottom that gets better as you go up -- this definitely does not apply to the alternative route we did. The alternate line goes up via some of the worst and scariest choss I've ever climbed. We topped out to the left of pitch 8 at a precarious looking diving board rock in three pitches -- one 70m+ pitch with a fair amount of loose work to a bolt (not recommended), one shortish pitch on very loose rock to reach the second anchor, and another normal length pitch on very loose rock with some harder sections that were scary given quantity of loose rock...

We rested for a good long while at top of pitch '8' and contemplated our lives -- the loose sections on the rest of the route felt rather bomber by comparison ... we ended up climbing everything after the crux pitch by headlamp but we did finish! I'd rather not say the time we got back to car in a public forum ;0 -- this route gave us a very long, intense adventure day!

Does anybody know or done the route to the left of pitches 3-8? Oct 13, 2017
Climbed this yesterday (10/7/2017). Hanger on pitch 22 still missing. It is the bolt right at the roof move. Fall would be very dangerous, would not recommend climbing unless you are very comfortable leading in the 5.11 range (route is only a 10- but because you are on the last pitch and your fingers are likely angry with you, the route will feel harder, your mindset will not be as strong, etc. . . It is a dangerous fall) Oct 8, 2017
Guy McAtee 1  
 
Climbed with Austin. 7am start and 5:30pm top-out. Not sure how but we got lost for one hour in between 11 and 12. We didn't see a red fixed rope as mentioned in the topo. The route is in great condition. I ate one peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the route, saved one for the top. Route wasn't as chossy as I thought it would be (still wear a helmet.)
All of the pitches were well bolted; if you can link 14 and 15 you would save yourself from the awkward belay (I felt I was standing on the jug where the follower needed to grab) but you would need to be pretty strong to link 14 and 15 clean. Oct 2, 2017
Austin Hancock
Provo, UT
  5.11c
Austin Hancock   Provo, UT
  5.11c
SUCH a sick route. Pitches 1-11 were all pretty cruiser. 9-11 were sub-par but totally worth doing!

We ended up onsighting the whole route, but we both felt the upper pitches were harder than the original ratings let off. Maybe all of the traffic hasn't been nice to the rock over the years.

Hardest pitches were 13, 14, 16, 18, 19 and a few of them felt like they were in the 5.11 range.

The hanger on pitch 22 is still missing and the move to the next bolt is actually pretty freaky. Luckily my partner Guy led that one because I would have been tripping. I've never bolted anything before, but I'm willing to pay for a new hanger and any other equipment needed to replace the bolt. Email me at austinhhancock@gmail.com and I'll hike up with you, rap off, and help replace it.

We drank a ton of water the day before and each brought 2 liters of water for the climb. I ran out at the top of pitch 19 but it wasn't a big deal. Weather was really nice and we were feeling really good except for our toes were hurting from being in the shoes for so long.

Overall, we spent about 9 hours actually climbing. We didn't link any of the pitches. We also got lost for like an hour after pitch 11 so that sucked. It was a sick day that required a lot of try-hard! Amazing to get to climb something like this so close to home. Oct 1, 2017
Erik Yde
Salt Lake City, Utah
  5.11
Erik Yde   Salt Lake City, Utah
  5.11
Climbed this on Sept 26th. Bolt on the roof of pitch 22 is still missing. Not the hardest move but after a long exhausting day I was too scared and had to follow it. Falling doing the crux move without the bolt would lead to a less than fun deck. Amazing fun and adventurous route. Sep 27, 2017
Climbed this September 8th.

The bolt hanger protecting the last roof (P22) is missing.

It's long. It was hot. P14 has one hard move. P16 has several less hard moves. P18 has some bouldery moves. The scramble up to P1 and the hike out were my least favorite parts.

We found lunching in the shade of some trees after P8 more refreshing than that nasty cave. Sep 11, 2017
Alex Temus
Small Town, USA
  5.11c
Alex Temus   Small Town, USA
  5.11c
Came back to the route in May and did the full thing. What a route! Still blown away that a route like this exists, and that it's so accessible. Thank you, thank you.

While the upper pitches obviously haven't been climbed as often as the first 8, there still isn't much choss compared to other multi-pitch routes. Bring a helmet, but I think I knocked off more choss on Open Book (Lone Peak) which has been climbed hundreds of times, than I did on this. It really isn't bad.

We simul-climbed the first 13 pitches (brought about 23 draws), then linked a few of the easier pitches after that, but the climbing does get tougher. Still felt like P14 was the crux. The biggest surprise to me was just how thrashed your skin can get after pulling on that much (relatively) untouched rock in just a few hours! By the end of the climb I had 4 or 5 flappers and had just worn through the outer layers of skin on the rest of my fingertips. BRING TAPE! (It may also help you if you rip your favorite old shoes on pitch 10...)

Such a sick route. Nothing quite like it! Aug 1, 2017
orbitalis
Highland, UT
  5.11
orbitalis   Highland, UT
  5.11
This is an epic piece of work... major kudos to Tristan Higbee for establishing this route. I thought I'd just give a few comments for others, just things I noted from my one-time perspective. First, the fact that this route exists at all is incredible, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to do it based on Higbee's work. It is an epic adventure for sure, and a few sections were really spectacular climbing. All the remaining comments should be qualified by the fact that we did this route on a hot day in July with fortunate cloud cover moving in after noon to cool things off a little.

I felt pitch 14 was basically one move of exposed easy 5.11, but I felt like there were quite a few sections on several of the upper 5.10c-d pitches that were noticeably harder than this (maybe just because I was seeing the routes for the first time and couldn't figure out better beta, or because of my particular climbing strengths and weaknesses). But just to compare to another nearby popular 5.11, the edges above the roof on License to Thrill are much better than many, many edges I had to use on these 5.10s (and without any of the nice pockets or fun gymnastic moves). Because the rock is so sharp there were generally small but ok foot placements, but sometimes it felt pretty blank or it felt like small holds were on the verge of breaking off but there was no choice but to trust them. There were many climbs in the upper half that would have felt true to grade except for one or two moves that felt harder. I do think if given the chance to work the routes or do them without exhaustion/dehydration they would probably feel more true to the given grade.

The first half (11 pitches) felt pretty easy, and we linked several pitches to go fast (I think we did it all in 16 pitches, yet even still it took almost all day (over 12 hours, though we rested from the heat for over an hour, and we were pretty slow and exhausted at the end). Notably, at the half-way point we rested in the shade of the cave and felt great, so be aware the top half takes way more out of you than the bottom half. We also linked a couple pitches in the upper half, but the upper half felt *significantly* harder right from the beginning of pitch 12. Pitch 12-13 felt sharp and pumpy, which takes your energy for the next hard pitches. Maybe because we linked pitches 14-15, pitch 15 felt more like 10+/11- than 10b (it’s possible holds have broken from other comments, but regardless I'm still glad we linked them since the belay is not ideal at the top of 14). Pitch 14 (the 5.11) actually had some of the nicest holds on the whole route. Pitches 18-19 on the last wall also felt near 5.11, very thin, technical, sharp, slightly overhung at parts, and balancy, but at certain easier parts they had interesting holds. Overall pitches 15, 16, 18, and 19 all felt harder than pitch 14, but we were miserably dehydrated from the heat so who knows. Most of the routes depend on thin and super sharp crimps or pokey slopey crimps that will shred fingertips, and I felt like I was looking around finding less than good holds and quite non-obvious holds even on some easier 5.10s, so, needless to say, lots of "outdoor" technique is needed, not like indoor climbing. Certainly the upper half climbing was much thinner, sharper, steeper, harder, more technical, chossier, and exposed than the lower half.

