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Patty's Ridge
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Patty's Ridge 

YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a

Type:  Trad, 700'
Original:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a [details]
FA: Wasatch Mountain Club?
Page Views: 2,307
Submitted By: grk10vq on Oct 2, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (12)
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BETA PHOTO: Rough topo showing the route we took. Your mileage...


A route that is open to interpretation, Patty's Ridge is an adventure climb which can be done a number of different way and in a number of different pitches. Climb aretes, cracks, and corners over forgiving, and sometimes fragile terrain. This ridge is a good outing to practice traditional, varied climbing.

Locate and ascend a right-facing corner and stop at a solid ledge. Consider building a belay if doing this in short pitches without simul climbing. Continue here up the dihedral until you reach the ridge. If doing the corner in one or two pitches, its probably best to regroup after the arete on top of the dihedral. Continue by traversing the ridge until you find another good rest and belay. From here climb the very exposed, very sharp ridge. The crux will come for some on the 2nd half of the ridge where there is a nice fist crack near the arete. There is a touchy move in the middle of this stretch, which keep things exciting. Consider building a belay at the base of an obvious dihedral. Climb the dihedral and bring up your second before traversing towards the next crack. For most, the next pitch will be the crux. Regroup before this pitch and tackle the crack. Consider another belay after this pitch and set yourself up before the final arete. Climb the arete, build a belay, and descend.

Descent: Most climbers will walk-off down an obvious scree field gully. Many options vary, see individual comments below for other options.

This line offers great views, great climbing and great exposure! The 1st half of the ridge is the crux and the steepest section of rock.

There is a bit of loose rock here and there, but easily spotted and can be avoided.


This ridge actually separates Stairs Gulch from the Buena Vista, Redrum, Geezer Wall Ridge.

Hike up the Stairs Gulch Trail. When you are almost out of the Dead Snag/Glass Ocean area a dark quartzite ridge runs down to the stream separating the area's. This is Patty's Ridge.


A super light set of cams and nuts if comfortable at the grade, or a full set plus plenty of slings and a cordelette if you're just getting some leads under your belt. If you start in the wide corner at the bottom bring something big like hexes, or a #3 or #4.

At the end of the ridge is a loose scree gulley that runs east/west, get into this by walking to the west side of the ridge (faint trail) then down the gulley into Stairs Gulch.

Photos of Patty's Ridge Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up the beautiful, exposed section of the r...
Looking up the beautiful, exposed section of the r...
Rock Climbing Photo: First pitch of Pattys Ridge.
First pitch of Pattys Ridge.
Rock Climbing Photo: Patty's Ridge from near the creekbed coming down f...
Patty's Ridge from near the creekbed coming down f...

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 10, 2017
By Alec LaLonde
Jun 10, 2012
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

There's a really nice, 30ft splitter finger crack about 2/3rd of the way up the ridge.
By Tristan Higbee
From: Ogden, UT
Jun 16, 2012

We did it in three pitches and it added up to about 500' long total. The pitch lengths are very approximate.

Pitch 1: Start around the left side of the ridge, not too far above the stream, and head up one of the corner/crack systems. Belay at a flat stance on the ridge. 120'.

Pitch 2: Gingerly scramble through some dark quartzite until you're on the great, exposed arete/ridge. Climb the whole of the arete and belay partway up a dihedral on a stance/ledge made up of rickety blocks. 220'. (Note that you might not make it to the belay spot even with a 70m rope if you don't belay high enough at the top of pitch 1.)

Pitch 3: Climb the rest of the way up the nice dihedral until it ends at a flat spot, then move left. Climb a steep, short hand crack (route crux) and then another short arete section until it flattens out and the ridge pretty much ends. 150'.

Descent: Again, this is how we did it so take it for what it's worth. From the top-out spot, unrope and walk along a faint trail up the right side of what was the ridge until you can drop down into a gully. Follow this gully for a while; no bushwhacking is really required. If you get to a point where there's a steep cliff dropoff, head 50 feet back up the gully and look for a notch heading into another gully (the notch will be on you're right as you're looking back up the gully). From there, follow the scree slope down. When it heads, contour right against the cliff until you're back at the stream and the Stairs Gulch trail.
By PeterSLenz
From: Salt Lake City
Oct 24, 2013
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13

Look at Tristan's excellent Beta photo of the ridge. I added some comments about a reasonable descent route.
By John Steiger
Jun 25, 2016

