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Spotted Owl Sandwich

WI3, Trad, Ice, Alpine, 225 ft, 3 pitches, Grade III,  Avg: 3 from 3 votes
FA: Snyder/Devries 92/93
Wyoming > Cody > S Fork Shoshone (Ice)


As Mike Watt wisely counsels in the song, “Against the 70s”, the kids of today should defend themselves against the Seventies. Spotted Owl Sandwich is a grand ol’ hootenanny of a day. Snowpack can really dictate the mood. None and the climb may not be in, too much and the 2.3 miles (xx km if you’re defending yourself) will feel like 14 miles. Seriously, it felt harder than C2Cing the Grand. And I wasn’t even breaking trail. You want just the right amount to cover up the talus for the last bit of approach. Don’t laugh too hard at your pards. Karma gets around quick up there.

Getting ahead of ourselves here.

Park at the Boulder Basin Trailhead on the Hunter Creek Road. Do not dally at your safety meeting, you got a march ahead of you. To get it started off on the right foot, after going through the fence at the parking area, the trail goes immediately South East.
Do not follow the two track road, which is not a shortcut.
Ramble up the well-established horse trail for 2 miles, leaving gates as you found them. At the 1.75mile mark you will find the first switchback, you’ll have been in the timber for a while before coming across it. At the second switchback, dive off west into the abyss.

Time for some Southforkin! Keep elevation as you traverse into a talused area. Make your way up that obstacle course.

E’rybody still havin’ fun? Excellent.

Near the top you can get into the Hunter Creek Falls drainage proper.

Sweet, now some climbing!

Pitch 1 is a two stepped chimney immediately right of Hunter Creek Falls (WI5). If the lower step isn’t formed, you can do the first 40’ of Hunter Creek and traverse a ledge over. The second step might have some easy mixed moves. Yee haw!
A short walk takes you to
Pitch 2 is a nice, likely fat, flow. About half a rope length. Keep marching up to
P3 is another good flow of about half a rope.
Rap the top two pitches, then below P2, traverse skiers right to Hunter Creek Falls and rap that. And since you came this far, top rope Hunter Creek Falls until you’re pumped out of your gourd.

Remember the talus field. Even funnier when someone forgets their headlamp… Really, it is only 2.3 miles back to the truck. You'll be ready enough for a warm fire and a Spotted Owl Sandwich.


^^^See above



Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

The 3rd pitch of Spotted Owl.  Such a cool area!
[Hide Photo] The 3rd pitch of Spotted Owl. Such a cool area!
Joe leading the 1st pitch of Spotted Owl.
[Hide Photo] Joe leading the 1st pitch of Spotted Owl.
Pitch 1- Spotted Owl Sandwich
[Hide Photo] Pitch 1- Spotted Owl Sandwich
Hunter Creek Falls/Spotted Owl Sandwich Map
[Hide Photo] Hunter Creek Falls/Spotted Owl Sandwich Map
Hunter Creek Falls and Spotted Owl Sandwich from the Boulder Basin Trail. Second switchback.
[Hide Photo] Hunter Creek Falls and Spotted Owl Sandwich from the Boulder Basin Trail. Second switchback.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Marlin Thorman
Spokane, WA
[Hide Comment] You don't have to rappel the top 2 pitches. There is an easy walk skiers right from the top of pitch 3 back down to the top of Hunter Creek Falls. The climbing itself isn't that hard but it sure does feel like the alpine with the slot canyon and bigger approach! Also we found that going straight down the drainage was easier than going back across the Talus. I don't know if it would have been easier on the way though. Just make sure to leave the drainage and cut right back to the trail at some point. Jan 24, 2019