The very last 5.10 pitch is an easier 5.10 (maybe 10a considering that it didn’t feel too hard despite our exhaustion… but definitely depends on some small holds at the crux), but there is a very slight theoretical possibility that if you fell around the crux at the overhang (leading or following) you could become suspended in the air under the roof and unable to reach the rock (so maybe worth throwing prussik cords in your pack, but I don’t think anyone has had this problem, just noting the possibility). Rappeling off from any place above pitch 12 would probably not be a trivial task and would require a bit of work to navigate down some steep diagonally angled routes, so the upper pitches can be fairly committing (esp because it's a lot faster to just get to the top and hike out than try to descend and route find all that steep rock late in the day, but if you get too exhausted and can't finish the route you won't have a choice), and I'd recommend headlamps just in case you get slow up there and night falls on you, or even just for the hike back through the trees.

The route felt quite safe in terms of bolting (esp lower half with very abundant bolting). It might be convenient to add a third anchor bolt on some of the smaller exposed belays where things get crowded, so maybe someday if I get a chance I would do that. I'd recommend at bare minimum 2 liters of water per person and ideally as much as you can carry on these grades of climbing, because we were desperately thirsty and dehydrated by the top (although again it was july). Falcons are also definitely nesting up there, with younglings flying around us and adults squawking at us even in july, so I imagine climbing this in spring (march through june) would not be a good idea for that reason. I think it's worth mentioning that a lot of this route is rough rock, especially on the upper half, and we knocked down rocks in quite a few places, so as others have said, definitely wear helmets.

As for how to train for this, I guess I'd say try to train on small sharp slopey chossy edges with technical moves and rough smeary nubbins, maybe climb 100' of it a dozen times in a row with a pack on until your fingers are beyond shredded haha. There were also a few times where I remember doing a pullup or mantle move on a ledge with minimal feet. And of course safe, fast, and efficient multipitch experience with good weather will help you successfully complete the route. Cheers! Jul 23, 2017
DRyan
Elko, NV
 
DRyan   Elko, NV
 
A great route for an early spring day. Late March, 55 degrees, sunny, and a light breeze felt perfect once the sun hit the first pitch around 9:30 am.

Car to car in 11 hours with a casual pace all around. A bit of a heinous walk off through deep snow and muddy trail, but almost certainly still preferable to rapping the the beast.

Climbed thirteen total pitches with a 60 meter rope by linking 3+4, 5+6, 7+8, 13+14, 18+19, and 20+21. We opted to skip pitches 9-11 by walking around. 22 draws total with 10 alpine and the occasional skipped bolt.

Key beta: the state liquor stores close at 7 so if you want full strength beer make it down by then or arrive prepared.

Overall good fun and well worth doing, especially with the novelty factor. Mar 31, 2017
Eric Rydzo
Salt Lake City
  5.11-
Eric Rydzo   Salt Lake City
  5.11-
Great route. Climbed last Sunday in perfect 70 degree weather. Feels like a classic due to how much work and hardware went into the FA. Kudos Tristan!

This climb is so well bolted there is little risk as long as you have an attentive belayer. Toughest pitches for us were 14 (one move wonder just before the chains), 16 (very technical!), 18 (loved the roof start), 19 (great technical section over a bulge), and pitch 22 (only challenge here is pulling over the chaucy roof after a long day). We climbed car-to-car in under 11 hours.

Tips:
-Link as many pitches as possible and bring runners to reduce drag. Pitches 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 15-16, 20-21 are particularly easy to link-up
-Bring lots of water and some snacks if you do not regularly on-sight 5.11+. Apart from one another the individual pitches are not hard, but the rock pulling & hiking adds up by the end of the day
-Hike around pitches 9 to 11. It is a moderately easy straight hike and will cut 1.5+ hours from your day
--Pitch 12 begins AT THE CAVE. Not sure if anyone else had this problem. But we didn't realize the cave was the start of the climb and went a little left at first.
-Don't turn around at pitch 8 like most people do. If you are feeling strong and have water, go for the top! Oct 17, 2016
hanger on pitch 15 replaced Sep 26, 2016
Logan Bradford
Springville, UT
  5.11-
Logan Bradford   Springville, UT
  5.11-
The hanger on pitch 15 is now fixed. Owen Witesman and I had brought one up with us, but the party right behind us was moving faster than we were, so we gave it to them to put up. It was plated steel, and I completely forgot to look at the bolt to see if it was plated or stainless steel. Someone more knowledgeable than I am should take a look at it and make sure we didn't mix metals. It's the bolt of pitch 15 right before you go around the corner, out of the chimney-like feature, and back out onto the face.

Both of us are solid 5.10/11a climbers and those last few pitches (18-22) were an absolute trial for us. After pitches 14-16, we were pretty spent. Don't climb this if the high is above 80* in the valley. The high was 76* the day we did it and I would NOT have wanted it one degree warmer than it was.

Highlight pitches: 4,6,13,14,15,18,19,21,22
We skipped pitches 9-11 and just walked around. Seemed worth it, given their descriptions.

I completely disagree with the few people above who ragged on the route: it may not have perfect rock the entire way up, but there are some pitches that are absolute classics (those being among the ones I mentioned above). The fact that this route is even bolted/possible is HUGE, and we owe INCREDIBLE gratitude to Tristan and the others who helped him with this route. If you're a Utah climber, and especially if you're a Utah Valley climber, this is absolutely a must-do. Sep 18, 2016
Got up to the missing hanger and just couldn't get around the roof without the hang soooooo fail! We sure were sad to turn around and that walk off was a struggle! But 15 pitches was a ton of fun! Can't wait to finish this project when someone smarter and more prepped puts a replacement hanger on there! Big thanks to Tristan for bolting this MONSTER of a route! Sep 3, 2016
Great tour, really exhausting! For us, the crux Pitch wasn't the 5.11a but a slab after that. Maybe just hard to onsight. Furthermore, we couldn't follow the description of the approach at the beginning of the loose Rock section. Do you really have to scramble up the ugly debris field to get to the climb? Aug 16, 2016
grog m aka Greg McKee  
  5.11-
40 draws (14 alpine draws were amazing to have)
70 meter rope
3 liters of water, 1 liter of gatorade, three protein bars(fine)
Did it July 3rd - it was sunny and hot but we arent idiots so we wore lots of suncreen and drank a lot the day before - didnt even get sunburned.
Triple linked some pitches, double linked most others
Choss factor 5/10 - not as bad as expected
Hardest moves were on 16 - very thin slab
Overall - bottom half of the route has 5.10 moves but not sustained. Top half of the route is very sustained pitches of 5.10 and the fatigue made it tough. It was a GREAT ADVENTURE - maximum fun.

Found the old summit flag around the top of 16 - before the final block of pitches. It was laying on the scree/hill still attached to the iron rod from the summit. We used our nut tools to take the flag off of the pole because we couldn't leave Old Glory laying in the dirt!!! The pole is still on the hillside. I will post a pic if I remember. Jul 3, 2016
Bart Kensinger
Salt Lake City, Utah
  5.11-
Bart Kensinger   Salt Lake City, Utah
  5.11-
Thanks to the equipper. What a hero. I'd like to know the dollar amount; my partner and I estimated about 2 grand. The bolts are all brand new, safe, and mostly very close together.

The climbing is generally ledgy and slabby, and punctuated by roofs. Wear helmets. Some football sized rock fall blew by us on some of the earlier pitches.

My beta is that the first half of the routes the ratings seem a little soft grade-wise, but they stiffen up for the second half. I also agree with previous comments about the ratings on the second half. Pitch 16 definitely seemed to be 5.11 thin and a very desperate. The crux pitch seemed a little easier. Pitch 18 and 19 were probably the next two hardest (maybe we were wiped out).

There is still a hanger missing on the pitch right after the crux pitch. Who would do that? I'll give you a hanger if you are going to climb it (just message me). It's hard to see where the route goes from there because you can't see the bolts above from the missing hanger. However if you know this, just go for it and pull the mantle. The next bolt is not far up on the left, you just can't see it from below.

All in all this is a great route. I'm so tired.

Thanks Tristan,
Bart Jun 1, 2016
Cameron Lucker
  5.11-
Cameron Lucker  
  5.11-
Finally got on this thing yesterday. What a sick climb!! This is about as much adventure you could ever have while still sport climbing.