Tempted to toggle the fourth star for this one. It's longer that Steorts', has similar exposure and exciting moves, and the rock is almost as solid -- plus it has magnificent views of Stairs Gulch and the East Face of Storm Mountain, and is nearly as historical as Steorts'. It starts less than 40 feet from the well-trod Stairs Gulch trail, and the descent as described by Tristan and Peter takes you back to the base. Except for maybe ten feet to get on the route, one can stay on the crest of the ridge the entire way for maximum exposure (protection on the crest may be more problematic, though, although the climbing is still 5.6ish -- a great line for the minimalist's after-work circuit).
By James Garrett
Jun 26, 2016

Agree with Steiger ("climber" or "overseer" in German:)), though I easily give it 4 stars despite a few misgivings. It is really a fun and classic climb, however, if you are a new 5.6 trad leader, take one of everything on this will probably use it, and your following partner will appreciate it. Wonderful views and ambience.

No fixed gear, not even some of the old Alpenbock pitons that used to appear here and it is a great multi-pitch beginner trad line, but if you have a super light rack as mentioned above, you will have to run it out:)...pretty sewable if you want to be creative. Additionally, you will probably have the route to yourself.

As historic as this route is, loose chossy rock and lichen persist. Still, mega classic in my book...though the loose steepish scree descent tarnishes the ascent experience and may well be the crux of the entire endeavor.
By John Steiger
Jun 27, 2016

Okay, if James is in, I'm going for it – toggled up. Did it again last night (was that your chalk James?). Another plus, the route ends on a true summit, not just a point on the ridge like Steorts', and I like the scree field -- just point 'em downhill and stay light. Looking for info on Patty Parmelee (who Gottman says the ridge is named for); anyone got anything? PS, thanks for the update to the page Gregg.
By James Garrett
Jun 28, 2016

I was "marking the way" for Franziska:):)... Yea, right:) might have been a bit excessive.... It is sad that Gottman left the party way too early. Maybe the descent will grow on me if we do it more than once every 20 years!!!:)
By zoso
Jun 30, 2016
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13

This route felt more like technical mountaineering than climbing. That's not a bad thing though.
By Jeremy Polk
From: Sandy, UT
Sep 10, 2016

This is a REALLY nice moderate line. The position in Stairs Gulch combined with good rock and awesome exposure makes this a much better experience than Standard Ridge. The descent is much more enjoyable than that of Standard Ridge as well. Did the finger crack variation out to the right on the second pitch which probably bumped up the grade a bit (5.8?) but added some good gear opportunities to that pitch. The whole climb can be done in 3 pitches but we did it in 4 which worked well and allowed my partner and me to each lead 2 pitches. We descended the gully to the climbers left of the arête back down to the stream in Stairs Gulch. We did the rappel partway down the gully but this is probably not necessary.
By Gregory Palis
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
Jul 21, 2017

I may have been off route for the start, but I definitely was on line for most of the upper 2/3rds. I thought it was extremely hollow rock and would recommend climbing very delicately and not expecting many pieces in solid rock. It's 5.5 though, at best, so I guess this isn't a big deal.
By Jason Funk
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 25, 2017

The poison ivy is spreading at the start of the climb, take some mission impossible maneuvers to make it to the base untouched.
By Stan Pitcher
From: SLC, UT
Aug 9, 2017

Finally got around to doing this ridge and it definitely merits 4 stars for the adventure, ambiance, and some great ridge climbing on solid rock. Unfortunately its been marred by someone placing a 2 bolt belay/rap station in the middle of the sweeping ridge (I had stopped our 2nd pitch a little below on a great ledge with great gear). Where the rap leads, who knows? I did not see any other anchors till the gully decent where there was a slung tree and one of those fancy rap anchors with webbing and engraving. Not necessary here either as the down climb is easy but very loose.
By zoso
Aug 9, 2017
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13

Good hell.
I'm gonna add a wrench to my harness and start removing this shit.
A big part of the draw with this route is its natural state.
By ddriver
From: SLC
Aug 9, 2017

See here: Stairmaster

"2 bolts and chain for an anchor"
By zoso
Aug 10, 2017
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13

Confirmed with Brent, those are NOT his anchors. Stairmaster lies considerably below the ridge proper.

Pull em I say.
By JimG
Aug 10, 2017

If you look at page 203 of Tony's new Big Cottonwood "guide", it shows a two bolt belay station in the middle of the upper ridge, and two bolted rappel stations on the descent. It doesn't say who put those bolts in; maybe it was the same person who put convenience bolts on The Eleventh Hour?

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