Type: Trad, Alpine, 700 ft, 6 pitches, Grade II
FA: Luis Stur, B. Ring, N. Bennet and S. Franke - summer 1957
Page Views: 8,761 total · 188/month
Shared By: Andrew Mayer on Jul 20, 2015
Admins: Mike Engle

You & This Route

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The most commonly climbed route up Warbonnet Peak. more of a technical mountaineering experience than pure rock climb. contains many unique pitches, including a squeeze tunnel, splitter handcrack at 10,000ft and a wonderfully exposed summit pitch. Additional info can be found on Summitpost

P1 - 5.4, approx 28m up to one of 2 trees on a ledge. going to the R tree looked a little harder and adds more traversing to pitch 2. belay from slung tree.
P2 - 5.4 traverse pitch, walk L along ledge, trend slightly down and then back up to get around tree, enter the obvious chimney/slot until it splits, take the R branch, down climb the chockstone and go through the squeeze tunnel (I had to remove my helmet to pass through the squeeze so larger climbers beware). belay from gear at ledge immediately after exiting the squeeze
P3 - 5.7, stem up the obvious crack from the belay, transition to the wider crack on the R when possible makes it easier. higher up, trend L around arete feature to gain gully. belay from gear from a stance.
P4 - 5.7 crux pitch, trend up and L across the gully to the prominent, short L-slanting thin hands crack, make a few strenuous moves up this crack to large ledge, continue up easy runout slab to large slung horn below obvious splitter crack
P5 - 5.7 money pitch, up the awesome hand crack to the ridge, then trend up and R on easy runout terrain, passing a slung block to obvious notch from which the summit pitch can be seen, sling a large block for belay, long pitch
P6 - 5.4 exposed pitch, from notch, down climb 15ft to slanting ledge, make sure to look at all the free air below this precariously balanced rock, then make unprotected but only 5.4 moves to gain the face to the R and obvious ledge, continue up on positive holds past old pin and piton to the ridge, then trend R up exposed but easy ridge to modern bolts and summit log, belay here (then take turns tagging the tiny, exposed summit, there is also a nice ledge and gear belay in the small dip between the 2 summits that can be used to tag the northern summit as well)

Descent - the topo shows a rap down the E face (2 ropes?) but we rapped the route with a single 60m rope. bring extra webbing to replace old tat
1 - rap from modern bolts below summit down the ridge to slanting ledge slightly below P5 belay notch
2 - scramble up to notch and along ridge to slung block you passed on P5
3 - short rappel down large slot/chimney
4 - scramble down and R to large ledge below P5 handcrack, then turn L and walk/scramble east for 30-40ft to another rap station
5 - rappel down to another obvious rap station, slightly up and climber's R from the bottom of P3
6 - rap down, trending climber's R to the initial portion of P2 traverse, walk/scramble to the slung tree atop P1
7 - final 28m rappel down P1 to the base of the route
(option - if you don't stash anything at the base of the route, it appears you can rappel straight down on the second-to-last rappel to a different slung tree, and then a final rappel to the ground, slightly lower than the base of the route)


see main warbonnet page for description on reaching the saddle at 9800 ft just east of the peak. route starts from here. the trees atop pitch one are clearly visible


light alpine rack - nuts, singles green alien to 2 camalot, double #2 for P5 handcrack, 6 alpine draws, single 60m rope, rap material/knife
Garret Nuzzo-Jones
Salt Lake City, UT
Garret Nuzzo-Jones   Salt Lake City, UT
We climbed this route in July 2016. Absolutely fantastic with the most exposure I've ever felt on a route. The summit pitch is so exciting it's almost unreal. Well worth the slog in from Redfish.

We got off the standard route pretty quick but I found it to be very pleasant anyway. Our Pitch 3 was different than standard. We climbed straight up the twin finger cracks (the one on the right was more secure and felt closer to 5.7). Instead of stepping left around the corner into the sandy gully we continued straight up. We passed a rap station that was visible on the right and then up through a short squeeze chimney. I got through even at 6'4" 240 lbs. Above that a couple 5.6 or so moves take you to a blocky gully area. A belay is easy here and watch for a rap station (red cord) on the right. A quick scramble up and left brings you to the base of the splitter 5.7 hand crack.