To comment on the missing bolt hanger on pitch 15, I found some of the comments on here to be a bit misleading. Granted, I did not lead this particular pitch. However, my partner and I both agreed that the missing bolt hanger does not pose much of a threat. My partner was still clipping the next bolt with his feet just past the previous bolt, despite the missing bolt hanger. Once you pull around the roof and are on secure holds again, the next bolt is within reach. Sure, the fall could be a little awkward, but it would likely lead to a 10-15 foot fall on average. You are 4-5 bolts up on the most exposed pitch of the entire climb, so there is zero deck potential. Perhaps how well bolted every other crux is on the rest of the climb makes this section a bit more spooky. Have an attentive belayer, rest up if needed before going for it, but don't be too intimidated by it. It's nothing to worry about if you've made it to this point. May 30, 2016
RobMcV  
Is the pitch 15 hanger still missing?

Edit- hanger still missing on pitch 15. Take a tool to tighten nuts as well as a bolt and hanger for this particular bolt. I would say all the pitches rated 10c/d through the "11" pitch are all roughly the same. The meat of the climb is 14-top. We had a nice cloudy day, didn't rush and sent it car to car in 9 hours. I haven't seen this mentioned so I will say it... Make sure and protect your second on the pitches that meander. You can back clean draws easily but doing so can set your second up for some really crappy swings.

All in all a great route. If you don't want to bring a hanger for pitch 15 just know that's a no fall zone. Apr 28, 2016
jackson marvell
lindon utah
jackson marvell   lindon utah
Paul Robertson and I simuled it today. 25 minutes for the approach 2:38 minutes for the climbing 40 minutes to run back to the car. Car to car we clocked in at 3 hours and 43 minutes. We took 45 quick draws and a liter of water each. Feb 25, 2016
Climbed Squawstruck on September 5, 2015…67-74 F, no precipitation, half cloud cover, 40mph winds gusting to 50mph

Timing: Left car at 6:00am, started Pitch1 at 6:30am, finished Pitch 11 at 10:30 pm, reached summit at 6:30 pm, 12 hours of climbing

We linked pitches 3 & 4, 5 & 6, but not 7 & 8 due to rope drag, and not 14 & 15 due to difficult, scary climbing.

Pitch Ratings
- Pitch 1-11: ratings made sense. Recommend just skipping 9-11 and walking around.
-Pitch 14: scary exposed, desperate move makes its 5.11a. Leader had to take off backpack to wedge in. Looked like it could be climbed around to the right to stay on arete and skip belay ledge, but that looked too hard for us.
Pitch 15: Missing bolt at roof is still missing and is a serious danger. Forces 30’ of runout climbing on 5.11 moves with slippery feet as you come out from under roof. I am willing to head up there with anyone who has the ability to fix that bolt, it should be fixed before someone gets hurt though!
Pitch 16: Agree with Brennan "NOT 5.10d. This pitch is easily 5.11a/b. Also, bolts on the sharp thin slab of this pitch should have been closer.” I would have rated it mid-to hard 5.11. Maybe holds have broken off, maybe I was tired?
-Pitch 18: most quality route on the climb.
- Pitch 19: Agree with Brennan, its 5.11a for sure.
- Roofs of Pitch 22: Why the hell does the route randomly veer off to the right to try and hit some random ugly roofs? Pitch should just go straight up to avoid long runout, awkward falls, and ugly climbing. At least that should be an option.

Are you strong enough?
I can usually on-sight 5.10’s in Rock Canyon, but begin to struggle in the hard 5.10 range. I can rarely redpoint mid-5.11. My buddy (who climbs about the same grade) and I got on the climb just to see what it was like for a future attempt at finishing it. We believed we would bail at pitch 8 or 11. The first 11 pitches went by so fast and felt comfortable enough for us, that we decided to keep going an made it to the top.

If you are like me and cannot insight 5.11, then this may be an epic battle for you!! It was for me. The second half of the climb got a whole lot harder than the first half. Never really felt exposure until pitches 14 and 15, and didn’t really feel it after that due to the ledginess of the climb. The high winds made it very scary there though… I kept getting blown off my stances! It would be extremely difficult to bail by rappelling down the route after pitch 12. From anchors on 13, it would be difficult to get back to anchors on 12, and it gets increasingly difficult as you continue up. Commit or not by the mine (halfway point)!!

If you have the endurance of an old fat man like me, expect to feel like you are going to fall on 5.8 by the top. At some point your mind just has to be stronger than your body and you must keep pushing on. If you have strength and endurance, then it might not be such an epic climb for you.

Gratitude

Thank you to Tristan for this beautiful climb!! Well done. Any chance you’d be willing to bolt a direct variation to the last pitch so climbers can go straight up? Sep 8, 2015
Jeff Jones
Elk Ridge, UT
Jeff Jones   Elk Ridge, UT
So my daughter and I decided to do the first 8 pitches of this route having heard good things. We were in the parking lot at 5:45 in the hopes of getting up there and most of the climbing done before it got hot. She leaves for school this week and there was no other time to do it.

Got to the base of the route and started climbing. After clipping the 8th bolt, I went to make my move to get up to the next ledge. I stepped on a seemingly good rock which immediately broke away. I am guessing a microwave sized rock or slightly smaller. I panic'd as I saw the rock heading straight for my daughters head. I consider this a miracle it did not hit her in the head. It stranded me on the climb as it also cut my rope on the way down.

In short, this chossy section is still loose. I would appreciate it if anyone climbs this route and finds my eight quick draws on it. I can be reached at 801.504.6235. Be super careful when climbing this route. Maybe I just drew the short straw but it is going to be a while before I can even think of attempting this again. Aug 15, 2015
Nate Muncy
Thornton, CO
  5.11
Nate Muncy   Thornton, CO
  5.11
Pitch 15 is still missing a hangar, right after the roof.

Pitch 16 was the crux for me, and I thought the big roof on pitch 22 was the red-point crux, I was a little tired for those moves.

Very comfortable bolting, I skipped many.

Did roughly 10 pitches in my approach shoes, there is plenty of friction.


Long day, good rock, fun with friends. May 31, 2015
Eli Peterson   Orem
If repelling do not combine pitches, especially if solo! I camped on top and had planned to repel down in the morning to check out the condition of the route before climbing it sometime in the upcoming couple weeks. Skipping a pitch left me in a very dangerous situation that I was very lucky to get out of. I ended up having to leave my rope hanging from the 15th pitch. I will retrieve it as soon as the snow stops, it is a green 70m rope.

While repelling I also noticed that I believe pitch 15? There is one hanger missing. The bolt is still there and in solid shape but the hanger and nut is missing. I will try to replace next time I am up there. Besides that all the bolts and anchors look great on the part I saw (second half of the climb) Feb 26, 2015
Ryan Arnold
  5.11b
Ryan Arnold  
  5.11b
Long and fun day. 11 hours car-to-car. Nice route onsight by Derrick!

Pitch 14: "one move wonder" 11a maybe, but it's a BURLY and reachy move. The rest of the pitch is like 5.7 so you pack it all into that corner move.

Pitch 15: Hard 5.10 climbing with the bolt hanger missing at the crux.

Pitch 16: I wouldn't link this with 15 again. First time through, it felt 11d or harder. Very similar to the vertical slab crux on Stretchmarks (12a) in AF. Maybe 11b if you know every hold and have it wired. No chalk on there. Ledgefall potential, especially with ropedrag from pitch 15.

Pitch 19: A crux pitch for me. Hard 10+ traverse moves.

Pitch 22: Awesome icing on the cake! Exposed roof pulling that felt 10b if you commit.

A late winter ascent was perfect, 40-60 degrees the whole time. Around 2L each of water. No way would I try this in 70+ degrees. Wouldn't want to try it with a partner who can't onsight 11a or harder. I onsight 11c and was definitely the weaker of the two of us.

