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Shell Canyon Spire

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Shell Canyon Spire Rock Climbing 

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Administrators: Mike Snyder, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Trevor Bowman on May 4, 2008
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Shell Canyon Spire, as seen from the hike up below...


The obvious blocky tower that sits a few hundred feet above the Beef Trail. I'm almost positive this tower is composed of the Madison Limestone layer, despite its close proximity to the Bighorn Dolomite cliff-band.
I do not know the history of this tower; it has obviously seen several ascents prior to my recent climb, but I've never seen any info on who did it, what route they took, or what the proper name of the tower is. If you know any more about this tower's past ascents, please contribute here!
On our recent ascent of the North Face, I was somewhat surprised to roll over onto the summit and see a very rusty large angle piton with completely faded rap sling fixed in a crack above the North Face, which offers the shortest, cleanest rappel line. There were also a bunch of slings tied together around one of the large summit boulders with an aluminum rap ring; also quite faded, but slightly newer looking. It appears that the tower has seen at least a couple of ascents, and different parties have used these different anchors. The trailside face of the tower is blocky, ledgy and presents a relatively easy (mid 5th class) looking route; this is presumably the route taken on previous ascents of the tower. All three of the other aspects of the tower are much steeper, more compact, and offer much harder route possibilities. No evidence suggests any of the other faces had previously been climbed.

Getting There 

Follow the approach directions in the area overview.

Climbing Season

For the All Locations area.

Weather station 19.6 miles from here

1 Total Climbing Routes

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

Featured Route For Shell Canyon Spire
Rock Climbing Photo: Trevor Bowman aiding the horizontal cracks near th...

North Face 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a C1  Wyoming : Shell Canyon : ... : Shell Canyon Spire
Ascend the obvious right-leaning hand-fist-off-width crack on the North Face; good smooth jams inside the crack, some good face features for feet (watch for friable rock) and juggy laybacking up the wide part. Stand atop the fin that comprises the right side of the crack, clip a bolt and get the etriers out. Aid on the bolt to great horizontal finger cracks leading left with bomber placements (.3-.4 camalots) to a large bush (solid placement) and up to a stance and anchors. Pull onto t...[more]   Browse More Classics in Wyoming

Photos of Shell Canyon Spire Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: On top after the FA of the North Face.
On top after the FA of the North Face.

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