Type: Trad, 8 pitches, Grade III
FA: Bill Kamp had several early ascents "back in the day"
Page Views: 9,599 total · 134/month
Shared By: Sam Cannon on Jun 7, 2013
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

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Looking at the north face of Mt. Olympus you'll see the "West Slabs" on the right side of the mountain -- Kamp's Ridge is on the skyline on the left. This ridge is approached via Neff's Canyon, and good directions to the trailhead can be found here:


There is also some information in the Ruckman/Falcon guide for the Wasatch.

To reiterate - park at Neff's and follow a broad dirt road/trail to a stream crossing where the trail forks. Head right here. The trail gets pretty faint, and the bushwhacking, depending on where you go, can get pretty nasty. You're essentially following a drainage, getting good views of the ridge earlier on and then just glimpses the closer you get. Takes some scrambling to get back there, and once you're out of the drainage you'll see a series of 3 or 4 ridges that all give you options for ascent. My partner and I started on one too far back and had to traverse over to one that worked better for us and seemed to have the best climbing, second back from the skyline. The lower part of this ridge had excellent scrambling and was nicely aesthetic.

The approach will take the average person between 1-2 hours, depending on how effectively you're able to navigate the faint trail after the stream crossing.

As you get closer to the upper portion of the ridge where you cross over the Great Chimney and Valhalla, the two ridges closest to the skyline consolidate into one while the others run up to the sub-peaks between the north and south summit.

You'll come to a shoulder where the ridge sharpens and you have an amazing view of the slabby north face. The route does not stay directly on the ridge, but uses cracks and ledges to traverse the face below it. You'll come across a few pitons here and there.

This is one of my favorite ridges in the Wasatch - the climbing is very exposed, sustained at the 5th to 5.4 level with a 5.6ish crux, incredibly aesthetic, rarely visited, and has phenomenal views. In my humble opinion this is one of the best routes on the mountain - more difficult and sustained than West Slabs and Geurt's Ridge (or South Ridge of Superior).

For good descent options (all of which involve rappels *ninja edit - this is incorrect, there are at least two descents you can do without rappels, I've detailed one out below) check out the summit post link mentioned earlier, or, for a really fun finish, do "The Goddess Traverse," i.e. the scramble across the myriad sub-summits (class 3,4) to the south summit and take the standard trail down (requires two cars, one at Neff's and one at the standard Olympus trailhead).

You can find more info on the "Traverse of the Goddess" here: mountainalbum.com/mountains…

EDIT RE: NO RAPPELS DESCENT BETA - I went out and solo'd Kamp's today, planning on doing the scramble descent to skier's left of West Slabs and then just hiking the neighborhoods back to Neff's. As I was descending from the North Summit down the western ridgeline I came to a col of sorts where there was a small fire ring. From there a moderately steep dirt path cut down to skier's right. It looked like it had seen foot traffic so I followed it down until it opened up, and then I just kept traversing right until I could see the Neff Canyon parking lot. I scrambled down into a drainage that also looked like it had seen foot traffic, and that funneled me right into the main Neff's Trail. Super easy, no rope needed, just a little routefinding and some easy scrambling. I crossed a few encouraging cairns along the way.


Light rack. One set of cams and a set of nuts will be more than enough. If soloing, be aware that there is some loose rock interspersed between long sections of great rock, keep your head about you.
Bellingham, WA
MoonMountainMan   Bellingham, WA
This is a must do alpine ridge classic! Here is a link to my pictures of my Photography FB Page


Just a note, When Sam and I did this climb we actually started on the ridge that was just to the left ( further in toward the mountain) This ridge joins into the Kamp Ridge proper about half was up. I haven't been on the Lower Kamp Ridge proper as of yet but I can say that the ridge what we took up which joins into Kamp was superb and knife edge for most of it. Looking over to the Lower Kamp ridge from our alternative start it look more vegetated and not as knife edged like the route we took. I will post descriptive photos later and will go try the Lower Kamp Ridge proper to make a comparison and report back. This Climb in Amazing Jun 7, 2013
Stan Pitcher
Stan Pitcher   SLC, UT
I don't think heading up the gully that leads to the Great Chimney is the best approach (Summit post beta). We went that way accidentally when we did it and had to get around the 'Death Ridge' and do a pitch or two straight up to get on the northern most Kamp ridge where we encounterd a steep step that I thought was the crux of the route (5.7 poor pro). Maybe if you left the gully much earlier than we did it would work out better though?

