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Hoback Shield

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Far Right (Warmup Area) 
Hoback Shield Left 
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Hoback Shield Rock Climbing 

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Location: 43.2884, -110.53669 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Mike Snyder, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Nick Stayner on Dec 23, 2007
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BETA PHOTO: The Hoback Shield


The Hoback Shield ("The Shield") is a slabby escarpment of nice limestone with a good selection of route different than any found elsewhere in the valley. If you enjoy calf pumps, pinches, dimples, and a few good roof pulls, check this place out!

Best in spring and fall. Summer is OK until the sun hits it at about 11 AM. The cliff is directly south facing. A good combo day can be made by hitting the Shield in the morning and Rodeo Wall in the afternoon.

Most of the routes were developed by Joe Sottile (AKA Maxwell Yanoff), Greg Miles, and a few others in the early 90s. Miles returned in the early 2000s to retrobolt a few of the sportier classics, thus making them extremely popular. Also in the early 00s, Trevor Bowman added a nice selection of moderate sport routes. Despite the rebolting efforts, routes here are still considered sporty by some. Bring your slab head!

There are a handful of trad routes here which should prove exciting for anyone interesting in polished limestone cracks. Also, many of the sport routes have second pitches that go to the top of the cliff and are protected by trad gear. Please be careful if you decide to top out. Much loose rock exists up there.

Getting There 

(NOTE: these were amended 6/2015 after being inaccurate for many years)

The Shield sits above the Hoback River. If you're driving from Jackson, make a left at Hoback Junction onto Highway 189/191 into Hoback Canyon, paralleling the Hoback River. Drive approx. 11 mi, crossing the river 4 times. Shortly after crossing the Hoback River the 4th time, park in a large pullout which will appear on the right (south) side of the road. The south-facing cliff is visible and sits above you across the road.

Cross the road and encounter a nice trail, which switchbacks up to the base of the cliff. Allow about 10 minutes.

Climbing Season

Weather station 6.7 miles from here

24 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',11],['2 Stars',12],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Hoback Shield

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Hoback Shield:
Shady Grove   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 50'   Hoback Shield Left
Patti's Butt   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 3 pitches, 250'   Far Right (Warmup Area)
Drill and Repetition   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 65'   Far Right (Warmup Area)
Hook It   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport   Far Right (Warmup Area)
Mulvado Edge (Electric Arch)   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Hoback Shield Right
Jam or Slam   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 55'   Far Right (Warmup Area)
A Thousand Cranes   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 70'   Hoback Shield Left
The Joker   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Hoback Shield Left
Petzl Logic   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 80'   Hoback Shield Left
McFlatus Roof   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 70'   McFlatus Roof Area
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Hoback Shield

Featured Route For Hoback Shield
Rock Climbing Photo: Hoist

Hoist 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c  Wyoming : Jackson Hole : ... : Hoback Shield Left
Another fun little route with a devious sequence. Reminiscent of climbing at Blacktail Butte. Interesting, small holds....[more]   Browse More Classics in Wyoming

Photos of Hoback Shield Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: CLIPPING!

Comments on Hoback Shield Add Comment
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By Stevie Nacho
From: Utah
Oct 26, 2008
Way better than the Rodeo Wall. This place can provide some fun climbing, but should not be a destination. The routes are well bolted with new bolts and hanger, to protect the sometimes greasy hand and footholds. Its fun for a day or so.

By boulderkeith
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 1, 2009
Was hot in the July afternoon sun. Would be great for a morning or a cloudy afternoon.
By Hendo Henderson
From: Denver, CO
Aug 9, 2010
You have to cross the river 4 times...this is really important. Additionally, it's not a good idea to give directions in minutes. People drive different speeds (not all of us drive the speed limit, and that's assuming the person that wrote these directions drove the speed limit). Lastly, after you cross the 4th river crossing, you'll see a pull-off on your right, but the wall will be across the street on your left (south-facing, like the author noted). Hope this helps someone...we literally were on a treasure hunt for over an hour because of the "2 river crossings comment".
By DCSwish23
From: Maine/Spain
Aug 3, 2011
After a tough time because of the "two crossings" I finally found it. It's ~10-11 miles from the junction with rt 26.
By Tzilla Rapdrilla
Jun 19, 2012
Free miniguide available here:
By Nick Stayner
From: Wymont Kingdom
Jun 14, 2015
Sorry for leading you guys on "treasure hunts"! I updated the directions to reflect your comments.
By Toddatfarley
Jun 14, 2016
Hello! Due to a thunderstorm I had to leave 3 draws up on the 9 to the left of the ceiling and I was hoping that if someone found them they could get them back to me! I can be reached at 978-866-7387 or Thanks so much!
By Greg Miles
Sep 1, 2017
Sept. 1, 2017.
After a long time doing other projects mainly building houses and updating routes at Rodeo Wall, I returned to the "Shield" this summer and realized this place needed some serious love. Its been ignored for too long. Very little has been done by anyone to update anything at this great little roadside crag. Sure, its not overhanging pocket pulling, but it's far from being a simple slab as the intro comments above would lead one to believe. It is fun climbing with the beauty of the Hoback River below. With that said, yes, wear a helmet when climbing here. I bolted a new route to the right of "Deception" with Lanny Johnson, who spotted the line. We called it "Hot Blubber" 5.11, reflecting that we are not in our 30s or 40s anymore and for me, barely 50s. I've also been updating old chain anchors with new 1/2" Fixe ring anchors. Thanks to Rex Hong and Teton Mountaineering for donating! I've bolted some other seldom climbed lines on which I did first ascents some 25 years ago, creating some fun, well-protected warm-ups. I will continue to upgrade anchors with the hope of getting through most on the cliff. I will also continue to upgrade bolts primarily on routes that I established bringing them into the modern world of sport climbing.
I'm using plate steel Fixe hangers and Rawl 5 piece plate steel bolts. Roadside cragging in Jackson is in limited supply. Lets keep these crags current and fun. Greg
By Rob Pitts
Sep 7, 2017
Greg Miles, I was just up there, and believe we climbed your new Route "Hot Blubber"...was a really fun route, and a bit longer than the rest at The Shield. Keep doing what your doing!

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