Dropped my blue jacket on the approach. If you get to it first, please message me!

Great effort by the FA team! Feb 9, 2015
With some effort toward speed we just did car to car in 8:08 (about 5.5 hours on route). 11 pitches (two sets of triple links, and we should have done a third), a tiny bit of jogging the descent, futsing with my five-finger socks... I'd like to see some folks go for the speed record; let's start a friendly competition. This was our second time on the route; my first weighed in at 15 hours. Our breezeless day of 55 degrees was superb. Oct 29, 2014
choppinBolts  
 
Props on the night ascent, that sounds cool.

My opinion on this climb, its over rated. It rains rock fall and is over bolted. The folks who put this up did a great job and worked hard, but I have never had to be so mindful of z-clipping. They could have done this safely with way fewer bolts. This is definitely an adventure, but its less than amazing in terms of rock quality and aesthetics of the line. Sep 12, 2014
Landon McBrayer
Salt Lake City, UT
 
Landon McBrayer   Salt Lake City, UT
 
We climbed this route Friday the 13th (spooky!) in June, at night under a full moon with cool temps (50s-60s). Perfect conditions. A few comments that might supplement what others have said:

(i) Climbing at night was glorious. This wall bakes in the sun ALL day, and the sun will drain your energy even if it's chilly. We got on the route at 1.30 AM and topped out at 9.30 AM; the sun didn't touch us until pitch 18. You'll also be able to carry less water and still stay fully hydrated if you climb at night.

(ii) We linked pitches in the same way that Eric Mercer did (see above comment). This drops the pitch count to 14, and nicely breaks up the difficulties between you and your partner if you're swinging leads the whole way. Doing so much linking was surprisingly easy; there was a little rope drag here and there, but nothing worth avoiding. I would, however make one change to the links: don't link 18+19 (18 traverses hard left, and 19 is vertical to rightward trending, so the drag was a bit much). Instead, I'd do this next time: 17, 18, 19+20, 21+22. The pitch count would still be 14 and the drag eliminated. All the other linked pitches were smooth and natural.

(iii) Pitch 14 has a tricky spot, but it's truly a one-move wonder. Pitch 16 is the crux for sure.

(iv) I wore a pair of comfy Mythos (with socks!), and I didn't need to remove them once. So, wear comfy shoes and leave the approach shoes in the bottom of your bag. The ledges and traverses aren't nearly as big/long as I was expecting them to be.

(v) We found the listed grades to be a little wonky (e.g., expect to find one 10c to be significantly easier or hard than the last/next). Also, there isn't a single slab move on this climb, so ignore the description of a few pitches as being slabs. They're not.

(vi) There are bits of good stone here and there, but the rock quality is generally poor throughout. Given the nature of the rock, this isn't the kind of thing that will be eliminated with more traffic. There is just loose choss everywhere, and pulling holds will just expose another layer of choss. That being said, I think this climb is definitely worth doing simply because of the position, length, and general environs. After a few pitches the poor rock quality becomes an afterthought.

Overall, a nice, worthy outing. Jun 14, 2014
Climbed it in 14 pitches with 20 draws (35 minutes approach via Appendage gully, 7 hours on the climb, 2 hours to get down via the trail). Here is the link up:

1,
2,
3+4,
5+6,
7+8,
9+10,
11 (weird),
12,
13+14,
15+16 (last 2-3 bolts sparse on hands/feet, stay left),
17,
18+19 (tricky start for me),
20+21,
22

All the pitches are well protected, so it was not unusual to comfortably skip bolts or back clean. Pitches 12 through 22 are very enjoyable, and the longer linked up climbs are very isolating and peaceful.

I would rate many pitches down at least one full grade putting the climb at 5.10 b/c. Thank you Tristan for this Rock Canyon legacy. Jun 2, 2014
Joe Forrester
Palo Alto
 
Joe Forrester   Palo Alto
 
Went ctc in 14.5 hours on this on 5/18. Temps were 80s in Provo, and it was pretty pleasant on the climb, but we started early. Had 3.5L per person.

We climbed it in 16 pitches with a 70m. Linked 1+2, 3+4+5, 7+8, 10+11, and 14+15. I brought 24 draws/slings and I didn't have to skip many bolts while linking.

The upper pitches are more sustained and don't lend themselves quite as well to linking although I would bet 19+20 could be linked without too much work.

The rock isn't that loose on the actual climbing, plus there are ton of bolts. Quite an effort to bolt that thing!

Also, on the last pitch. There is a bolt under the last roof that is loosening up a bit. Might be worthwile to rap in from the top and replace that one....

As of 5/18, the summit register was no where to be found.....

While the climbing itself isn't spectacular, a route this long so close to suburbia is pretty wild. A logistical achievement for sure.

J May 19, 2014
Isabeau Pratte
On the road thru Idaho, Uta…
Isabeau Pratte   On the road thru Idaho, Uta…
Climbed April 22. Long and sustain climb, can't believe we reach the summit yaa! Hardest pitches in the second half. Awkward 11th pitch? Great exposed roof on the last pitch when you're totally exausted but the rush of adrenaline keeps you psyched. Long day but worth it. Easy walk to come back, it took us 1h30. Total time on the wall 12h30. Total climbing day duration with scrambling approach walk and back : 15h. Sharp limestone though. Bring at least 14 draws. May 5, 2014
Tim Moore  
 
So we climbed the first 8 pitches today and it was only low 70s with some clouds every now and then and still very hot. It sucks the energy right outta ya. Great climbing though. Not too hard at all. The route is generously rated on the hard side in my opinion. It's definitely over bolted but they are their for you if you need them. Thanks for all the efforts. We link pitches 3/4, 5/6, and 7/8 with a 70m and much left over to spare. Route was very clean didn't pull off any rocks or anything that I can remember. The hardest part is getting up to the dang thing. We turned left at the large boulder and went up the shoot which is still ahrd but much easier then going by the Bulge route area way. Also, I would highly not recommend the walk off after pitch 12 or so. Only do this if you have no other choice because it is very long, very steep, very loose, and no trail basically. Great day on the rock with some awesome views and great exposure. Definitely a must do. May 3, 2014
jspitzer  
 
First-off, Thank you Tristan and FA team for all your hard work making this route take place. Pretty cool line up Squaw Peak. It's amazing to climb 22 pitches with only a 45min approach and a really nice mellow hike down. Tristan's Topo was very accurate and perfectly described.

We climbed this on Sept 20th. It was forecasted to be 80F in Provo with some clouds. However it was still very hot on the route and no clouds came in. I wouldn't recommend climbing this unless it is in the 60-70's in Provo.

We linked several pitches as mentioned above in comments doing a total of 17 pitches. If you want to link pitches bring 12-14 quickdraws and 6-8 alpine draws.

Pitch 16 referred to in Tristan's topo was defiantly the crux. Possibly some hand holds have broken off over the years?

I didn't find the rock to be loose at all on route. Way less loose then the Central Spur on NW Face of Dromedary or any route in the Dolomites.

We started at 8:30am and back at the car at 4:30pm. Great training day in the Wasatch and highly recommend this route! Sep 23, 2013
CalmAdrenaline
SL,UT
  5.10d
CalmAdrenaline   SL,UT
  5.10d
Did this yesterday in 10 hours, super cool route, the traverses got kind of old but what gives? Honestly thought the rock was pretty damn good most of the time with only a few small sections of chossy garbage.

There are a few spots where bolt placement left me scratching my head, a few bolts that invariably position the biners in a crossloading situation, and a grip too many slammed into the summit blocks, which may or may not have been the FA party.

