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The Nerve 

YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 500'
Original:  YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Brian Smoot, Les Ellison 1983
Season: Preferably Fall
Page Views: 1,918
Submitted By: Alex Quitiquit on Aug 12, 2013

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Two climbers visible starting the 3rd pitch.

Private Property now at the entrance to Bells Canyon. MORE INFO >>>


Located on the often overlooked West Bell Tower, The Nerve bolsters some awesome exposure, decent rock, and some intimidating and committing moves. 3 pitches of variety and featured stone give this route reason to venture to the Tower.

Pitch 1 – Climb the polished and immaculate stone of the shallow corner via thin gear and thin moves. Crux comes at the second bolt, try hard or fly. Sustained climbing, sequential, AWESOME! After the 2nd bolt and crux, clip two pins and step left and finish at a great belay ledge with bolts. 5.11a – may feel harder if the temps are high.

Pitch 2 – Step right, climb the handcrack past a mint shrub to a set of anchors. Don’t belay here, but clip with a long sling, step down to the right and traverse towards a bolt above two large chickenheads. Climb up and right to two bolt belay. 8-

Pitch 3- The Gritty Arête. Clip a pin above the belay, and climb the arete through 4 more bolts and a pin. Small gear or slung trees to finish the pitch at a 2 bolt anchor. 10a

Scramble to the summit of the tower or to the ridge via easy soloing.


Located on the left of center section of the West Bell Tower. Look for the somewhat shallow left facing polished corner just to the right of the start of the Beckey Route. Just to the left of a large roof down low and right below a large roof up high.
To access the Buttress follow the main Bell’s hiking trail up the hill to the branch off for the Waterfall. Hike to the east (right) up and above the falls. Cross the creek right above the cascade and follow the obvious trail through a primitive campsite that heads east (right) following the creek a bit. This trail will then turn north headed towards the buttress. Maintain elevation and contour towards the wall.


It looks like all the bolts have been retro-ed to 3/8in rawls.

For Pitch 1 – Bring your small stuff, and some wits. The lower third requires green/purple C3’s, RP’s and other small cams to .4 BD. A thin KB may help here. The Ruckman guide shows a pin in this lower section, but it is no more. The climbing is about 5.10 here and fairly sustained. The upper crux is protected by two bolts. Bring a single rack to #3 for the finish.

For Pitch 2 – Single rack and two bolts.
For Pitch 3 – 4 bolts, 2 pins, and slings for some trees.

70 meter rope required.

Rap the route. Note: When rapping from the top of the 2nd pitch to the good belay ledge atop the first, keep tension in the direction of the belay as you rap, the belay is a ways to the side. If not, you will swing down and be out under a large roof.

Photos of The Nerve Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Topo
Rock Climbing Photo: Second Pitch
Second Pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: First Pitch Corner
First Pitch Corner
Rock Climbing Photo: 3rd pitch arete.  Awesome!
3rd pitch arete. Awesome!

Comments on The Nerve Add Comment
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By Erik S. Gillis
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
Oct 5, 2014

I felt like the first pitch warrants an R rating if you don't have an extra knifeblade/lost arrow around. Entering the dihedral has a dicey 10C ish move, but if you make it through it you get rewarded with a good stance and good gear. I ended up placing a .3/.4 offset x4 just entering the dihedral that maybe would have held a long leader fall, it did hold my partner when he took a 10 ft leader fall. In the end we gave up and did the first pitch of Beckys and toproped the first pitch of the Nerve(I know boo!) The climbing remains intense for the whole thing (although bolted really well) and there was a considerable amount of kitty litter on some delicate stems. But even so the climbing was super fun! Wish I could commit to it, maybe next time.
By kalockwood
From: SLC, UT
Apr 13, 2015
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

I climbed The Nerve last Saturday with Les Ellison and Brian Smoot. We added two fixed pins and a bashie at the beginning of the first pitch dihedral. Sling (don't clip) the first lost arrow as it's not driven all the way in. The second lost arrow is bomber. This should remove the R rating Erik describes above. After the pins you can get good blue and purple TCU's. The gear remains small, but plentiful, until you hit the two bolts midway through the pitch. Bring a #2 and/or #3 camalot for the last section before the ledge. Fantastic, sustained pitch!
By bheller
From: SL UT
Apr 13, 2015

Stainless bolts would have been prudent.
By James Garrett
Apr 13, 2015

Very prudent:):):) I would bet most people on this forum don't even know what bashies are....
By jonathan knight
Apr 14, 2015

James, in the internet age, everyone just googles bashies.
By bsmoot
Apr 16, 2015

This is a heads up route...bashies, pins and non-stainless steel bolts.

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