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Steorts' Ridge 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 250'
Original:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: Lee Steorts, Harold Goodro: late 40's
Page Views: 41,139
Submitted By: John J. Glime on Aug 28, 2002

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BETA PHOTO: Steort's Ridge and the route we took


Locate the obvious arete that divides the north and east faces of the cliff. Begin left of the arete.

Pitch 1:Face and crack climb up and over the roof (5.6). Continue up easier, broken rock to belay on good ledge atop pillar below slanted roof.

Pitch 2:Climb up right and follow wide crack left of arete to small belay stance on the arete.

Pitch 3:Face climb up the steep, exposed arete, stay out on the arete as much as possible moving at times from one side to the other when necessary. After clipping a bolt, I seem to remember that there wasn't much protection above it, so if you see a gear placement opportunity, do not pass it up. Climb to the top of the arete and belay from the trees on top.

Descent:Follow a path left along the top of the wall until you come to a rappel station. 3 single rope, 80 foot rappels to the ground.


Standard trad rack is fine, be sure you know how to set up belay anchors.

Photos of Steorts' Ridge Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: View of the S-curve on Big Cottonwood Canyon road ...
View of the S-curve on Big Cottonwood Canyon road ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Repelling the first pitch
Repelling the first pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down the length of the ridge from the top ...
Looking down the length of the ridge from the top ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Some exposure while starting the third pitch.
Some exposure while starting the third pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down from Pitch 3
Looking down from Pitch 3
Rock Climbing Photo: 1) Tiger's Den  2)  East Dihedrals  3) Jig's Up  4...
BETA PHOTO: 1) Tiger's Den 2) East Dihedrals 3) Jig's Up 4...
Rock Climbing Photo: The dead snag and environs from the road
The dead snag and environs from the road
Rock Climbing Photo: Shows how run out the last pitch is before (and af...
Shows how run out the last pitch is before (and af...
Rock Climbing Photo: Piton at belay 3
BETA PHOTO: Piton at belay 3
Rock Climbing Photo: Awesomely exposed out on the arete
Awesomely exposed out on the arete
Rock Climbing Photo: Going up the arete! Runout of 30 feet, good exposu...
Going up the arete! Runout of 30 feet, good exposu...
Rock Climbing Photo: Topping out the runout pitch at the top
Topping out the runout pitch at the top
Rock Climbing Photo: Leading the second pitch of Steort's
Leading the second pitch of Steort's
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing pitch one
Climbing pitch one
Rock Climbing Photo: Steve down climbing the "Walk-Off"
Steve down climbing the "Walk-Off"
Rock Climbing Photo: Rapping off.
Rapping off.
Rock Climbing Photo: Start of pitch 2
Start of pitch 2
Rock Climbing Photo: Top of pitch 3
Top of pitch 3
Rock Climbing Photo: Rappel 2 off of Steort's
BETA PHOTO: Rappel 2 off of Steort's
Rock Climbing Photo: "Hike" from the top of Steort's Ridge to...
BETA PHOTO: "Hike" from the top of Steort's Ridge to...
Rock Climbing Photo: Steort's view from the top
Steort's view from the top
Rock Climbing Photo: Third pitch of Steort's.
Third pitch of Steort's.
Rock Climbing Photo: Melissa on the final pitch.
Melissa on the final pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: andy schannen on stoert's ridge, july 2005
andy schannen on stoert's ridge, july 2005

Show All 42 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 10, 2017
By Brian in SLC
From: Sandy, Utah
Oct 6, 2003
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

You can avoid the 3 rappels mentioned by hiking and downclimbing around past the aforementioned anchor. Skirt the top of the crag to the east, hike/climb down a ramp, around the corner, then over to a tree with a chain rap anchor. Climb down around 10 feet then straight left (easiest). This downclimb/hike off is easy but exposed, so be careful. Much faster than rappelling three times, especially if you stick a rope. As well, pulling your rope dislodges rocks onto folks climbing below, not a good thing at all.
By Nathan Fisher
Jul 13, 2004
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I finally did this one today. Wow!! This is a must do. I was looking in my old book, and it has drawn topos of Dead Snag instead of the photo (much better). It shows the 2nd pitch dropping right from the belay station to the ledge and then continuing up past 2 old pitons, and then working through the bulge and into the hand/fist/offhand crack. I don't recommend this variation as it creates heinous rope drag, and it doesn't add anything. The crack on pitch 2 is great and protects well, and as John says, on the 3rd pitch protection is sparse. This 3rd pitch (to me at least) seemed very exposed, more so than the right variation on Outside Corner, JHCOB Wall.