Next time definitely not in August in a black shirt and helmet. If you decide to, and even if its in shoulder seasons, I would highly reccomend a camel back or more than 2 nalgenes. Dehydration is a bitch. Aug 19, 2013
Chris Doobtrain
Sandy, Utah
Chris Doobtrain   Sandy, Utah
If you think you've got a lot of stamina, put it to the test! I sure thought I did, and I screamed my way through the last few pitches. Managed my FA in May and ate a heinous amount of Clif bars along the way. Bring more water than you think you will need (you can always pour it out to lose weight) and WEAR A HELMET! I was hit several times in the helmet with small rocks and avoided many. Its way CHOSSY but that's to be expected on this large of a limestone climb. Also, take the hike down. Its much more mellow and faster than the rap.
Aug 9, 2013
jzp
Pleasant Grove
jzp   Pleasant Grove
On 6/15 we did the first 11 pitches it took 7 hours.
started first pitch at 6:30 (45 min lot to p1)
p6 has 13 bolts not 10
linked p7 & p8
I do not like p 11
hiked off to the west, i think i lead us astray somewhere and ended up in the scrub oak... 2 hours hike down
i drank 6 liters of water (2 3 liter camelbaks)
nice weather all day, could have started the hike 1.5 hours earlier because it was light enough to climb at 5:45. started to get warm around noon and hot by 2 Jun 22, 2013
Tristan Higbee
Ogden, UT
 
Tristan Higbee   Ogden, UT
 
When we did the FA, I think that pitch 16 is the only one that took me multiple tries. I had to pull the rope and re-lead it like 4 times before I got it clean. I thought I was just really tired and dehydrated and that's why it felt so hard, but it's interesting to hear others confirm that they felt it was hard, harder even than what I thought was the crux. It might very well be the crux of the whole route. It's thin, that's for sure.

The summit register was originally in a Nalgene bottle at the belay below the last pitch, so it wouldn't be accessible to hikers. Interesting that it's been moved to the top.

As far as the possible walk off after pitch 11 goes, I've never done it, so I don't know if you can actually walk off that way. There might be cliffs blocking the way at some point. If you want to descend after pitch 11, walk down around pitches 9-11 (as shown by another orange line in the pic), rappel the Buckley's Mine wall, and then walk off past the Blue Wall. It's not as complicated as it sounds. The Buckley's Mine anchors are obvious if you just go as far east as possible, as is the Blue Wall walk-off (there are cliffs above and below you, so you only really have one way to walk down).

You CANNOT rappel the route with a single 60m rope. You need a 70 or two 60s.

As for food, I think I just filled my pockets with Clif Bars, Gu, and maybe some trail mix. Jun 6, 2013
Mark Parrett
Salt Lake City, Utah
Mark Parrett   Salt Lake City, Utah
Climbed this last Friday with Tim Golden. I would say that I overall agree with the grades, with a couple of exceptions. P16 is really hard - I felt that it was 11b/c, but maybe I just don't know how to climb limestone slab stuff. Much harder than the crux for us.

I also thought P15 was significantly harder than the crux, so I would call it 5.11-. The crux felt like it was in the 10's to me, but these are little nits. The final pitch felt easier to me than the 5.9+ P21... which was still very loose and we pulled off a couple of car-battery sized rocks.

Overall, the first 11 pitches are cake and I thought that the final wall (P18-22) contained the best climbing. I was whooped by the time I got to 18-22 so thanks to Tim for being a bro and taking the lead more than his share. Weather was perfect - we were only roasting in the sun for the crux segment and were in the shade before and after that. Took us 12 hours of climbing. I highly recommend doing this in the spring as you'll have way more daylight to work with (only important if you're on the slower side like we were) - we did the first half last fall and it meant a dark approach and a shorter day (we would have been in the dark had we tried this in October. The weather was perfect for us overall with a high of 77 and a nice breeze all day.

I was a bit sad to see that the logbook at the top has been taken over by hikers - maybe someone can move it down a pitch next time they are up there so we can see who has climbed this route? Many thanks to Tristan for putting this project up. May 28, 2013
I would be interested in hearing what others have brought on this route to eat? Anyone care to share? Thanks in advance... May 21, 2013
Ethan Lennox
Santa Barbara, CA
Ethan Lennox   Santa Barbara, CA
I was looking at the beta for this route and I have a few questions. First I see on the main picture associated with this climb that there's a walk off to climbers left after pitch #11. I also noticed the question mark after it. Is this actually a walk off possibility? Or just one that might be feasible in case of an emergency bail? My second question is, can you rap the route with a single 60m rope? To be honest I'm not feeling strong enough to climb the entire route since I'm coming back from a shoulder injury, but I want to climb as many 9-10 pitches as possible in one outing. Since we'll be passing through, I thought it would be a great way to link up as many pitches as possible. May 5, 2013
Mr. Hummus
SLC, Utah
 
Mr. Hummus   SLC, Utah
 
We climbed this yesterday and had a blast. Car to car in 10 hours. 8 hours of mostly casual climbing and breaks for food. It was a super fun day! Where else can you climb a 22 pitch route without placing a nut or cam? I couldn't believe how many bolts were placed. Very well bolted, perhaps a bit excessive, but nothing to complain about. If you don't want to clip 'em, then don't. We skipped lots of bolts, but felt safe. It was nice to have lots of bolts up top when I started to get tired.
We linked several pitches using a sixty meter rope and 12 draws (2 of them alpine draws). If I remember correctly we linked 3 & 4, 5&6, 7&8, 10&11, 14&15, 20&21. We skipped bolts to do this. If you aren't comfortable with that then bring more draws.
I got to lead the crux 5.11 pitch and the exposure was incredible. It wasn't too bad for me. I thought pitch 16 was equally hard if not harder. Definitely harder to read.
We lucked out and had great weather. 60 degree day at the end of april! Perfect.
Great work Tristan. Thanks for putting up a fun route. May 1, 2013
Is this route usually dry and the descent without snow between last week of april and 1rst week may ? Feb 26, 2013
Brennan Crellin
Millcreek, UT
  5.11a
Brennan Crellin   Millcreek, UT  
  5.11a
Tristan, thank you for your hard work on this classic climb! We looked forward to it for two years, finally set aside a day to send it, then loved it. The rock quality is sub-prime in a few spots, but that was out of your control and you set a great line, with fun climbing. Well done!

Climbed with my wife, Alexis, October 19,2012...43-67 F, no precipitation

Timing: Left car at 6:45am, started Pitch1 at 8:00am, finished Pitch 11 at 12:00 pm, reached summit at 6:30 pm, 10.5 hours of climbing
Gear beta: 20 draws, 4-24" slings, 2-48" slings, small backpack each, 3L water each, light food, headlamps, helmets, daisy chains, approach/traversing shoes

Climb Beta:
- Bolting is great on almost every pitch. Skipped some when linking pitches, but Tristan did an awesome job bolting this safely for its grade.
- Linked pitches 3 & 4, 5 & 6, 7 & 8, 14 & 15

Pitch Ratings
- Pitch 1: not 5.10b but probably 5.9+
- Pitch 11: NOT 5.8 but probably 5.7 awkward...worst pitch!
- Pitch 16: NOT 5.10d. This pitch is easily 5.11a/b. Also, bolts on the sharp thin slab of this pitch should have been closer.
- Pitch 17: not 5.9 but probably 5.8. We added a section of red rope to the first bolt for improved visibility.
- Pitch 19: NOT 5.10c, but more like 5.10d-5.11a
- Roofs of Pitch 22: 5.10???.....probably 5.10c-5.11a range. Oct 21, 2012
Shiho
 
Shiho  
 
wayyyy too many bolts and they are not even well bolted. If you want adventure on chossy limestone, you are better off climbing notch peak. Oct 3, 2012
Michael V.
Provo, Utah.
Michael V.   Provo, Utah.
In April of 2010 Taylor Maughan and I climbed the first 8 pitches. Even though the rest of the route wasn’t set yet, I fell in love with the route. It wasn’t until June 11th of this year that I climbed the route again, this time with Nick Cloward. This climb has amazing variety, great exposure, and gives dynamic to the climbing challenge.

