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Routes in Cascade Canyon

Bat Attack Crack T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Baxter's Pinnacle - South Ridge T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Guide's Wall T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Lower Highway to Heaven T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
No Perches Necessary T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Symmetry Crag 4 - Trinity Buttress T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Type: Trad, Alpine, 1000 ft, 8 pitches, Grade II
FA: First Described Route: Nobuyuki “Yuki” Fujita and Ron Watters
Page Views: 1,638 total, 96/month
Shared By: Ron Watters on Jun 27, 2016
Admins: Mike Snyder

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Baxter’s Pinnacle and Southwest Descent Gully Closed for Nesting Peregrine Falcons Details

Description

Introduction:

Highway to Heaven is an outstanding multi-pitch climb on the tantalizing granite of Storm Point. Nobuyuki “Yuki” Fujita and I originally did the climb in eleven pitches. We purposely kept some of pitches short on our exploratory climbs to avoid rope drag and to communicate better between one another. However, in two subsequent climbs, that number was reduced to a more efficient seven to eight pitches.

The climbs ends at Tranquility Point – not an official name, we admit, but an appropriate name considering the elegance and beauty of the climbing to reach it. The climb is all south facing and is climbable throughout the season.

It’s a particularly pleasant route in the early season when other climbs are still snowed in or wet from melt water. It’s slightly easier and closer to the trailhead than Guides Wall (a popular 5.8 climb located a mile farther than this climb), and it serves as a good alternative when things are crowded there. It’s conveniently located near the west side of Jenny Lake, starting and ending at the same location. Many climbs in the Tetons involve a fair amount of scrambling, but not here. This one is all rock.

The Route:

(See "Location" for how to get to 'The Ramp' which is the starting point of the climb.

From the top of the ramp, you can see the first two pitches. You’ll be looking at a southeast facing slab that extends upward 200 feet. The top of the slab is guarded by a huge roof (Entrance Roof) that extends from one side of the slab to the other. The start of the climb begins on a smooth slope with small holds. The slope quickly eases off and then steepens up again midway up to the roof. Entrance Roof is an imposing barrier, but it can be avoided by climbing around it to its extreme left side – where, just above and to the left of the roof, you’ll find a nice ledge (Rhapsody Ledge).

From here, you follow a natural line upwards until reaching Tranquility Point, a high point just below some impressive vertical walls. (Upper Highway to Heaven begins here. More information on that climb will be available soon on Mountain Project.)

The first ascent of the route required 11 pitches but on subsequent ascents, we have been able to cut that back to 7 pitches. I have prepared a webpage with details on each of the pitches here:
http://www.ronwatters.com/Climbs_HighwayLower.html

Location

Take the boat across Jenny Lake (or hike the 2.5 mile Jenny Lake trail) to the Cascade Creek Trail. (Hint: there’s a reduced fare if you catch the earliest boat) The Cascade Trail leads to the popular Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. Continue past Inspiration Point. Approximately .6 mile from Inspiration Point, the trail which has been mostly in trees enters an open area. Cascade Creek will be to your left. The creek which to this point has been a series of rapids suddenly becomes smooth and lake-like for a short stretch. It’s at this point where the flat water starts that you’ll turn to the right, off the trail, and climb uphill to start of the climbing route.

Before hiking up the talus and scree slope above the lake-like water of Cascade Creek, look to the right (north) and upwards. The main buttress of Storm Point on which you’ll be climbing is somewhat protected by a lower cliff band a couple hundred feet above Cascade Creek. Above the cliff band is an upper bench with scattered trees. The climb is accessed from this bench. The lower cliff band has a break in it directly above where the flat water of Cascade Creek turns into rapids. You’ll want to head for this break in the cliff band.

Hike upwards through the break in the cliff band and continue hiking straight uphill. As you approach the buttress, look for a ramp, and if you spot it, head towards it. If you don’t see the ramp, hike straight up until reaching the buttress. Once you reach the base of the buttress, turn left and hike a short distance around the base of it. In less than 200 feet, you’ll come to the ramp.

Protection

The rappels which bring you back to the starting point of the climb require all of 60 meters, so the best way to climb it is to use a 60-meter double rope – or if you use a single rope, be sure to take along an extra rope for rappels. (If you’re just doing the first two pitches, one 70 meter single rope will do the job.)