The descent was very possible and easy with a single 60M rope. The only funkiness was on the traverses. We found it easiest to lead and then toprope the summit pitch. Made for more careful lowering. Rap off the slings passed on P5 then scramble down to the top of P3 and rap off the red cord. This rap will get you all the way into the chimney traverse and the big chockstone. Lead back across the 5.4 traverse and rap off the first tree you belayed from. Easy and had great rap stations when we visited. Jul 6, 2016
petr07 Lindahl  
Top 2 pitches plus the views of the Sawtooths looking west/south make it worth the slog.

Careful getting ropes stuck if rapping the route. Jun 28, 2017
Nate Ball
Portland, OR
Nate Ball   Portland, OR  
Something I didn't get from this post or from SummitPost is that the route is not on the south face or even the southeast aspect of the peak. Rather, it is on the east side of the mountain, nearly at the top of the pass, and is oriented only slightly south-eastward. It is a hell of a slog up from Lower Bead Lake, another 500' above the lowest solid rock on the south side.

As of mid-July 2017, after a heavy snow year, the base of the route appeared to be completely covered in snow. The route was easy to identify from a distance, but we got confused by the description of the route, and ended up climbing some fun (undocumented?) pitches in the first gully on the south side.

Snow didn't effect the rest of the approach too much. It was clear up to and well above Alpine Lake. We followed a creek up from Alpine Lake and encountered some wonderful granite staircases next to streams trickling from the wide snow fields above. Thankfully the snow was super soft so didn't require any special gear in getting to the first pass. Getting around the north side of the unnamed peak was a little hairy, with lots of loose talus, but we were able to avoid snow as we crossed over to the pass above the Warbonnet/Feather Lakes drainage. From here it is a miserable descent through scree and kitty litter into the blissful meadows below. Another mile of following faint trails along the shores of the lakes will take you to Upper and Lower Bead Lakes, neither of which have much in the way of ideal camping locations.

I would also like to reiterate what others have said about this area. Be utterly diligent in minimizing your impact here. No fires. No animals. No poop near the lakes. Don't spit out toothpaste or throw out food scraps or grey water. This is a pristine wilderness - please help keep it that way. Jul 16, 2017
Andrew Mayer
Driggs, ID
Andrew Mayer   Driggs, ID
Nate - the "location" tab clearly states the route starts from the saddle E of the peak. Jul 16, 2017
Nate Ball
Portland, OR
Nate Ball   Portland, OR  
Cool. Jul 16, 2017
Andy Novak
Bailey, CO
Andy Novak   Bailey, CO
A true wilderness climb. We opted to camp at Alpine Lake instead of hauling our gear up and over and it was a VERY long day, but doable (bring a filter). If backpacking in to Feather or the Bead Lakes, trekking poles and a well-balanced pack are highly recommended, as the decent into the Warbonnet Lake drainage in heinous. We never found the trail from the 3rd switchback, but just keep walking (10-15 mins) until you get to the rocky steps (some easy 3rd class) leading up to the pass. After the "tunnel" on the 2nd pitch, we stemmed straight up and got off-route into a wide section that was NOT 5.7. Make sure to keep trending left after the tunnel to stay on route. Rapped the route with a single 60 using the spot-on rap beta here. Easy rap, except the summit pitch will get your heart pounding! The view of the Rakers and the rest of the Sawtooth high country from the summit is unforgettable. Aug 2, 2017
Boise, ID
Trevor.   Boise, ID

There are many variations on this route, but this is what I recommend:

P1: Easy 5.5 from the saddle up to sling blocks and a tree.
P2: Traverse left, past a tree, and continue into a large chimney, and continue through a tight squeeze.
P3: Head straight up twin cracks once through the chimney, and continue straight up through blocky terrain and a short squeeze chimney section. Belay is obvious on a ledge where you can sling blocks.
P4: Scramble left to obvious splitter hand crack. Climb the hand crack, and run it out on an easy slabby rib until at the obvious notch.
P5: Climb downwards from notch onto large suspended block. From there, one can optionally step down into a cave and belay unanchored but safe, or continue to the summit. From the suspended boulder, pull a slab move onto the summit block, then place some fiddly tiny gear, and run it out up to the summit arete. There used to be a pin and a rusty 1/4" bolt protecting the moves to gain the summit, but now only the 1/4" bolt remains. It's easy, but don't fall!

My rack: Singles #0.3-#2 C4 or equivalent with one extra #2, a half set of nuts, and 7 slings. If you've got small ball nuts, bring a few for the summit pitch, they weigh nothing and are completely bomber where other gear is fiddly. Go as light as possible, the approach sucks with a heavy pack.

If you do the WILD 60m double rope rappel off the big overhang, use an EDK and make sure your knot is over the lip by the rings or you'll never get your ropes to pull. This rappel route is adventurous and you should expect loose rock, exposed scrambling, a tension traverse or two, crispy webbing, and hoping to god your ropes don't get stuck. Otherwise, you can rappel the route with one rope, and also hope your rope doesn't get stuck! Aug 22, 2017
Andy Munas
Phoenixville, PA
Andy Munas   Phoenixville, PA
I added an updated and more clear topo for the route. I replaced a lot of crispy webbing on the way down and added a new rap ring to one of the single ones that looked pretty rough.

This route is quite the adventure and the runouts are quite healthy. Our group of 4 ended up not getting to the last pitch because of time and wanting to get down and out in a reasonable time. I highly recommend a single 70 meter for the descent. Oh, also don't be like me and forget all the #2 pieces for the splitter 5.7 crack pitch!

Tat from Warbonnet Aug 28, 2017
Thomas G.
Thomas G.   SLC, UT
Climbed on 7/21/2018. We took a significant variation for pitches two and three (and part of 4) that was phenomenal and well worth repeating.

P2 (Var): From the tree with rap tat on it, trend left until you reach the next tree. Instead of going further left, head up the broken face until you can reach the inside of the closest large, left-facing chimney above. Climb this chimney (small/medium gear available) until you commit to the thin hands crack on the face. Climb that crack and belay at a stance at the base of a short right-angling dihedral. (5.9, brilliant)

P3 (Var): - Head up the short dihedral to the base of a right-facing chimney. Climb the short chimney, with fun and well-protected moves near the top. Traverse left on big ledge at the top of the chimney, passing a few slung blocks, and belay to the right of the gully at the base of P5. The P5 handcrack should be visible above and to the left of you. (5.9, also fantastic)

P4 (Var): - Either move up and left, making a hard move to drop into the gully (5.9+, protects well with a small cam) to traverse into the base of P5 handcrack, or downclimb a short chimney to climber's right of the belay (5.4), then traverse the gully to gain the start of P5.

Both my partner and I agreed that if we were off route, the climbing was so good that we didn't even want to be on route. Fantastic climbing on stellar rock, and just hard enough to keep things interesting. Jul 23, 2018
Kyle McCrohan
Brier, WA
  5.7 PG13
Kyle McCrohan   Brier, WA
  5.7 PG13
Climbed this back in August, the same day we hiked in from Redfish (took the 7am boat) to camp at Bead Lakes in 4.5 hrs and then did the climb in about 7 hrs camp to camp at a very relaxed pace. Pitch 4 disappeared; we only encountered one sweet 5.7 handcrack and it was definitely the P5 described. So the climb was only 5 pitches. Rapped it in 4 raps rapping down the route essentially (except for rapping down a dark chimney instead of P5). Very fun route, generally easy climbing, and awesome exposure and setting. The summit pitch was not too scary because it is only 5.4 (harder if you're short) but one party up there didn't feel comfortable leading it so keep that in mind. Sep 13, 2018