Also, I believe the variation Peter mentions is actually the 2nd half of pitch 2 on Jig's Up. Also very enjoyable.
By vincent pierce
Aug 19, 2004
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

A BC classic! Don't cheat yourself on pitch 3... get on that arete!
By Harvey Miller
May 25, 2005
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Great climb! Crack on Pitch 2 gets a bit off-width. Might want to bring a couple of the big cams such as Metolius #8-10.
By Lee Jensen
Jun 3, 2005
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

If you have two 60m ropes simply tie them together. You can rap all the way from the anchors. You will end up on a small shelf about 5 feet above the ground which you can easily scramble down.
By Lee Jensen
Jul 7, 2005
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I did this in two pitches with my 60m rope. The first pitch is enjoyable, but the second is excellent. On the first pitch I went up to the second ledge (the flat one with a big block you can sling). The second pitch transitions about 10 feet to the right and then goes directly up the obvious fist size crack. I protected this with a single #3 Camalot which I walked up once. It would be better to have two large pieces. The crack is a solid fist jam crack, but very smooth rock. At the top of the crack move out onto the arete and enjoy the view. Simply amazing. I clipped two fixed cams, a fixed nut, and a solid bolt. Above the crack, other than the fixed gear, there is a couple places for small cams (.1 - .3 Camalot). Overall, protection on the last 50 feet is sparse, but not run out, and the holds are plentiful and solid. Sling a solid tree for your 2nd pitch anchor. I had about 15 feet or rope left when I topped out.
By John J. Glime
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 15, 2005

To view a 10 minute car to car ascent of this climb, (for the record it usually takes me 10 minutes to walk to the base) check out where you can watch Ryan McDermott's free solo in running shoes.

Oct 4, 2005

A 70 meter rope will get you to the belay ledge for the last pitch. You can sling a small ledge on the last pitch arete for additional pro. If you do rap you can combine raps 2 & 3 w/70 meter rope but barely.
By icsteveoh
From: salt lake city, UT
Aug 14, 2006
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

great climb, can combine the last two pitches into one on a 60m rope. Both belay stations each have an old piton. Second pitch vertical crack has tons of cams in it so I guess its a gobbler. I didn't use anything bigger than a metolius #8. Belay stations love nuts and maybe bring some webbing or cordelette for the tip top tree anchor.
By Lee Gitlin
Aug 31, 2006
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Fairly straightforward climbing on pitches 1 and 2, although each seems to have crux moves. The cruxes protect well, though. The belays at the end of P1 and P2 do not have chains; you will have to set your own anchors. Both belays have good stances and plenty of places to set good pieces.

Sketchy pro on the third pitch, especially after the bolt. Seems like the hand ledge 12-15 feet above the bolt was the first opportunity for a solid placement. Plenty of back and forth from the arete to the crack system. Climbing is easy on the arete and the view is magnificent.

However, after watching Ryan McDermott's sub 10 minute car-to-car lap, posting a bunch of beta seems ... trivial?
By Talia
From: SLC, UT
Jul 5, 2007

anyone else get their rope stuck after the first rappel? I think this is 2/2 for me. What the reaaaaaal dill
From: Mesa AZ
Sep 25, 2007
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Great introduction to the wonderful climbing conditions in UT
Bring larger gear for the offwidth crack in pitch 2 - made for an uneasy couple moves with small cams in ...
Great views, great exposure - Totally in the moment! Thanks Russ!!!
By builttospill
May 25, 2009

Combining p2 and p3 is reasonable if you runner things long and don't place too much gear (or carefully place it in line). This makes for one of the best pitches of climbing I've ever done.

The downclimb to the south and down a single rap (or downclimb if you want) seems A LOT easier than 3 raps. It takes all of 4 minutes to walk over to the single rap from a tree with a chain around it.
By Rockwood
From: West Jordan
Aug 4, 2009

