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Trad, 60 ft,
Avg: 2 from 1
> Wasatch Range
> Little Cottonwo…
> Gate Buttress
> Five Fingers Area
Access Issue: Gate Buttress Area Recreational Lease: Climbs on Church Buttress above vault remain closed
Climbers Partner with LDS Church on Stewardship of Little Cottonwood Canyon Climbing
June 1st, 2017:The Salt Lake Climbers Alliance (SLCA), the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), and Access Fund announce the signing of an unprecedented lease for 140 acres in Little Cottonwood Canyon (LCC). The parcel, known as the Gate Buttress, is about one mile up LCC canyon and has been popular with generations of climbers because of its world-class granite.
The agreement secures legitimate access to approximately 588 routes and 138 boulder problems at the Gate Buttress for rock climbers, who will be active stewards of the property. The recreational lease is the result of several years of negotiations between LDS Church leaders and the local climbing community.
Access Note: The climbs on the Church Buttress above the vault that have been traditionally closed will remain closed. Please help us steward this area and leave no trace.
Ruckman's calls this an 'unpleasant squeeze chimney'. The more recent "Ferguson to Lone Pine Peak" guide describes this as "A dirty squeeze chimney. Have fun..."
Fun I did have, but I disagree with these sentiments! The crack, while short, is sustained at wide technique and surprisingly difficult for a so-called 5.6. It has two distinct cruxes, the entry above the pine tree and then a harder one at the second tier beyond. The rock is cleaner than most other routes in the area, and it takes pro well. Just make sure to leapfrog your wide cams...
Also, I don't know if a missing hold broke off or I missed something, but the second crux felt way harder than 5.6. I would have rated it more like 5.8-5.9 (based on my experience. I led a lot of wide in Yosemite, including the NEB of Higher Cathedral Rock & Harding Route on Conness).
Not shown in any guidebooks is a short by fun second pitch continuation in order to access anchors above Fat Man's Misery and The Waltz. Continue scrambling up the corner and you will encounter a juicy arcing hand crack. While you can step left to slab halfway up, why would you do that?! Go for the awkward wide exit with the fun chickenhead face hold. This crack takes BD #2-3 pieces, and a #4 nicely protects the exit.
This route climbs directly above the pine tree at the right side of Fat Man's Ledge. Belay on bushes at the top. You can use the Five Fingers Rappel to the south to descend, or continue up an additional pitch to gain anchors above Fat Man's Misery and The Waltz.
I placed a BD #2 just before the entry. After that I leapfrogged up a #6 most of the way, with an optional #5 for one narrower part. I placed a #0.75 & #3 as 'piece of mind' gear to leave behind as I leapfrogged cams.