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Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Better Than Bikinis T 
Bull Dykes and Biker Ducks S 
Daffy's Shaft T 
Dark of the Moon S 
Duck A L'Orange T 
Duck Waddle Variation T 
Fool's Paradise S 
Frozen Stool T 
Great Grebes, Batman! T 
Hornet, The 
Pied-Billed Grebe S 
Playing In The Sun T 
Ruddy Duck T 
Sportsman's Paradise T 
Via Duck S 
Walking the Duck T 
Western Grebe T 
Western Grebe Mantel Var. S 
Why a Duck? S 

Western Grebe 

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

Type:  Trad, 4 pitches, 460'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c R [details]
FA: Bill Robins, Kirsten Davis, 1985
Page Views: 3,690
Submitted By: Nathan Fisher on Oct 16, 2004

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (34)
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BETA PHOTO: A new first bolt on Western Grebe.

  • On private land. MORE INFO >>>
  • Gate Buttress Area Recreational Lease: Climbs on Church Buttress above vault remain closed MORE INFO >>>

  • Description 

    Pitch 1: Climb the left route on the slab just above Via Duck and directly left of Why a Duck. Bolts to a chain anchor.

    Pitch 2: Head for the roof, angles around it to the west, and then slab up that face passing four bolts. Finish at an anchor below a tree.

    Pitch 3: Climb up to the roof system just east of the belay station. It avoids the roof by going left and works up too and past a small bush. Here work left towards your only bolt (hidden until you are on top of it). At this point start angling right until you attain some ledges. Place your final piece and run up the 30 foot runout but easy face. Rope drag can be a problem on this pitch and is especially hard when you are runout on a slab. Use your runners. Finish at a chain anchor on a ledge.

    Pitch 4: This pitch clips the lowest bolt of the east-most of the 4 bolted routes that come off this station. You can place some small to medium gear in the flake system first. Clip the bolt and continue angling right until you attain a nice layback flake that you work for 60 feet. Turn the corner and scramble the easy and dirty v-slot. (Hate those bushes!!) Finally the anchors are to your left. 2 good bolts, but whoever was replacing the bolts must have run out of hangers, as one of the bolts has the original home-made hanger on it still.

    Descent: 2 double rope raps or 2 singles get you down. Beware of the bushes that WILL snag your rope as you pull it down from the second rap.

    A nice route with some nice sections, however it suffers from inconsistency, a bad line, and a really ugly finish. The 3rd pitch also bites most of the way. So, having said that, there are other pitches to substitute for P3 and P4. Pitch 4 substitution: Great Grebes, Batman or Dark of the Moon.


    Pitch 1: 3 or 4 draws 2 for the chains

    Pitch 2: 4 draws + 2 for the chains

    Pitch 3: 1 draw + 2 for the chains + A small to medium rack

    Pitch 4: 1 draw + 2 for the chains + standard rack, cams seemed pretty useful up to a #2 Camalot

    Photos of Western Grebe Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Sheldon's first time slabbing, and he's a natural.
    Sheldon's first time slabbing, and he's a natural.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Night time is best when there is a full moon. Unfo...
    Night time is best when there is a full moon. Unfo...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up Second Pitch of Western Grebre after ma...
    Looking up Second Pitch of Western Grebre after ma...

    Comments on Western Grebe Add Comment
    Show which comments
    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 31, 2017
    By Sheldon Sabbatini
    From: Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct 17, 2004

    I haven't climbed all summer and I'm definitely feeling it in the muscles. Harder sections followed by some easier sections to rest up. Good all around mix. I loved the view of the masses of cars parked at Gate...and we didn't see another person until we started rapping down.
    By Tea
    Mar 23, 2006

    Don't be fooled...the first pitches are not R, only the third, which is crappy anyway. Do the first two, to the shallow fools paradise dihedral, then up! Try some of the older runout routes to keep you humble.... YIKES!
    By Nathan Fisher
    Jul 7, 2006

    Pitch 3 is runout. It is easy, but a fall could and probably would result in injury. If you had negotiated all the climbing below, the chances of you falling are slim, but....
    By tenesmus
    Jul 23, 2006

    Steve's right. no R. Great way to get up and off the deck for the .8 leader. Best way to get to Dark of the Moon.
    By triznuty
    From: Salt Lake City, UT
    Sep 25, 2006

    I haven't been on the 3rd pitch yet (Edit-I have done the 3rd pitch now and would say, do Fools Paradise instead), but the final pitch (I think it's considered the final pitch of Western Grebe??), which is a sweet crack (offers hands and fingers). Excellent,a must do! It's a nice change of pace from the slabs... You'll probably need a standard rack for this pitch. I recall placing Sm-Med cams, and maybe a small nut just above the little roof.

    (You can't see the crack from the anchors) From the 3 bolt anchor, head up and mainly right on the huge chicken heads, clipping the first bolt of DOTM (I think or one of those bolts on the slab...or run it out) keep heading right... Once over the hump, you should see the corner with the crack off to your right. The rest is obvious, get into the corner and follow the crack up. Pull a little roof half way, then continue up to some trees. From here it seems like I found some anchors (may of been DOTM's anchors) to get me back down to the bottom of the pitch.