Nick Cloward and I picked the perfect day. As far as weather goes, this is my opinion:
- 70-80 degrees is just fine (We climbed it with a high of 76)
- 80-85 is pushing the limit (We trained in this weather. We were downing water like crazy)
- Anything 85+ you will find miserable.
There’s pretty much a constant breeze moving around up there, which is nice. But the hotter it is, the more water you bring, and the more the sun zaps your energy.

This was our time schedule. We kept it pretty chill on the speed – enjoying the scenery a bit too much and whatnot:
7:15 leave parking lot
8:15 start 1st pitch
1:15 reach cave
- Lunch -
2:15 start 12th pitch
11:15 end 22nd pitch
11:45 start trail descent
1:15 get back to cars
TOTAL = 18 hours
We climbed 3 pitches in the dark. We summitted 2 hours behind ‘schedule’ – the sheer volume of pitches takes a good bit out of ya. The last quarter just seems harder because you’re tired.

Also:
- DON’T climb this without a helmet. I got beaned in the helmet twice with rocks. And that number easily could have been more.
- The “red” rope described in previous posts is now grey. Fully functional, just grey.
- In reading this form there is a high probability that climbing is a large part of your life. If you call yourself a climber, live within the Valley, and do not give this route a full-hearted attempt – you are doing yourself a disservice. The location of this superb route is second to none!

Tristan – Thank you for all your hard work and time spent in creating this route. It truly is an amazing gift to the climbing community. Rock Canyon has been a ‘stomping grounds’ to me for the past 3 years. I’ve climbed all over that place and I can truly say this is an impressive and unrivaled capstone to all the routes in Rock Canyon. Thank you. Jul 4, 2012
Nich Cloward
American Fork
  5.11-
Nich Cloward   American Fork
  5.11-
Don't miss this sweet diving board at the top of pitch 8. Top the chains and head west about 100'.
Jun 18, 2012
Nich Cloward
American Fork
  5.11-
Nich Cloward   American Fork
  5.11-
Pulled off the summit on June 11 with Mike Vaughn. Great climb! The "third quarter" (Pitches 12-16) were definitely the hardest overall, although pitch 14 wasn't a sustained 5.11-, just like Tristan says. It's really just pulling that corner. Pitch 15 was thin and crimpy too. I appreciated the last pitch, even though I was tired and it was dark when we hit it. Great little roofs. It was almost disappointing to not have a super easy finish, but only because we were tired. Thanks for not letting up on us Tristan. Cool visitors log at the bottom of the last pitch. We had perfect weather when we went; 70s and even had some clouds when we hit the 3rd quarter. It got pretty dirty in the 3rd and 4th qaurters, although it seems to be cleaning up nicely. Take plenty of water, find a nice cool day, and enjoy. This was one of those "far-fetched" dreams in my mind and I never thought I would actually accomplish this goal. Thanks to Mike for pushing me. Thanks again Tristan for your investment. Jun 18, 2012
Nich Cloward
American Fork
  5.11-
Nich Cloward   American Fork
  5.11-
Did the whole first half today, 1-11. Enjoyed the first 8. Pitch 9 wasn't bad and 10 was fun with a couple small chimney-esk parts. The first is really dirty, lots of loose stuff. Pitch 11 seems like it was just thrown in to get up to the next approach up to pitch 12. I didn't care for it, but at least it was easy and the scenery was great. We did go to the cave at the start of 12, but made the mistake of going too far west. Water is a must. We both had a 2qt camelbak and ran out after pitch 11. Good thing that was the plan, so we came down, but nect time we will have to double what we took. And the heat really takes it out of you. Will have to wait for a nice, cooler, overcast day to finish all 22. May 21, 2012
Nich Cloward
American Fork
  5.11-
Nich Cloward   American Fork
  5.11-
Started working on this project this week. I am very excited to see what the other pitches are like. We hiked up the huge scree to the west of the Appendage thinking it would get us to the ridge. It didn't. We ended up skipping the first two pitches to our disappointment. Time only gave us pitches 3-6 but they were very fun. I really liked the frosted flake section on pitch 5 (I think). These pitches were mostly clean. We did knock some small stuff down, but a helmet is a must. Very well protected. May 19, 2012
Tristan Higbee
Ogden, UT
 
Tristan Higbee   Ogden, UT
 
Nope. The Squaw Peak Road does not come anywhere near the summit of Squaw Peak. May 11, 2012
Broseph L
Salt Lake City, UT
Broseph L   Salt Lake City, UT
Question, I haven't climbed the route, but would it be possible to DRIVE off? I know the Squaw Peak road goes up that way, but I've only of it as a place for BYU students to go and get lucky... May 8, 2012
Dennis
 
Dennis  
 
Climbed Squawstruck last week. Many thanks to Tristan and Co. for putting it up. Overall I am glad I climbed it as it was a thoroughly unique adventure-sport climbing experience.

Bring a helmet. Most of the rockfall we saw was of the starburst sized variety that casually bounced of our helmets. However the character changes in the upper pitches (19-22). Here seemingly solid looking handholds broke off unleashing VHS cassette and car battery sized chunks of stone. I was appreciating the closely spaced bolts in these sections!


Amazing views and exposure, many sections of solid fun climbing, easy access and descent. Apr 26, 2012
jdrose
Orem, UT
jdrose   Orem, UT
Hey all - we left some gear at the top of pitch 2 and 8 i believe. if you end up climbing the route and feel so inclined to pack it out, go for it. you return it to mountainworks and let them know it belongs to jeff rose (8013188214) if not please dont make away with it. also if you see it and dont pack it out call me ad let me know its there. THANKS. Oct 21, 2011
steve edwards
SLC, UT
 
steve edwards   SLC, UT
 
Did it yesterday, 10/16. Nice route. Amazing bit of work by the FA team to get this up. That said, not one of the pitches would ever be repeated if it were in the Verdon Gorge. But for a big wall in the chossy canyon it's pretty cool. Great views, decent climbing, civilized belays for the most part, and easy descent make it worth doing.

Descriptions here are very accurate. Someone would have to pay me to do the approach in flips but it's certainly possible. I've done a lot of speed climbing. This route isn't a good candidate for that approach. Didn't see a camera but found a fossil. I think it highly unlikely Honnold will solo it. That would be a game of Russian roulette. Maybe the FFA would bear merit if the girls became "team choss" and got known for comparing the world's loosest rock climbs. Could see the mags all over that one.

James, I don't think it's sandbagging as much as holds breaking. Did it with someone who'd done an early ascent and he said many pitches have changed a fair amount, almost always making them harder. Upper part has some moves for sure. I can see how it could be vexing for anyone pushing their limits. Neither of us thought the original crux was the hardest pitch now. Currently that honor seems held by the slab two pitches after it but will probably stay up for debate as the route morphs.

Big thanks again to the authors. Excellent public service provided. Oct 17, 2011
notmyname
Sandy, UT
notmyname   Sandy, UT
Penises are aid

I'll toss in a $75 reward for the camera, even if it's busted. Sep 26, 2011
Brian in SLC
Sandy, Utah
Brian in SLC   Sandy, Utah
My friend and I want to do a female ascent of this. Does anyone know if a female ascent has been accomplished yet?

Well, since its Utah County, probably not (ha ha).

The potential for sponsers if you pull this off makes my head spin... Sep 26, 2011
notmyname
Sandy, UT
notmyname   Sandy, UT
My camera unclipped from my harness on top of the 5.9+ pitch this saturday. I'd love it back if you find it!

Also, I was wondering about the flip-flobability on this route. so if you were too, flip flops work just fine for the approach and descent.

That first female ascent question is too funny. soooo many thing wrong with that, i don't even know where to begin with the mockery.

fun route, thanks for the hard work and expenses. Sep 25, 2011
Chelsea Wood
Boise, ID
Chelsea Wood   Boise, ID
My friend and I want to do a female ascent of this. Does anyone know if a female ascent has been accomplished yet? Sep 22, 2011
Lots of climbing and certainly adventure to be had. Perhaps a little bit of sandbagging going on between Pitches 17 and 23, but maybe we were just whupped...not a lot of gimme pitches up there.

