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Railroad Tracks 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches, 800', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: unknown
Season: summer
Page Views: 4,360
Submitted By: Sarge on Mar 31, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (33)
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P1. From near the bottom of the Grassy Goat Trail, scramble up low-angle rock near a single crack to the parallel cracks, then climb left to small tree. 5.4 at best. We simul-climbed this pitch.

P2. Step right to a pair of facing corners and surmount an overhang. 5.8

P3. Follow a right-facing corner for 1 pitch (5.6-5.8)

P4. Follow a corner to above two large blocks. Twenty feet higher, the parallel cracks become difficult. Take the left crack. 5.8

P5-? Easy scrambling to ridge of Haystack Mt.

To descend, walk north along a wide-sweeping ridge. There were a few cairns to mark the start of the Grassy Goat Trail.


This climb is located on Haystack Mountan, West Face, Center Section. See Joe Kelsey's "Climbing and Hiking in the Wind River Range."

The descent is the Grassy Goat Trail. It is considered Grade I 4th class. For the unseasoned climber, this may require a few short rappels. It will definitely sustain your attention.


Typical alpine route. We didn't encounter any fixed gear or bolts. The top is a walk off without anchors

Photos of Railroad Tracks Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Nice summit
Nice summit
Rock Climbing Photo: Phil on P2
Phil on P2
Rock Climbing Photo: Anchors take a little gardening
Anchors take a little gardening
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up from base on grassy goat trail
Looking up from base on grassy goat trail
Rock Climbing Photo: View from the start
View from the start
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitches are color coded as to how we climbed this ...
BETA PHOTO: Pitches are color coded as to how we climbed this ...

Comments on Railroad Tracks Add Comment
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By Brian P
From: NH
Mar 31, 2007
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I actually found the Grassy Goat Trail less serious than I thought it would be. It's definitely exposed with mostly hiking, easy scrambling, and only a few sections where you would use hands. It of course varies from person to person, but I only wanted to rap one section (about half way down?, slings) and once that was in a thunder/hail storm.
By jbak
Oct 29, 2007

The Goat Trail is casual.
By Jared Spaulding
From: Central WY
Aug 20, 2008

I believe the first ascent was Joe Kelsey and Bill St Jean in 1973. This is according to Joe Kelsey's Climbing and Hiking in the Wind River Mountains guidebook.
By Arlo F Niederer
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Sep 7, 2010

The third edition of the Bonney Guide, published in 1977, attributes the first ascent to Elaine Mathews and S. Phillips, in 1973. They are also listed as the first ascent of the Central Corner 1973 (In both Bonney and Kelsey).

The Kelsey guide was published in 1994. Don't know which one is right...I first climbed the route in 1975, prior to anything being in the guidebook. We also climbed the Central Corner in 1975 - it was full of gear from an obvious retreat.

We climbed many routes in here which are not documented in any guidebooks...ascents from a time when people passed route information along by word of mouth, or just saw a line and tried to climb it.

So who knows (and who cares) who got the first ascent.
By Floridaputz
From: Oakland Park, Florida
Aug 23, 2011

This is a really cool climb. The top of haystack has great views of the Winds. This climb starts at the end of the grassy goat trail. I found the cruxes to be solid 5.8. I did turn the 2nd overhang on P2 on the right side and found it the crux of the climb. The dihedral was sustained and had tricky pro. Use small cams on your standard rack. Some cracks are bottoming and grass filled. Where gardening has taken place there are nice placements for small cams. All pitches are rope strechers (5) to 400 ft of class 3-4 to top.
By Cam Reade
Sep 7, 2011

I found this route to be alot longer than what is printed in Steve Bechtel's book. You will stretch a 70m rope on this! This information is as per the color coded picture. pitch one is about 300', pitch (#2) 240', pitch (#3) 110', pitch (#4) 70', pitch #5 150', pitch #6 70', then easy 5th and 4th class to the top.
By Alison Conrad
Sep 9, 2011

The pitches are a lot longer than the Bechtel guide book. Expect full 200 meter pitches. Fairly grassy.
By bob branscomb
From: Lander, WY
Sep 27, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I third the last two comments about pitch length. Expect long pitches and usual alpine vegys. I thought this was a pretty nice route, actually, good fun and the cruxes are interesting.

Protection is quite good. It takes stoppers like crazy. You can sew it up with two sets of stoppers, a couple of larger C3s and a set of C4s to #4 (would do fine to a #3).
By BruceB
From: Reno, NV
Aug 3, 2012

This route is really quite grassy. We also had a big thunderstorm the day before and that resulted in a number a wet areas. Both these things took some of the fun out of it for me (leading).

Same comment on rope lengths as Cam, but I combined his pitch 3&4.

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