Backed off a big corner that day left of the Great Chimney. Wonder if that or the prominent diagonal-ling crack has ever been climbed? Jun 10, 2013
Sam Cannon
Salt Lake City, UT
Sam Cannon   Salt Lake City, UT
Stan- we climbed the ridge from its toe and this worked well for us. Because of the nature of the climb (no clear trail to ridge) I'd imagine very few people will do this the same way. The lower sections of the ridge were awesome as well, and worth doing instead of bypassing. More of an adventure climb- makes it more exciting! Jun 15, 2013
Bellingham, WA
MoonMountainMan   Bellingham, WA
Just made a short little clip of some of my favorite sections of this climb. Enjoy
youtube.com/watch?v=OAWk7VE… Oct 13, 2013
Alpine, Utah and Almo, Idaho
RKM   Alpine, Utah and Almo, Idaho
Great video above - Mooner. Nothing better than miles of quartzite.

I see you've got the "a' cheval" down. Mar 24, 2014
Crag Turkey
Holladay, UT
Crag Turkey   Holladay, UT
The best thing to keep in mind when you are finding this ridge is that it will not look like an obvious ridgeline when you get to the foot of it. In fact there will be several sets of ridglines, and some ridges to the south that may look more like Kamps than Kamps does. The best thing to do is to follow the river bed on the trail up to the great chimney and branch off to the left drainage almost right as you come into the river bed. From here keep in mind that you should not be doing any major downclimbing anymore. If you aim just right you should be able to ascend right up the ridge. However, this is hardly ever the case. When you find yourself at the top of the gully staring at several different ridglines hop on one of the two most prominent ridgelines right next to the great chimney approach gully. once you start hiking on knifeblades of quartzite you will know your in the right place. Also I found the pictures of the ridgelines behind Kamps helpful for eliminating possible options. This is an epic classic alpine climb. I wouldn't recommend trying this as a free solo for the crux section. Jun 9, 2014
Sam Cannon
Salt Lake City, UT
Sam Cannon   Salt Lake City, UT
One more note about the descent -- I've done Kamp's three ways now...first by finishing off with a Traverse of the sub summits to the S Summit and then coming down the standard trail (shuttle car required), the second by traversing the N Summit ridge to the West Slabs descent and coming down that way (again, shuttle required), but the third time, not wanting to use a shuttle car, we tagged the N Summit then backtracked a bit to the top anchors for Valhalla.

For this descent double 60s are required. As you rap trend climber's left as all the pitches kind of slant in that direction. We left new cord on the pine tree you rap from to get down past the drop into the notch. It took us 6 raps to get to the base of all the 5th class+ BS that is the first two pitches or so of the great chimney. From here, the trail out is much better marked than the trail in for Kamp's. This is not a bad option but the raps were tedious. It will make you want to do the upper pitches of Valhalla, however, which look incredible.

This last option seems much more advisable than rapping the Great Chimney, as you'd have to be downclimbing the cruxes of Kamp's. Oct 6, 2014
Spencer Weiler
Salt Lake city
Spencer Weiler   Salt Lake city
Sam and the summitpost directions to access the ridge are ok considering how complex the ridge systems are as seen from below, but I still went up the wrong one. I actually was accessing it from upper Neffs, rather than below, and took a ridge too far south. This is less likely to happen coming from below, but here is my two cents, though my google earth image hopefully is more helpful than a bunch of words.

Climb the drainage all the way to a small saddle, just past the major north face, with a small bump just east of it. From here, 2 ridge systems can be seen. Take the left(south) one. Immediately south of this ridge is the memorial couloir number 1(there are many) which is a very narrow chute. Hopefully this helps.