No problem with the rope on the rappels for me except at the end when I tossed it into the tree, my fault not the routes. The second rap was kind of fun going over the little roof and you come down so close to your stuff at the bottom it's easy. We climbed this about 8:30 am on a Saturday and didn't see anyone else around till we were on our way down. The third pitch is great. You can climb up either side or both and it's so airy you seemed exposed in every direction, not just down. Seemed short and quick for 3 pitches. I wanted it to keep going.
By Michael Buchanan
Apr 27, 2010
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Sweet route! A classic first multi-pitch lead!
By Tryhard Scoville
From: Sandy, UT
May 23, 2010
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Stellar climb! I think I did a variation to the starting pitch that involves pulling a 5.7-5.8 roof (See my description in the comment section for Die Another Day). For P2, I would have preferred to have doubles of BD C4[3-4], but I managed just fine with one of each and BD Hexes [8-9]. I stayed on the arete for the finish; pro was difficult, but I found some good placements right of the arete that I runnered long to the left side. I was very happy to have my small MasterCams [0-3]; I placed the purple [0] on every pitch. Combined raps 2-3 with 70m rope. I had no problem with my 70m, but tie knots just in case!
By steven sadler
From: SLC, UT
Jul 24, 2010

great climb. the last pitch seems a little run out but its easy so not bad. i remember wishing i had a number 4 for the first pitch anchors. used tcu's up to number 3 throughout the climb. fun route.
By cragsavvy
From: Salt Lake City
Sep 25, 2010

You can easily get down with one 60 meter rope by doing it in 3 rappels. The third rap anchors are just below the 5.8 roof and next to a bush. It is a 3 minute walk back to the base of climb from here, easily done in climbing shoes.
By Josh Cameron
From: California in my Mind
Jul 4, 2011
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

We combined this route with the 2nd pitch of Jig's Up. Made for some awesome and moderate climbing. However, we couldn't find the bolt at the start of the third pitch; maybe we traversed in above it.
By rging
From: Salt Lake City, Ut
Jun 1, 2012
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I don't quite get the bolt on the third pitch. It's the only place I could find to put pro in (a few feet above or below it, don't remember). After that I looked around and took my time and couldn't find much. I don't know why someone didn't put that bolt 15-20 feet higher where it is really run out if they felt it needed one.
By Tristan Higbee
From: Ogden, UT
Jun 13, 2012

Fantastic route. I don't see how 250 feet of 5.6 could get any better. There's not a single loose rock on this thing. We easily combined the 2nd and 3rd pitches with a 70m rope.

The rappel route can be done in 2 rappels with a 70m rope. Do the first rap (~80 feet) and then combine the next 2. You'll end up just able to reach a stance about 10-15 feet off the ground, from which you can then scramble down to the ground.
By Peter Hayes
Jul 28, 2012

This route, Steort's Ridge, is one of the premiere multi-pitch climbs in Big Cottonwood Canyon, and it is popular because of the terrific exposure, the variety of skills called upon and the excellent is THE stand-out route on the crag. Consequently, many parties are forced to retreat when weather comes in, or when one in the party is over their head. Currently, there are no fixed rap stations (paired bolts with chains) on the route itself, forcing a retreat from webbing (which becomes crispy and unsightly tat) or sacrificed gear. I have a suggestion: erect quality rap stations at the top of pitch one and two. There is a single Leeper-Z and a single ring-less pin at each of these stations, and that fixed gear has been there for decades: fixed gear at these belays is nothing new. In most of the areas I have climbed (Joshua Tree, Yosemite, Tahquitz, Suicide Rock) popular moderates are all outfitted with rap anchors. It's a public service, and it eliminates the need to leave unsightly tat, or ones own gear in a forced retreat. I thought of going up there and simply putting this in, but I wanted to avoid any sort of bolt chopping issue. I think the raps could be positioned away, to climber's left, from where the anchors would routinely be erected, which would allow retreating parties to not interfere with those who choose to remain on the climb. What do you think? And we linked the rap to the ground from the first station with a single 70m rope...barely...
By Stevie Nacho
From: Utah
Jul 29, 2012

Sorry Dude,

Adding rap anchors to Steorts is an awful idea. I've lost a few stoppers when I was forced to retreat in a rainstorm on that wonderful ridge, however I feel that its just part of the experience. People need to learn how to deal with stuff like that if they ever want to venture out, beyond the "public service" routes. You would help they newbies more if your refrained from this. Thanks for posting, rather than doing it and starting up a poop storm.

One vote for NO

By Ben Folsom
Jul 29, 2012

Another No vote here. In fact it is completely unthinkable. Like Nacho said, if you gotta bail for some reason, leaving a couple nuts behind is not a big deal. Installing rap anchors up there would be a huge dis-service to the climbing community.
By Craig Martin
From: Park City
Jul 29, 2012
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

You mean the rap anchors that have already been added to this area are not enough? Those anchors where not there 20 years ago. It was a walk off back then. I would vote no to any bolts being added to this route.
By Andrew Gram
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 29, 2012

Anchors on this would get chopped in a second, and rightly so.
By Brian in SLC
From: Sandy, Utah
Jul 30, 2012
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Another very strong "NO!" to adding fixed anchors to this route.

