Type: Trad, Alpine, 1200 ft (364 m), 11 pitches, Grade V
FA: Cody Scarpella and Ian Cavanaugh
Page Views: 2,669 total · 52/month
Shared By: Ian Cavanaugh on Jul 27, 2017
Admins: Eric Bluemn, Mike Engle

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Please use WAG bags for human waste and pack it out! See request from the Wilderness Ranger in the Sawtooths. Details


The Thorn Bush is an old aid line which was neglected for far too long. The name is derived from the obvious thorn bush which sits in the middle of Pitch 5 and, in the subtle words of Cody, you can "high step the shit out of that bush!" The route sits on a part of the wall that is often overlooked as many of the other classics on the wall sit either left of right, but if you are looking for an adventure, escape from the crowds or just simply some amazing rock not often touched this is where you want to be.

P1 (5.8): The first pitch is the same as for Boomer's Story, a simple 5.8 up a corner, a short chimney and some airy moves to a good ledge.

P2 (5.12d): Off the left side of the ledge begins one of the best pitches on the Perch, and one of the best alpine pitches I have ever climbed. Exciting and fun climbing leads to a WILD chimney section and up to a decent rest. Get everything you can back and embark on the crux of the pitch and perhaps the route. Pull through a bulge and into an improbable corner. If you're David Copperfield this is no problem. This pitch ends at the original hanging belay set by the first ascentionists.

P3 (5.10+): Pitch 3 pulls back into the corner and makes its way under an airy roof traverse; pull onto a ledge and follow easy terrain to a giant ledge.

P4 (5.11): Pitch 4 is a gem. This is a perfect right-leaning 5.11 fingers and thin hands crack that finishes with a few surprisingly fun OW moves to the anchor.

P5 (5.12+): The Thorn Bush pitch! Start in a dirty crack out right of the belay. Move back left and towards the bush. From here you can either 'highstep the shit out of it' or bear down on a few small crimps, hike a foot and blast to a good flat ledge. Mantle up and get ready for the next crux. The crack here tends to seam out but opens up just when you need it to, or maybe 6" further than you would like. Figure your way up into the corner and follow it to a roof. Take the roof out right and climb up to a belay.

P6 (5.12-): Pitch 6 starts out with a few Funk Master Flex stemming moves in a blank corner. Move right at a roof and then follow the killer 5.10 fingers and hands to the bivy ledge. The Bivy ledge is one of the coolest hangs on the Perch and a great place to relax and fuel up before the last of the hard climbing.

P7 (5.11): Off the ledge start up a locker steep finger crack, be warned this is a very sharp crack but sooooo good. When the crack thins step right onto the face and up into a thin hand/ring lock crack. Follow that for about 20 feet then step back left when possible. Follow this through a few roofs and past a couple ledges. A short hard flaring OW section leads you to a good stance and the end of the hard climbing.

From this point follow the obvious cracks (5.10) up and right towards the Beckey Tree. From the tree take which ever line you wish to the top. All the climbing at this point is 5.10 or under.

Pitch break down: 5.8, 5.12d, 5.10+, 5.11, 5.12+, 5.12-, 5.11, 5.10, 5.10- (to the Beckey Tree). 3 more pitches of <5.10 to the summit.


Left of the Direct Beckey; same start as Boomer's Story


Double rack with lot of draws. There are a few fixed pins in the seams where gear is not available. There is only one bolted anchor from the original FA party; all others are natural.


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