Type: Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, Grade III
FA: Boving and Kerns 1977
Page Views: 2,516 total · 28/month
Shared By: PTSinner on Sep 15, 2011 with updates from Jean Spencer
Admins: Scott Coldiron, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick

You & This Route

19 Opinions

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The northwest face is a fun varied route up the shorter west face of SEWS. Fairly serious climbing right of the ground and multiple minor cruxes make this more of an undertaking than the west face of NEWS. However, it makes for a more adventurous and challenging route.

Pitch 1: Traverse into the steep corner and make committing 10ish moves up to a prominent ledge, groups may belay on small gear from right side of the ledge but we continued past a committing 10 move to a good belay in a small tree with pitons and cams for pro. (10ish)

Pitch 2: Continue up the right facing corner with limited feet and hard gear placement. This was rated 11a in the guide but is solid for that grade. (11)

Pitch 3: Head up a short chimney and continue right into a vegitated crack. Continue working upward past a block and into a big ledge to belay. (8)

Pitch 4: Scramble or rope up and head for the base of the prominent set of overhangs above.

Pitch 5: Climb over the pair of obvious overhangs and belay in a gully. Good pro and commiting moves. (10)

Pitch 6: Climb straight up a nice hand crack past a 9ish move and head right to the top. We belayed after the hand crack and then simuled/scrambled to the top. (9)


This route is on the climbers right looking up the gulley between NEWS and SEWS. The route starts with a short traverse over to a steep corner just below the last rap out of the gulley.


Standard rack with extra TCUs or aliens.


Eric Fjellanger
Eric Fjellanger  
In contrast to the description above, Supertopo describes the crux pitch as 5.11a with good gear, good for aspiring leaders to break into the 5.11s. I agree with that, the crux is short and if you have an assortment of small cams you can protect it nicely. Jul 7, 2014
Aaron Nash
North Bend, WA
Aaron Nash   North Bend, WA
As of June 2015, there is a large, extremely loose block at the start of the Boving roofs pitch (5); a few moves up off the anchor. Be very careful; it looks like a great handhold but if pulled, will for sure hit your belayer. I wanted to pull it off, but it being the weekend and without knowing if anyone was below, we left it. Would be hard to lower it down from that point, but possibly do-able. Jun 15, 2015
Jean Spencer
Squamish, CA
Jean Spencer   Squamish, CA
This route is listing as "Boving-Pollock" in Blake Herrington's new guidebook. May 15, 2016
Jon Nelson
Redmond, WA
Jon Nelson   Redmond, WA  
I wish people would list full names for the FA parties. Not only does it give proper credit, it helps others to recognize mistakes.

In this case, it was probably Paul Boving as one of the FA guys. But who was the other? May 15, 2016
I think the first ascentionists were Paul Boving, Steve Pollock and Matt Kerns if I'm not mistaken.

This route is a good little adventure. We climbed it the day after some very heavy rain and the first pitch was soaked, as was the hardest part of the crux second pitch. Both were still climbable although it made the climbing on the first pitch a little more exciting. There was some amount of water on nearly every pitch afterwards as well, so perhaps the route is somewhat of a natural drainage.

I didn't really look at a topo beforehand and got off-route on the third pitch. It's easy to avoid, but if you're uncertain for some reason don't go left up the hollow flakes; I dead ended above some gritty, scary ground and had to downclimb.

Below the Boving Roof pitch still lurks the aforementioned loose block. As I unwittingly pulled on it, it began to tilt alarmingly outwards and I quickly pushed it back into place. It probably weighs 30-40 lbs and would almost certainly land on the belayer if dislodged. I drew an 'x' on it because like Aaron, we were climbing the route on a weekend and I didn't wish to trundle it haphazardly. It's somewhat hard to avoid as well because it's a tempting foothold while starting the traverse left out the first roof. Jul 27, 2016
Z Winters
Mazama, WA
Z Winters   Mazama, WA
Thanks Drewsky, saw your X and avoided it, but it feels really loose. Seems like this would be good to trundle, as it lurks above a belay of hyper-popular SW Rib. Would obviously have to be a bad weather day with nobody around. Aug 1, 2016
Michael Dom  
I would skip the first three pitches and climb the SW Rib instead. The climbing here is bizarre and far from inspiring. The Boving roofs however were very fun. Jul 24, 2017
The aforementioned flake has been removed. It wasn't as heavy as expected and we lowered it to the base of the pitch. There's still a somewhat loose flake, but not even close to as loose as the one we removed. You can even step on it (carefully).

AMAZING line. I though the first pitch was tricky but fun. Second pitch was harder for sure, even though shorter and easy to protect. Place a #4 midway and run to the top. Sep 2, 2017
Michael T
  5.11 PG13
Michael T   SEATTLE
  5.11 PG13
Just climbed this route today and I'd strongly agree with the comments about it being serious and committing. I found the first pitch to be really hard to protect with the potential for some big falls.

The book recommends this as a good route for breaking into the 11's. But I'd say if 10+ isn't in your onsight range you're gonna have a rough time unless someone else leads the first pitch for you.

Bring plenty of (offset) nuts, they seemed to go in much better than cams on the first pitch. Jul 8, 2018
Springdale / Zion UT / Moab
Gaar   Springdale / Zion UT / Moab
Offset nuts are useful. First pitch was heads up but not scary. P2 was burl for 2 moves. NO #4 needed EVER. You can place a 3, .4, or .3 at crux of P2 Sep 3, 2018