And you can bet if you add anchors to any moderates at any of the other locations you mentioned they'd be chopped in a heartbeat. The statement that "Joshua Tree, Yosemite, Tahquitz, Suicide Rock) popular moderates are all outfitted with rap anchors" is absolutly not true. Folks in those areas, when they're ready to lead a route, learn how to build anchors and judge the conditions and weather. If they blow it, they leave gear. And...that's ok.

Fairly easy downclimb/downlead from the first pitch, easy walk off from the last, and, very easy to leave a couple stoppers at the top of p2 if you need to bail.

There is no crispy webbing on this route (I know 'cause I've climbed it a few times this year, and, every year). There are no Leeper Z pitons either (being a bit of a gear junkie, I know what those are). I've seen folks bail off that single soft iron pin at the first pitch belay (yikes!) which they could have easily backed up (wish they would have, I bootied their biner of the pin the next day). There is no "unsightly tat" on this route.

I also wouldn't be opposed to removing the rappel line that goes down to the left. No need for that. Takes way longer than the easy walk and scramble off.
By zoso
Jul 30, 2012

Brian in SLC wrote: "I also wouldn't be opposed to removing the rappel line that goes down to the left. No need for that. Takes way longer than the easy walk and scramble off."

+1 (as well as +1 to not adding fixed anchors).
By Ben Folsom
Jul 30, 2012

+1, +1, +1

There you go... Brian drove the nail in one strike.
By bsmoot
Jul 31, 2012

Adding convenience bolts to this route is such a bad idea that I don't know where to begin....just don't do it! Traditional classics need to be preserved.
By kBobby Hanson
From: Spokane, WA
Aug 3, 2012
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I fall into the "NO" camp for adding anchors on Steort's Ridge also.

However, please do not remove the rappel anchor to climber's left. It also serves at the anchor to a pretty decent climb I installed several years ago. At the very least, please contact me or my partner (Rob C.) to discuss the matter.

Thank you.
By gen-eva
From: Salt Lake City
Aug 25, 2012

Even as a complete noob, I can cast a hearty "NO" on adding belay anchors. That sounds silly.
This was my first multi-pitch trad lead, after learning gear placement on a route the day before. I appreciated the LACK of bolted belay anchors, because I got to practice BUILDING them (isn't that integral to multi-pitch trad?).

On the positive side: This was an awesome first multi-pitch trad lead!! Lovely rock, good variety of moves, excellent arete with sweet exposure... Everything I'd have asked for and more :)
By Makaela Herran
Sep 9, 2012

Awesome route. Would be an awesome first multi-pitch trad lead.
By Ryan Stefani
Oct 15, 2012

Very fun climb. I totally agree about the last pitch: slap that arete all the way up. I'm a 5.6 climber and found the bit of run out on the edge great! I got a BD .3 in a horizontal above the bolt, but I would only give that a 3 out of 4 chance in holding body weight. I did get a good placement right above the belay, which is always a good feeling.

In the middle of the climb, get into that off-fists crack! It's awesome! Just when you think you're going to struggle with that next foot, there's a ledge or an edge in there! It's spectacular. The best part of the route for sure!

I totally agree: do not add any bolts! It is completely unnecessary and would wreck a good climb. The only bolt that is needed is already there. The raps were set up perfectly as well. If you're considering adding new bolts to any established climb anywhere in the world ever, go climbing with a mature (eg: old) trad guy for a year before you put a bolt kit into your pack.
By Mr. Hummus
From: SLC, Utah
Nov 1, 2012

Climbed this today in 2 pitches. It was so windy that I thought I was gonna be blown off the arete. Made the 5.6 climb more exciting.Came down in 2 raps with a 70. Barely. Super fun route.
Found some sunglasses at the bottom. Hit me up if you want them back.
Oh, and my car window was bashed in and my sister's purse was stolen. So be careful not to leave any valuables visible while parked on the road. There are some junky banditos out there.
By Kevin Chuba
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jun 8, 2013
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I felt comfort in placing a BD number 3 & 4. You to, may like climbing when the pro is plenty.

Full rack and stoppers are fun.
70 meter rope worked for us
half a dozen alpine draws/half dozen quick draws
lockers and cord
the booty is good and plenty:)

By Ben W
Jun 16, 2013

Great climb! We climbed it with three people and two 60m ropes and were able to take all three raps as one. With rope stretch, it puts you about 5 feet off the ground on a nice ledge that you can scramble off of very easily. Great first time multi-pitch trad lead!
By Hendo Henderson
From: Denver, CO
Jul 8, 2013
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Good climb. If you're in charge of the trip or get dibs on which pitch to lead. Lead the 2nd and then link the 3rd. Might have to be sparse with gear or extend your gear, but I basically climbed 250ft of 3 star climbing continuously! Pretty sweet.

