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Splittgerber-March Direct 

YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, Grade IV
Original:  YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Jeff Splittgerber, Bill March, 1975
Season: summer
Page Views: 4,710
Submitted By: Clint Cummins on Jul 20, 2007

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BETA PHOTO: Elephant's Perch - West Face 25. The Breach 5.11...


One of the more moderate outings at the Perch, with 3 shorts sections of easy 5.10. The "5.9+" traverse starting p5 is not well protected for the follower unless some gear is left in the corner for a backrope belay.

For the best beta, see Brad Brandewie's photo trip report.


On the West face, left of the Mountaineer's Route. Standard descent from the top, down the gully on the right side of the wall.


Extra wired nuts for p1.

Photos of Splittgerber-March Direct Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: best to belay a few feet lower where gear is easie...
best to belay a few feet lower where gear is easie...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down on the upper traverse.
Looking down on the upper traverse.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking back across the sketchy traverse on our fo...
Looking back across the sketchy traverse on our fo...
Rock Climbing Photo: Paul Kejla working his way up the chimney on pitch...
Paul Kejla working his way up the chimney on pitch...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at the first pitch...  Although this pi...
Looking up at the first pitch... Although this pi...
Rock Climbing Photo: topo by Reid Dowdle
BETA PHOTO: topo by Reid Dowdle

Comments on Splittgerber-March Direct Add Comment
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By Trevor Bowman
From: Sheridan, WY
Jun 12, 2009

This is a great sustained line with a surprising amount of strenuous climbing on the upper 1/2. Excellent crux first pitch layback/stem corner. Some dirt here and there, but pretty seems to be gaining some popularity. I enjoyed it as much as Astro Elephant and thought it a bit more full value of a day.
By drewford
From: Wasatch Back, UT
Aug 29, 2010
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Fun route. Pitch 1 and 6 are fun fingers/tips and we felt both deserve the 5.10 grade. Not sure about all the fuss on the "5.9+" face traverse; felt more like 5.8, although it is hard to protect the second. Don't let your guard down on the upper pitches. This route's not done 'til you tag the top. As good as Astro Elephant? Not quite, but almost.
By Tim Wolfe
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 2, 2011
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

Be sure and bring some small TCU si zed cams - to me the "crux" was occasional gear in slabby areas to keep it safe. Agreed that its not over until you hit the top.
By Bob Graham
Sep 10, 2011

First route on the Perch, very very good. I agree the climbing is very sustained and physical with lots of "wild" sections. Some awesome chimney climbing and wide crack systems. The 2 slabby sections are very different from the rest. Highly recommend this one!
By Jeffrey Gagliano
From: Pennsburg, PA
Sep 13, 2011

Just did this route two weeks ago. Lead every pitch. Having lead 36 other pitches during the previous 4 days, I was a bit knackered for this one. Each of the 5.10 pitches caused me some concern as I barely eeked out the on-sights. Beware of a scary traverse before reaching the base of the giant dihedral. The 5.9+ climbing up this dihedral is incredibly awesome. Though the vegetation on P2 & 3 detract from the overall quality of the route it is none-the-less well worth doing.
By Reid Dowdle
Apr 3, 2017

Thought I would I add this info before I forget.
First done as a 5.9 A2 climb in 1975. Bill March was a well known climber born in England and later moved to Calgary. He was the leader of the first successful Canadian Everest expedition in 1982. Later, in the 70's, he was a staff member of the Outdoor Program at ISU(Idaho State University in Pocatello). Never heard anything about Jeff Splitberger, another staff member?
Original route is described in the 1976 AAJ. It started several hundred ft. left of todays' start, scrambled up a ways then traversed right. A free and aid pitch took them into the route as is commonly done today. Top of 3rd pitch I believe. They then pendulumned over to gain the main left facing dihedral. starting the 5th pitch. From here they continued up (free and aid) to the top.
Around 1980 or 81 Dave Hough and myself added the direct start, figured out the traverse to eliminate the pendulum and climbed the whole route at about 5.10 b/c.
Back then, this route was quite dirty and wasn't highly regarded. Now it has cleaned up very well and feels worthwhile.
Great route to do when it's hot. With a normal a.m. start you won't be in the sun except for the last 2 pitches. Classic trad climb using every technique in the book. Moderate rating but a lot of parties are surprised how hammered they are by the time they get back to camp. Always thought of this route as the Steck/Salathes' little brother. If you're walking up Myopia/ Beckey/ Fine Line this won't offer any technical challenges but it is a good climb for the grade. Good prep if you're working your way up to the harder climbs.

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