A 70m rope and 15 QDs with 10 free biners and slings allowed some linking not previously mentioned. Many loose bolt heads, especially the upper pitches. Recommend taking along a wrench to remedy said situation. What a view! Jul 23, 2011
BJB
Texas
  5.11b/c
BJB   Texas
  5.11b/c
My Buddy and I did the whole thing Friday the 13th, 5.13.2011. It was a blast. We are probably some of the weakest climbers to ever complete the whole thing, so keep that in mind when you are considering my input. Your ability will definitley make what I have to say more or less relevant.
We did the whole climb in 16 hours, and that is with taking a half hour break at the half way, and an hourish break at the 3/4 way.
We did the first 11 pitches in 4 hours, the last 11 pitches in 11 hours. We got stuck at pitch 15 for probably 2 hours though because I was so burnt and another hour and a half on pitch 22 for the same reason. The first 11 pitches are now relatively clean (no holds broke) while the 2nd 11 pitches are still somewhat dirty (we fell on 3 broken holds).
Pitch 15 was the hardest for me and my buddy, maybe because it was different than anything we have ever done, but we were stuck on it for a LONG time before finally doing it. While we went through, a huge piece of the roof came off probably making it harder for the next guys. I think a hold or two must have come off on this pitch because it was much harder for me than any of the other 5.10b's on the route.
I was really surprised by the difficulty of the final pitch as well. The topo says that it is a 5.10 with no letter grade listed. I had thus assumed that it would be a 5.10a, but it was a wicked roof on small holds when I was as tired as i've ever been.
Finally, when we were coming down, there was about 2 feet of snow that i had not been able to see from the bottom of the canyon. We had to hike about 1/2 a mile in the snow where we couldn't find a trial. Eventually we found foot prints and just followed those down until we came to a more clearly marked trail.
One of the funnest climbing days i'll ever have. Thanks for all the hard work Tristan. May 28, 2011
Climbed this route on Saturday. Unfortunately we were not able to top out as a thunderstorm rolled in and we were forced to retreat as lightning grew closer and closer. Thank goodness for the cave as it gave us a place to escape the rain/lightning. We loved pitches 1-8, we found that they were mostly 5.8-5.9 climbs with one 10ish move. Pitches 9-11 were still very dirty and we blew holds left and right here. You must have a helmet! Even with helmets you need to pay attention as we were blowing pieces that no helmet will protect against. If you cannot top out as we couldn't I would highly recommend rapping off. We hiked for quite awhile trying to find a decent way down without any luck. May 16, 2011
user id
Ogden, Utah
user id   Ogden, Utah
I know I've looked up and said, "i wonder if anyone would be dumb enough to climb up the face of that peak?"

Thats a fine service you guys have done down there. Jan 31, 2011
I think everyone who's climbed in rock canyon has at some point looked up and wondered if anyone will/has ever climbed up the face to the peak. I'll look forward to hitting this in season. Let's hope the dirty nature of the route doesn't hurt anyone. Don't follow too close behind another group, wear a helmet, and keep an eye out. Jan 31, 2011
esallen
Utah / Nevada
esallen   Utah / Nevada
Tristan/Crisco, I've been reading about this route and looking at all your pics and I am super psyched to do this in the near future (as soon as weather permits). Yesterday I saw the bit about Squawstruck in Climbing magazine. I am so excited to be back in Utah and to do this and your other new routes - I know you guys put up a bunch of other fun routes while I was gone. Happy holidays, and I hope to climb with you guys soon! I've been in the gym almost everyday since November trying to get back in shape so I can keep up with you fools :)

E Dec 20, 2010
Tristan Higbee
Ogden, UT
 
Tristan Higbee   Ogden, UT
 
Fall should be great on the approach and on the rock itself. There will probably still be snow on the hike down, though. If you're not rappelling, you could do the thing with a 50m rope. The pitches aren't super long.

I'm not sure when the earliest it will be climbable is... I can see the route from my house, though, so if you need a conditions report, shoot me an email. Dec 10, 2010
Anyone know when it will be warm enough to climb this route again?

It appears that this fall was the first season it was completed so there may not be much knowledge of the weather in the winter and spring. My friend and I will be driving around the U.S. for January-July and sounds like this one is a good one to check out. So anyone have weather beta?

Also, is a 70m necessary if you're going to hike off the summit? (we have a 60m) Dec 9, 2010
I wish I had read Dom's comments beforehand as hiking up the scree slope to the first pitch was definetly the least enjoyable part of the experience. Neither my partner or I had anything break on us although we were both selective about what we put our hand and feet on. A helmet is defenitely a must as there are loose rocks all over the place. I had a blast climbing this thing. Thank you Tristan for spending so much of your time and money to put up this route. Nov 8, 2010
doug haller
Boulder, Colorado
 
doug haller   Boulder, Colorado
 
Clearly, a lot of time and effort went into bolting this route. Leaders should not worry about lack of gear. The quantity of bolts reflects the lack of quality of the rock. On every pitch climbers should anticipate loose rock. To minimize risk, avoid climbing below other parties. Definitely wear a helmet. Expect rock fall. Expect to break holds while climbing. The 6 routes I have done in the Black Canyon had better quality rock. We combined pitches doing the 22 as 16 back cleaning draws. Oct 17, 2010
Ben Collett  
 
Let's get realistic with the quality of this route. It is fun because it is a long well bolted sport route- I cannot imagine the expense or effort required. I know that I am far too lazy to ever make such a contribution. That said, the rock is rather chossy and will likely remain that way. The ledginess also detracts some from the quality. While the route does have some nice exposure in parts, very few of the pitches are as good as mediocre single pitch routes. In comparison to routes like Infinite Bliss in Washington and most of the longer routes in Portrero, this route is not that sweet- the developers just did not have that much to work with. Oct 17, 2010
Dom Layfield  
 
I climbed Squawstruck with a friend on Saturday. An awesome experience.

Here are some observations:
  • The hike in took us about 35 minutes. We ended up walking straight up the scree. Not very smart, particularly given that we had both made the questionable decision to wear super-light "approach shoes". In retrospect (looking down from top of first pitch), I wish we had followed Crisco's advice to head straight for ridge to left and stay on ridge until level with start of climb.
  • We started about 7:30 am, and finished about 5:30 pm (10 hours). That was moving at a gentle pace and included a lunch break. On the other hand, all of the climbing was well within our capacity, and we didn't struggle anywhere. I would guess that 10 hours would be fairly typical.
  • This is really a 20 pitch climb. Tristan suggests linking pitches 3 & 4 and 7 & 8. Frankly, I can't see why anyone would *not* do so. But 20 pitches is still a LOT of climbing. Be prepared to be very tired at the end.
  • The route is graded at "11-". But there's just one single 5.11 move, right at the end of pitch 14. It's a reachy move, so will be harder for short people. But you could easily skip the move by pulling on the bolt. The rest of the climb is hard 5.10.
  • Both of us were whining about our feet aching long before we made it to the top. Wear your most comfortable shoes! There's virtually no edging on the climb, so tight shoes are unnecessary and very painful.
  • Tristan has gone to a lot of effort to make the climb as beginner-friendly as possible, and the bolting is is often very dense, particularly around the harder sections. We skipped a lot of clips.
  • Much of the rock is still very loose. As the route sees more traffic, it will certainly clean up and become more stable. But don't even think about climbing without a helmet.
  • Because of the loose rock, climbers need to be very aware of where rock will fall. Belayer will often need to move around to avoid being directly under leader. We frequently employed the "pebble test" to confirm that belayer would not get hit.
  • On the final set of pitches a very fast party of three came up behind us, putting themselves directly in the line of any rockfall. We did our very best to dislodge as little as possible, but holds break off and pretty much every ledge is still covered in rocks. Just the motion of the rope often showers the seconder in pebbles. We were very worried by the possibility of seriously injuring the climbers beneath us. Until the rock is more stable, I would STRONGLY advise against climbing underneath other parties. Since the route is conveniently split into tiers with grouped pitches, it is easy enough to wait until parties above have cleared the next section. I would have been far more relaxed if that group had opted to take a snack break before tackling pitches 17-22.
  • The anchors at the top of pitch 9 are unfortunately located precisely where rockfall from the climber on pitch 10 funnels down. And pitch 10 is still very dirty and friable. Recommendation: put long extenders on the anchors here, so that belayer can shelter under the small bulge about 6 foot to the right.
  • Put your approach shoes on for ALL of the upper transitions (between pitches 8 and 9, 11 and 12, 16 and 17). The surface is loose scree and brush, and very unpleasant in climbing shoes. You won't save any time by keeping your climbing shoes on, as you'll have to take them off again to empty out the grit.
  • The hike down took us about 70 minutes and is very mellow. The trail detours a bit further west than shown in Tristan's descent map, but it's obvious where to go.
  • Heat is likely to be a big issue. The route really bakes in the sun. We climbed on October 2nd, which was an unusually hot day for that time of year. I took 3 liters of water and my Camelbak ran dry about an hour an a half before the top. Take as much liquid as you can reasonably carry.
  • The anchors at the top of pitch 14 are easy to miss. My partner led straight past them, and only realized when he ran out of quickdraws and had to down-climb. The belay is on left, immediately after the "11-" move.
  • The limestone is often ferociously rough. A few moves up the first pitch, I was convinced that my fingertips would be worn raw long before 22 pitches were finished. Thankfully, the rock is not consistently that rough. By the end of the climb, however, both of our knees were amazingly scratched up: a slight brush with the rock can be enough to draw blood!