I actually liked East dihedral just as much...until I got to the last pitch. That last pitch of Steort's is pretty great. The holds are all there (even if you stay along the arete). We're talking like flake-like jug type holds (small, but there). It's not like 40ft of run-out slab at the top of a City of Rocks route...

Calling the 2nd pitch the "offwidth" pitch is a tad misleading. At least for a 5'11" 175lb dude. It's actually hands down low, then fists in the middle. Then forearms and MAYBE one or two chicken-wing moves at the top 3rd. And there's holds outside the offwidth, and it's not like straight up. It's on a good, comfortable angle. I didn't realize I was on the offwidth...but then again I got meathooks for hands.
By Garret Nuzzo-Jones
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 9, 2013

The wide crack has some awkward moves on glassy surfaces. Bring a #4 if you've got it or run it out if this isn't pushing you too hard.
By Josh Allred
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 4, 2013
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Standard rack with doubles in #2. You could prob bring a #4 for the arete. Honestly, there isn't much pro from the bolt until you get to a long foot ledge (maybe 20 ft from the top?). Managed to get a #2 in there. It felt fantastic to run it out with good exposure. Great feet and hands all the way up.
By Nick Meinzer
From: Mountain Green
Oct 23, 2014

Two 70 meter ropes will get you all the way to the ground from the chains/anchors to the climber's left (East Dihedrals). Don't go down the route though, stay to the left so you go over the other two sets of anchors. I had some rope to spare at the bottom. If in doubt you can swing out a bit at the lowest set of chains and see the ground.
By Lindsey Robinson
From: Salt Lake City, UT
May 14, 2015

It was fun to have that exposure on the arête, esp on lead. We did it in 2 pitches, and there are so many places to set up a belay (before the runout part at the end). +1 for the hike/downclimb descent, it was easier to find the trail than scout for rap anchors. I think I dropped a red dyneema sling at the anchors, so hopefully someone who needs a sling finds it!
By Carter Lee
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 2, 2015

I was on this route yesterday and wound up having to bail part way up the second pitch. A six pack of your favorite brew (or other desired reward) goes to whoever retrieves the booty I had to leave. Wound up leaving an older generation #1 BD cam, a few slings, x2 non lockers and 1 locker.
By Daniel H. Bryant
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Jul 4, 2016

I ran it out to the belay after the bolt on the 3rd pitch, not proud of that action, but I was having trouble finding placement that would actually hold.
Other than that, it was a great climb.
By Garrett Green
From: Utah
Jul 12, 2016

Pitch 3 is a lightly run out gem: laugh out loud, exposed, and criminal fun. Trust your climbing and pull on that arete.

I have a thin rack currently, I wish I would have had a BD #3 or #4 for the wide crack on pitch 2. I ran it out consistently throughout the whole climb due to my lack of bigger pieces.
By Jeremy Bullough
Nov 12, 2016

Do NOT leave your valuables at the base of the climb! I have heard 3 stories in just the last 6 months of people having their phones, wallets and other things stolen from their bags.
By Melissa Whalen
Jun 8, 2017

Last night (6.7.17) my partner and i couldn't get our green blackdiamond .75 out on the second/third pitch. It is a horizonal placement. If you are able to remove it would you please kindly return it back to us! My email is thanks so much!!!
By eldorfy
Jul 10, 2017

A. Great climb. Ledges are awesome and super chill spots to relax while belaying. also my partner and I were able to turn the rappel into two with a seventy meter rope however the second rappel (rope stretcher) led us to a nice ledge about ten feet off the ground and it's a super easy walk down from that ledge
B. Cams have a tendency to walk deeper into the cracks. I saw two that were stuck and I was unable to get them out after finagling with em for about ten minutes
C. My partner got my number four bd cam stuck right at the beginning of pitch two. If retrieved please email me (eldorfy at so we can make plans for my baby to come home
10/10 would definitely recommend and do again
By Tom Thomas
From: Pittsburgh
Sep 10, 2017

I have spent the last 20+ years climbing throughout the US and this climb is classic.. If you are in the area you need to do this climb.. It is right up there with High Exposure at the Gunks, SW Corner Headstone J-tree, Thin Air in NH and Cathedral Peak in CA as one of the finest 5.6 climbs I have ever done.. My wife and I really enjoyed this climb

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