You can get by with a fairly light rack. We had a few small chocks, one of each cam from the smallest up to 4-inch (we did use the 4 inch cam a couple of times), around 10-12 shoulder length slings, and our own cordelettes. That was perfectly adequate for lead and belay station anchors. During the two recent climbs of the route, Peter Walka and I reinforced the existing rappels, but since route is fairly new, it’s a good idea to bring extra sling material to further beef up anchors.
This climb sucks balls. Outstanding and tantalizing are not the words I would use to describe it. We stayed on route and found nothing but shitty, loose and vegetated rock. Nov 6, 2017
MichaelAzevedo
  5.7+
MichaelAzevedo  
  5.7+
DON'T READ IF YOU DON'T WANT THE SPRAY DOWN.

Climbed this yesterday with my girlfriend. Thought it was decent.

We did a great deal of community service efforts. Hucked about 50+ loose blocks off this thing, ten or more were directly above the Funky Flake. There's a crazy number of loose blocks near the top. Probably isn't realistic to clean this up, but keep the community service efforts going while this route is still rarely climbed. Also, put together a block of rocks with a sling for hanging gear at the base.

1st Pitch: Like Jesse said, not much for protection. Going left offers no pro until you're on the ledge, I believe. Up and then right offers pro at the semi-tricky moves. I soloed it. It's easy climbing.

2nd Pitch: Probably the best pitch. I went up the "Middle" of the face/slab. Thought the climbing fun and pro was fine. If you climb 5.10, leave the #4 at home (I only placed it once above simply because I didn't feel like carrying it). Instead of placing a #4 on the left side of the flake, you can place a #3 extended on a double length in the top right of the flake before moving left into the moves. Extend your shit prudently before this point, otherwise it could be a pain with rope drag. I wouldn't skip this feature first go 'round. It's fun. #2, 3#, #.75 make a nice gear anchor above.

3rd Pitch: Kind of a throw away pitch. Built a gear anchor under the first roof. Stance and gear looked better. Takes .5, #2, #1, or #4 (back corner of roof), it a couple different spots

4th Pitch: Continue up path of least resistance (right n then back left). The 5.8 moves were fun (.5 pro), into a short jam crack (#2 and/or #3) that can also be face climbed. Look for the cairn on the ledge for a gear crack (.75, .4, and .1, but many options exist) that is positioned well for the next pitch.

5th Pitch: Look left for dihedral above block. Fun, not sustained, but short sections of good rock and fun moves. Above the chimney, stand on the rock, and step across the face, then turn up left n scramble toward the Nirvana Wall to avoid getting lost. Gear anchor under overhang on the right of wall. (#1 and #.75 work)

6th Pitch: Off the belay is really fun, wish it were longer. Probably only 5.8 because it's steeper than the rest of the route. It was easy, and the gear was fine. Takes a variety of cams. Above this is dog shit. I trended left and then back right. I'd recommend placing pieces intermittently to keep your rope off the ground to prevent potentially knocking off some rope cutters/second killers. If you feel inspired to "clean", go for it, but it might be futile. Belayed in a crack (#2, #3, and #.3) right below an obvious right-trending ramp that leads you to summit block.

7th Pitch: We un-roped and soloed this. Easy, and by now you should realize you should test/be wary of every single hold you grab. Don't die pulling off loose shit.

Upper Highway looks cool. Looking forward to going back for it.

Getting down:
- I wasn't pissed I brought my shoes up. Opted to down climb summit block. I wasn't about pulling my ropes with all the loose stuff nearby.

- Skipped the "dead tree" rappel. I would not trust it as it wobbles when touched. Right below this tree, it's one 5.easy move on jugs to downclimb.

- I agree with Jesse about offsetting the rope for the "Two conifer tree" rappel. Even if just the second person to rappel does it. You can also walk about 30ft away from the wall before pulling to keep the rope away from the wall.

- Don't lazy with keeping your ropes untangled from the tree the second-to-last rappel over the roof. You may pay for it otherwise, and ascending your rope would be misery.