That's about all I can think of. A great (and long) day of climbing. Congratulations, Tristan, on your superhuman achievement! Hopefully this will inspire others to clean and bolt more lines in the area. I've contributed to your bolt fund, and encourage others to do the same.

-- Dom

Oh yes, one last thing: on the route I picked up several cigarette butts (Camels) and a blue lighter -- presumably all littered by same guy. Shame on you.
Oct 4, 2010
Morreyd  
Colin Hale and myself where the second assent to the top. What a great climb! The last sections were pretty dirty and could use some more traffic. We started at 7pm and topped out at 5am. i would suggest doing it at night due to the heat factor. Plus the glow from the city make for some amazing night climbing. We only carried 3 liters of water per person and at night it was the perfect amount. i look forward to doing it again soon in a much shorter time slot.(maybe 5-6 hours) great job my friend on the bolting and lets all try to clean the top sections for the future climbers. Oct 4, 2010
Just did Squawstruck on 10/02 as a party of 3. Started climbing around 10:30 and topped out around 6:30. Here are a few thoughts. It's HOT. October 2nd...come on, felt like July 2nd in the sun all day. The rock is still pretty chossy on the upper pitches. We had a couple falls as a result of holds breaking. Leading to the next thought - helmets are a must.

At first, the meandering nature was a detractor, but given all the loose rock, I think it actually adds some safety to the route as a party above us was knocking down bowling balls all day but they would harmlessly fall hundreds of feet to the side...until we pulled within a pitch or two at the end and were in their direct line of fire.

The climbing is mostly 5.9ish with distinct cruxes that make the pitches in the mid 10-11 range. There are a couple exceptions that seemed pretty continuous for the entire pitch (mostly in the middle/upper pitches).

It's long. Maybe the climbing felt a lot harder near the top simply because of the fatigue factor.

The anchors and bolting were very well done, but some of the pitches seem too short (although I rarely felt the urge to run them together). We did the 22 stated pitches in 20. Tristan's route description is dead on.

The FAs did a ton of work to put together a great local adventure. If it gets enough traffic to clean it up, I think it will be a huge classic (not necessarily for the climbing or the line or the rock, but the adventure). It was great to hike out this evening and then look back up trace the line that I'd thought about for 10 years but never would have actually put together. Thanks again to Tristan and co. Oct 3, 2010
Phenomenal effort, Tristan. I agree with James in that you'll have a hard time topping this FA -- I'm not sure if you'd even want to! I did the first eight a couple years ago and thoroughly enjoyed them.

Is there a reason why you wouldn't recommend linking some of those middle/upper pitches? They seem pretty short. Rope drag, perhaps?

I can see this route first becoming quite a destination in itself (22 pitches!?), then a superb training route for budding alpine/big wall climbers. Looking forward to giving it a burn soon, though I'm not sure I have the endurance to top it out! Oct 1, 2010
Jon Bitter
Waco, Tx
Jon Bitter   Waco, Tx
Congrats guys. This is amazing. I'll definitely be training for it this winter. Sep 27, 2010
Tristan Higbee
Ogden, UT
 
Tristan Higbee   Ogden, UT
 
To comment on Crisco's comments: I disagree with getting to the ridge top ASAP on the approach. I think staying to the right of it is better. Sep 22, 2010
While I wasn't able to pull through the FA with Tristan, even being a minor part of this route is something I look on with real pride. Opportunities to be involved in such a monumental event don't come around very much. Thomas G. was able to step in a did a great job.
I know that I personally wouldn't have had the will to put in all the work that Tristan did (partly because of me, partly because of $$$, and partly because of family) to get this done. He deserves all the pats on the backs and free bottles of water anyone offers (after how dehydrated he was, I'm sure he will never turn down free water again). The day we attempted the FA was too hot for me as I would've needed more water than I could realistically carry (stashing water for ascents is not a bad idea).
Here are a few of my thoughts about the route:
1) When approaching, get on top of the ridge as soon as possible. It makes the going MUCH easier. You can cut over to the start as soon as you are level or continue to the bottom of the main cliff and just walk over. Both are about the same.
2) The first 8 pitches are fantastic and make a great climb all by themselves (many ascents of this have already been done) and the rock is pretty darn clean now. Plus, getting down by rapping isn't a big deal at all.
3) If you are not ready to go for the whole enchilada, the first 8 can be good training or fun all by themselves. But don't assume that just because you nail the first 8 the rest of the route is a gimmie. From the top of 8 you really feel like the rest of the route is within your grasp. Tristan said it best; this route is a climbing equivalent of a marathon. Unless you are in really good climbing shape you won't just stroll up the thing.
4) Pitches 9-11 are a bit annoying. Dirty and sometime weird. But it still beats just walking up the hill (which is possible).
5) The wall with pitches 12-16 (although I have not climbed 15-16 yet) is still dirty and loose (but not as bad as you might think). Be careful. But are packed full of great exposure and neat features.
6) I have only rappelled the upper wall at this time, but the climbing looks just as good as the bottom (maybe better)!
7) If you have to bail from above pitch 8 (after rapping the route to that point), there is a way to do a single rap instead of following the line all the way down. Directly above the Mine Wall is a set of anchors with quick-links. You can walk over above pitch 8 and do the one rap and then walk down the Blue Wall gully. See Tristan's topo for location.
8) This route is destined to be a major Utah classic. It should be a goal of nearly everyone and it is within reach of everybody if they are willing to put in some prep time. How long will it be until Alex Honnald solos this thing. :) Cheers!
Sep 21, 2010
Darren Mabe
Flagstaff, AZ
Darren Mabe   Flagstaff, AZ
congrats that you got this thing done!!! i have watched your progress over the years. very respectable amount of dedication and vision! inspiring!

yee-haw! Sep 21, 2010
Tristan Higbee
Ogden, UT
 
Tristan Higbee   Ogden, UT
 
Suburban big wall sport climbing at its finest...

Not sure how often the whole thing will get climbed, but the bottom 8 pitches are a lot of fun for an afternoon climb. They've been completed since 2008 and have gotten a fair amount of traffic, with the result being that they're pretty clean now. The original topo I made for the first 8 pitches is here.

Again, a two-page PDF (with a much better and informative topo and the approach and descent beta pics), along with a history of the route, can be found here. Sep 21, 2010