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Transformer S 


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

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 100'
Original:  YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Brian Smoot, Sam Carter 1994
Page Views: 443
Submitted By: grk10vq on Jun 20, 2003

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (56)
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BETA PHOTO: Green line does not appear on the actual climb.


A near dead-vertical face with widely spaced bolts, this enjoyable, sustained line will gradually get more difficult and thin as you near the top. Steep jugs, thin crimps, and good movement, Transformer is an interesting, thoughtful climb. Its important to mention that this route is bolted, but gear will be necessary to protect yourself from a potential ground fall. There is a great .75 camalot placement between the second and third bolt, the climbing in that section is easy, but falling before you reach the third bolt would probably be awful.

A 60 meter rope will work fine, but be mindful of your ends.

Transformer is south-facing and very doable during a dry, winter day. That being said, it can be brutal in the middle of July. Beware of hornets on this climb when in season.


Seven bolts plus an anchor. Bring at least one .75 green camalot, a red Metolius or an equivalent sized cam to protect the spacious moves between the 2nd and 3rd bolt. A .75 cam will make the route much safer and if you desire, you can find quite a few other cam placements from a 0.3 to 3 camalot even higher.


From the field in front of Storm Mountain's amphitheater, hike all the way to the top of gully to the lookers right of Psychobabble Wall. Follow the scree to its very end. Transformer will be the tall face in front of you and begins just right of the black steak.

Photos of Transformer Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: WMC Climber, Chris, on 'Transformer'.
WMC Climber, Chris, on 'Transformer'.

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 6, 2016
By Eric Jacobsen
Mar 8, 2005
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Great long bolted climb with pretty healthy bolt spacing, especially between 2 & 3. Get's pretty thin up towards the top. We had plenty of rope with a 60m but I wouldn't go any shorter.Be sure your belayer is tied in.
By Ryan Brough
From: Arvada, Colorado
May 21, 2006
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

In Ruckman guide, this route is called "Transformer" (sans "Man"). I used an orange Metolius (red would work better) in a flaring crack to protect the space between bolts 2 & 3. Enjoyable, sustained climbing that gets progressively harder on the way up.
By oliver
Aug 7, 2007

A really great route with bolts placed at just the right places. It is runout between 2 and 3, but it really makes the climbing interesting; however, when you do hit tougher ground there is a blot always right there for you.
By Jerome Sharpe
From: Wanship, UT
Sep 29, 2009

Make sure your belayer is on his/her game when you're between bolts 2 & 3--easy climbing but serious ground fall potential. Excellent climb, a little stout for the grade towards the top.
By Stan Pitcher
From: SLC, UT
Jun 10, 2010
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

There is a solid .75 camalot placement between the second and third bolt. The climbing in that section is easy but falling without gear from the third bolt would be bad! It would be nice to indicate the required gear in the route description or note the run-out if only bolts are used.
By Adam M Olsen
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 18, 2011
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Great route lots of fun. Using a red Metolius between 2 and 3 like suggested was helpful. On another note finding the exact location of this route was difficult for me (I'm kind of new to BCC). You have to hike ALL the way to the top of gully to the right of Psychobabble Wall. This may be obvious to most but it took me awhile to find it.
By Jason MT
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
Jun 16, 2012
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Not a huge fan of this route, personally. On top rope it is OK, but on lead I don't like the ground fall potential going for bolt 3. It is also possible to deck while going for the 2nd bolt above the eventual ledge... if this at your limit, be careful.

It probably didn't help that I worked it on a hot June afternoon in direct sunlight. Everything felt slick.
By bsmoot
Jun 17, 2012

The section between the 2nd and 3rd bolt is supposed to be protected with a cam. That was the original idea. If someome wants to add a bolt there, please do.

Edit: The title page for this climb should really note that you need a .75 camalot
By triznuty
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jun 19, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I vote don't add any bolts!! Come on guys, it's plenty fine and safe how it was originally put up. Bring the cam or wait until you're better prepared to lead it...
By Brian in SLC
From: Sandy, Utah
Aug 1, 2012
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

I always take a few cams for this lead. And, I'm not "no one".

Ha ha. I wouldn't care either way about another bolt, but, I routinely take gear for some sport climbs too.
By triznuty
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 1, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Safety First..? Sounds like you want convenience first Matt. What? Too lazy to put the 1 cam in your pack that you need for it..? Run it out if 1 cam is too heavy for you.. It's easy ground between 2-3. It's selfish thinking to add bolts. I know of many climbs/routes, that if you fall on them, you could die or be seriously injured. That's part of this sport Matt. Were you not told? And I don't believe it needs to be sanitized and made safe for you and others who aren't ready for the older school stuff! Curious, has anybody decked and been seriously injured on this climb to date? It's all relative anyways. If you feel this climb is too dangerous the way it is, then skip it and go climb the "safer" stuff around the corner or at your local gym!
By PeterSLenz
From: Salt Lake City
Sep 29, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13

I climbed this route a couple of years ago without any cams, and found it scary. I climbed it today, and found a number of decent cam placements, which made the climb much more enjoyable. These made the pro adequate by my standards.
There will never be an answer to the question of whether a climb like this should have more bolts. The route was created in an era when mixing trad gear and bolts was relatively common. It may be worth preserving the route in its original state. However, the argument: "You should just avoid this route if it scares you," doesn't really hold up, because people may not recognize the danger until they are in it.
One extra bolt would make this 5.8 roughly as safe as most 5.12 sport routes, and I would favor such an addition. For me, one death or severe head injury would negate any romance associated with keeping the route the way it is today.
I feel this is a decision for the first ascentionists, and that the rest of us should abide by their decision, whatever it may be. No bolt wars, please.
Meanwhile, a 0.75 cam will make the route much safer between bolts #2 and #3, and you can find quite a few other cam placements (from size 0.3 to 3) higher on the route.
By Garret Nuzzo-Jones
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Mar 6, 2016
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13

Climbed this today and noticed one of the large holds near the second to last bolt was loose. Feels like quite a few of the holds have come off in the last few years. I guess it shouldn't be a surprise, it gets a vicious freeze/thaw cycle being next to Storm Mountain Falls.

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