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Routes in West Bell Tower

Beckey Route T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
Nerve, The T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Ring That Bell T 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c R
Type: Trad, 130 ft
FA: Brad Heller Nov 7th, 2010
Page Views: 21,553 total, 250/month
Shared By: bheller on Nov 9, 2010
Admins: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route

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Private Property now at the entrance to Bells Canyon. Details

F *king Epic!

In April of 2010 I tore my left labrum (not my labia...that just stretches). I had planned on climbing like a demon all spring season, and I had a free pass to do so — my wife was off dancing in NYC for 6 weeks. The shoulder kept me on the forced rest injured list, so I started searching for new routes in the Wasatch (i.e. ripping clothes and transporting ticks). One lucky day I found this route.

The upper perfect corner caught my eye first, and I instantly began scanning for weaknesses that would offer a free climbing passage into that beautiful feature.

With my wife gone, I had no excuse to not hike up Bells whenever I felt, and the lengthening days baited me- leading to cold long hikes out in the dark. It did take some cleaning and lots of logistical sussing.

I sprayed about the route every chance I had, but despite my forceful persuasive skills, I only managed to drag up a few close friends to check it out. Their enthusiasm for the project amplified my efforts to climb it. The only problem was that the route refused to dry. The water streak under the Roof Traverse seeped all the way through the summer.

Before I knew it, my time in Utah was up, and in August I moved to support my dancey wife in New York. While in NY, my thoughts of the route weren't lessening, so I booked a cheap airline ticket for the magic season in the Wasatch: the second week of November.

Fast-forward through a few months of amazing Gunks climbing, and I stepped off the plane in SLC, only to be blasted by a 70 degree November heatwave. I left New England perfection for this? The smears on the Roof Traverse, and the slopers out of the Alcove were absolutely pissed at this heat! The route was baking all day in the southwest sun. On the last day of my trip, with imminent rain and snow forecast for the next day, I eked by with the dawn send.

The route delivered everything I wanted from a project. Beautiful climbing in a beautiful setting, natural pro, and lots of mentally challenging sections. On the final approach up on the day of the FA, my psychological demons nearly ate me.

In the end, my success wasn't about the climbing. Only after I sent did I realize I was always strong enough physically and just required me to believe in myself. I had to focus on the effort, without being attached to the final outcome. I had to accept the possibility of failure to succeed, regardless of the time pressures. For me, much easier said than done!

I ended up hiking up to Ring that Bell sixteen times start to finish, over 3 seasons. I hope those who repeat this route enjoy climbing it as much as I enjoyed finding, cleaning, and projecting it. Take all the best cruxes from the best Wasatch monzonite routes, make them breed, and you'd end up with a route like Ring That Bell. I would love to see someone with real talent onsight it!

Good luck to all! PM me with any questions.

Rainbows and Waterfalls!

On the east side of West Bell Tower, approx. 70 feet left of The Sting. Hike up the Bells Canyon trail (the 9400 So. approach is best). After the stairmaster (long, steep, rocky section of trail) cut left behind the large fir tree just after the spring, to the waterfall trail. Stay on the south side of the creek on a climbers trail paralleling the creek until above the waterfall's plunge. Hop across on rocks (pump your water here for a lighter pack) and head slightly east and then north to the old timers camp at a flat spot/ fire-ring overlooking the SLC valley. From here head east up slope, intentionally not going directly north toward the West Bell Tower. A beat in trail exists and is now well traveled, but it does weave a bit around boulders and scrub oak and could be tough to stick to. If you find it, it will put you directly between The Sting and Ring That Bell. Realistically you'll likely suffer a bushwhack on the way in and a stroll on the way out...:)

Gears and Widgets

Double Ropes. All natural protection. Brass nuts, nuts small to med, doules of cams- from tips to hands. 4 blue Metolius and 3 orange Metolius units. An essential 000 c3 and also an essential 5/6 (black/red)Metolius offset Mastercam- see topo for details. Anchor requires a 70m rope to rappel. Your first rope can just be a 70 foot gym rope that you clip to your harness with a locker and drop once you clip the second rope into the first pro upon entering the alcove.

To clean: I fixed my lead line at the anchor, rappelling with a Gri-Gri and clipping into all my gear. I duct tapped the sharp edges on the way down to prevent rope shred. (be sure to clean 2 of those blue metolius and take them down with you). Once to the roof traverse, I used the 2 blue Metolius and aiders to aid through the roof and clip down the Norelco stem box. Once on the ground I jugged back up my now fixed line, re-aided the corner, cleaned the gears, removed the padded edges, and then threaded the 70 meter rope and rappelled.
steve edwards
steve edwards   SLC, UT
Don't know how I'm just seeing this. Awesome, job, Brad! Inspiring write-up, too. Feb 27, 2014
This thing looks sick!!! Good vision brad. It sounded good, but it looks even better! Thinks for the pointers man!! Nov 21, 2011
Aaron Collins
Santan Valley, AZ
Aaron Collins   Santan Valley, AZ
Awesome job Brad!!! Great narrative it makes me want to shut my laptop and go send my projects! Dec 2, 2010
bheller   SL UT
Thank to everyone for the kind words and support! I definitely miss the Utah community. Thanks to the brothers Anderson as well!

Ari Menitove is straight full of shit. He oozes with pure climbing talent and is specifically the best crack climber I have ever had the pleasure of learning from. He could climb anything he ever put his mind to...probably first try. Nov 15, 2010
Morrison, CO
Monomaniac   Morrison, CO  
Ari Menitove wrote: chicks dig scars, broken bones heal,
...and the US has the highest doctor-to-daredevil ratio in the world! Nov 12, 2010
I got to toprope this route a few times while Brad was working it. While I didn't even get the "brownpoint", I managed to do all the moves and it is indeed as good as Brad says. I just wish I was good enough to lead it!

Just a few words of advice to aspiring suitors:

Prepare to execute the three crux sections on this route while leaving your gear off behind you. You definitely want your belayer to be attentive so you don't get spiked into corners or splatted onto slabs.

Also prepare to run it out into leg-breaking territory on 5.10+ ish terrain above the last crux (the alcove).

This is a serious route with potentially serious consequences. That said, remember that chicks dig scars, broken bones heal, and it's never as hard as it looks. So get after it!
Nov 12, 2010
Good on you, Nympho! Nov 12, 2010
Mike Anderson
Colorado Springs, CO
Mike Anderson   Colorado Springs, CO
Nice Job! When are we going to Looking Glass? Nov 11, 2010
Heh heh glad you saw the that! Nov 10, 2010
Morrison, CO
Monomaniac   Morrison, CO  
Ya Brad, way to go!!! One down, eh? Nov 10, 2010
Wow! What a line. Congratulations Brad...impressive style! Nov 10, 2010
Cool to see all the hard work come together! Nov 9, 2010
nice one Brad Nov 9, 2010
strong work Brad! Can't wait to get on it! Nov 9, 2010
bheller   SL UT
A huge thanks goes out to Mark "Murph" Adams! Without his selfless time given to me and this project, I never could have succeeded! When you're ready, I'll be there to catch you Murph. Nov 9, 2010