The crux for me was getting on the correct ridge, but assuming your routefinding skills are better than mine, once you're on the ridge its more or less straightforward, although I left the ridge proper many times. The upper section is the best as mentioned. I soloed the entire ridge including the cruxes, which with less exposure would seem trivial, but alas a fall here would land you down in Olympus cove. The first crux is an easy traverse right with great feet, and the 2nd crux is what I would describe as 5.6 Offwidth. I actually found a knife edge vertical ridge section earlier on to be more heady than these two upper sections, but whatever. Unfortunately, there is a bailout point into Memorial #1 couloir to the south just before the cruxes, which makes the ridge cruxes seem a little contrived, but that's life. Good to know I guess if you get up there and aren't stoked on the cruxes but still want to get to the summit.

There are about 10 different descent options, and plenty of them don't require ropes, so if you're comfortable soloing don't bring a rope. The easiest is to head down to the immediate saddle south(memorial #1 couloir) and glissade down east if early season(or hike down if no snow). This lands you back in Neffs and no shuttle required. Or if continuing on to the South Summit, take the main trail back down and loop back on the new BST!

If you're looking for a big day, do the west slabs, geurts, and Kamps in a day. Magnificent solo scramble linkup loop. It took me about 5.5 hours CTC from West Slabs TH. May 4, 2015
Spencer, I'm glad to hear you got all 3 in that day. We actually ran into each other when you were first starting up the West Slabs. I was with a group simul-climbing (the only ones with gear & ropes). Anyways, thanks for the additional beta for the approach to Kamp's and the photo too. I've attempted twice previously and ended up bailing both times out of frustration. With your beta the third time's gonna the charm. Cheer's! Jul 10, 2015
A few comments on this climb.

The correct approach here can go a long way, and most of the descriptions I have read are fairly good. I have ascended the 4th class slabs that take you East to the base of the route and into a gully that puts you at the base of the main Kamp's Ridge system.

Once at the base of the ridge there are two main ridge systems that feed into the upper section. The western ridge (climbers right) is probably a little harder (~5.5) and required more climbing but also not as clean. The eastern ridge is not as hard (low 5th) but is a more clean line with good scrambling. Accessing both ridgelines can be the route finding challenge. For both, make an effort to stay as direct on the ridge as possible for the best route. Dropping off the ridge takes away from the good climbing and necessitates more bushwhacking.

Once the ridge lines converge to the upper portion of Kamp's Ridge the route is obvious. For this section I try and stay as true to the ridge as possible and do not drop down to the ledges on climber's right. If you clip the pin, and never have your hand off the ridge crest, the climbing is never more than 5.5 and very fun and exposed. This seems to me to be the original and logical line.

I would say this climb is about 5.5 if staying true to the ridge. Lichen covered rock and route finding are the main challenges. Sep 2, 2017
Kaeli Caldwell
Salt Lake City, UT
Kaeli Caldwell   Salt Lake City, UT
FYI A climber died in a fall here last year while unroped in 4th class terrain:
publications.americanalpine… Oct 24, 2017
New Jersey
Mulch   New Jersey
This is the best ridge I've done in the Wasatch so far. Definitely tops the South Ridge of Superior anyday. Pretty straight forward approach (took us like 50 min taking our time), super sustained and lots of route finding makes this a CLASSIC alpine climb. Do the traverse of the goddesses after to make it an even longer outing. You could also kill two birds with one stone and rappel from the bolted anchors atop the Great Chimney or Valhalla and do one of those routes as well if you feel so inclined. But as the above comment states dont take this route lightly. Would definitely be a ballsy solo. Jun 17, 2018
Russ B
Salt Lake City, UT
Russ B   Salt Lake City, UT
This is a must-do Oly route! A 35m rope will take you to some comfy belays without simul-climbing. I don't know if we would have ended up on the right ridge only using the directions on MP/SP. A buddy gave me the coordinates of the bottom of the ridge that helped a ton.

40°39'49.4"N 111°46'03.4"W

or here's a link to a GPX file from our trip (I only remember bushwacking ~100 feet, and we took the climber's left/inside/east part of the ridge):

gaiagps.com/datasummary/fol… Sep 11, 2018