- I cut off the mess of rope at the last rappel that someone (I misspoke initially) left behind. Just maintain that anchor, it makes it down to the start no problem. Conifer above it is also healthy.

Last remarks: EXTEND EVERYTHING. This route has lots of ledges and edges to get hung up on. I'd prob bring 3X double lengths next time. Didn't even bring nuts, had no regrets. Doubles in hand sizes was nice, because most anchors took #1, #2, or #3. Wish I left the #4 at home. Great route to simul-climb with a competent partner. Also, great route for new trad leaders due to its non-sustained nature, and many ledges. Just use extra caution with the loose stuff. Probably easier than the SW Ridge of Symmetry and Guide's Wall.

Damn, somehow that turned into a novel. Happy climbing! Thanks Yuki and Ron for the thorough description. Jun 26, 2017
Josh Q
 
Josh Q  
 
We climbed this route recently. The climbing is great for the grade.The approach isn't too bad. However the rappel down was out least favorite part. We created our own lower rappel station for the last rappel. Slung a large boulder with cordellte and biners. It is approximately 30 feet below the last small conifer tree as described in the guide.

Was wondering if the last pitch could go up the face vs scrambling to the ridge? Rock looked climbable from the peak. Jun 24, 2017
Jesse Bryant
Jackson, Wyoming
  5.8 PG13
Jesse Bryant   Jackson, Wyoming
  5.8 PG13
Climbed this (sort of) yesterday! Fun route in an awesome location...worth the time for sure. A couple notes that may be helpful:

Up:
  • P1: Very few opportunities for protection.
  • P2: Awesome climbing and clear route finding.
  • P3: A little confusing route finding...we went up some dirty dark rock and a little left and belayed just underneath a little dark roof before moving just left onto good rock...If I did it again I would probably make this pitch a little longer and continue up left and onto the better rock past the "small roofs".
  • P4: Really really awesome climbing on a big fat flake to a huge HUGE ledge. A highlight. If the leader decides to make the anchor at the high side of Salvation Ledge communication with them will be nearly impossible. Just a heads up.
  • P5: The dihedral at the top of Salvation is obvious, but just above it is where *we got off route* based on the online beta...in the description on Ron's website it says "Continue climbing above the dihedral, slightly to the right, up easy terrain until you can see what appears to be a smooth face with overhanging blocks on its right edge..." I would change this to When you leave the dihedral you will be on a huge sloping fourth class ramp. Head up and left to the top of the ramp until you can see what appears to be a smooth face with overhanging blocks on its right edge. When I left the dihedral I went up and right toward what looked like a smooth face directly above me and we found ourselves on an airy ledge below relatively unprotectable scary slabby stuff and then chossy blocky stuff. Yikes!
  • P6: We continued up the scary choss and found ourselves at the second rappel station and decided to rappel from there instead of heading to the top of Tranquility.

Down:
  • "Second" rappel station (but our first, from the tree with carabiners): There is potential for the knot to get stuck here on some of the pointy stuff on the ledge. We got ours stuck and had to reascend the rope...The rappel is actually a bit short of 60m with rope stretch, so I would suggest offsetting the ropes a bit, starting with the knot a bit closer to the edge, below all of the blocks it could get caught on.
  • Third rappel: make sure you don't get sucked down descender's left into the small drainage/dihedral on this rappel. Move further descender's right (climber's left) than you think so that you rappel directly over the Entrance Roof. I think the black arrow from the beta picture is actually in the wrong location(?) Up and left of the end of the arrow in the picture (closer to and directly under Entrance Roof) is another crop of small conifers, which was where we rappelled to and found a station that matched the written description...Look at the picture of Yuki online rappelling over the roof to get a good idea of what it should look like here, not the beta picture.
  • Fourth rappel: Straightforward!

Overall, great adventure in the mountains! With more traffic the route will get cleaner...we pulled some stuff kind of big stuff off. There are parts of this route that are astoundingly great rock quality and some that are a bit suspect (P3) and should be taken seriously. In its current state I would be tentative to climb anywhere below another party...That said, I was very surprised at how accessible and fun this climb was. I can't wait to go again, nail the route finding and get to climb Nirvana Wall...the Tetons need more of this! Sep 29, 2016