    If you know where to look, you can see this crack from the Pentapitch parking area.
    By John Evans
    Aug 20, 2007

    This is such a classic route. My wife and I's most climbed route in the Wasatch. Quiet, clean, multipitch, with fun variations on the top two pitches. Recently, a storm washed the rack-up boulder at the base into the scrub oak. Must have been A LOT of water coming down that corner!
    By Mark D Evans
    From: Sandy, UT
    Oct 17, 2007

    This route can be rappelled with one 70m rope, barely. Rapping the 3rd pitch brings you to a bush with a couple of super suspect pieces of webbing about 30ft above the anchors of the 2nd pitch. (no rap rings) I left a nut, a sling, and a 'biner to back it up. This may be an option, but I think adding a more secure rap station would be nice.

    On a lighter note, I think this is some of the best slab of it's grade in the canyon! Due to the lack of use, it is in need of some ex foliation, but is still a stellar route. Especially with the different options you can choose from on the 3rd and 4th pitches. Do the mantle variation it's wicked fun!!
    By Craig Martin
    From: Park City
    Nov 3, 2010
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    This route has always been a good, pretty safe by LCC standards, multi pitch cruise. It is now a full on "Pleasure Climb" thanks to the addition of several new bolts. I have not been on this route in years but it certainly did not have this many bolts when I last did it. Some of the bolts still had the rock dust and I swear during the time it took us to climb the route several more new bolts showed up on the Via Duck variation at the bottom.
    By Bill Huggins
    From: Draper, UT
    Nov 3, 2010

    Additional bolts? WTF? If true these bolts are neither wanted nor needed and should be yanked and the holes patched.

    To whomever is doing this (I wooonder whooo it cooould be? Tony?) please eat shit and die, or go be the bane of a climbing community somewhere else, preferably far from Utah.
    By triznuty
    From: Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov 6, 2010

    My friends of the Wasatch. In light of some new information presented to me tonight. I ask that we should hold off removing anything from Via duck and Western grebe until all things are considered. I know what you're thinking.. WTF is he talking about?? Well I got in touch with who I believe is Peter Lenz this evening. And he shared some very interesting information with me. So out of respect, we need to considered somethings first before any action is taken (if it's not already too late). Even if we don't fully agree with it.
    It's late and I'd like to sort a couple things out first before I post any further details.

    Thank you
    By triznuty
    From: Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov 8, 2010

    Just a follow up to my above comment. After much consideration. I still feel that the new bolts must go. We need to protect our long standing heritage around these parts of bold climbing.. There is plenty of new and even older routes that are plenty safe for most around here.. It's ok to back away for another day. Don't be selfish and think, gull why didn't they (FA) add some more bolts for me and this route should be safe for me. It's no secret that we (climbers) are a selfish bunch. But let's not start the attitude that the climbing world revolves around me...
    By bsmoot
    Nov 9, 2010


    Thanks for posting up. I can see your point about safety. As I get older, It's something I do consider as I have also had friends hurt or killed climbing.

    But...I would really like to know that if I'm climbing a Bill Robins route that it will be his, and his only. He had a great, low impact traditional type style of climbing. I hope everyone can respect his routes.
    By baegerter
    Nov 16, 2010

    g whiz pete, i thought better of you hate fun or something? and safety? really, what, are you a doctor or something?

    a piece of advice to the rest of you who have such negative things to say to these people, YOU are what give climbers a bad name and i hate that i become guilty by association.

    GROW UP!!!
    By boulderkeith
    From: Boulder, CO
    Oct 1, 2012
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    I did this route about a week ago while visiting. We rapped from the P3 anchors with a single 60m directly down. (did not do P4 due to the single rope). It was sketchy to say the least as you had to reach down to clip the anchor and then rap off the ends (while hanging onto them so you don't lose the rope). Rapping with a single 60m thus is not recommended despite the T.C. guidebook indicating all raps less than 100'. Got to think that rap station could have been 2m higher...
    By boulderkeith
    From: Boulder, CO
    Oct 1, 2012
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    Fyi, if you are considering Better Than Bikinis (not in Mountain Project but adjacent to Western Grebe), there are still wasps in the pin scars in the dihedral as of ~09/23/2012.
    By LCC-Climber
    May 6, 2014

    First pitch is stupid easy now with the retro bolting. Zero commitment. Second pitch is also sporting a new bolt, 5 total. A 60m won't make it to the top of the 1st pitch when rapping from the 2nd anymore after someone moved the chains higher to the base of the dihedral. Have to rap off the ends and walk to the chains. Yeah sure, it's a big ledge, but still. Why fix shit that isn't broken people?
    By Ken H
    From: Granite, UT
    Sep 17, 2014

    It goes without saying in LCC but watch out for rattle snakes and it seems especially here. My wife found one last year in a crack at the back of the big ledge below the start of Western Grebe and I almost stuck my hand on one last night after finishing the rappels. They like to hang out in the cracks on and around the peeler until the temperature is right to come out.

    Also it seems the no trespassing signs are escalating. It seems to me there are more signs and new sign along with more no parking signs. Reviewing the Salt Lake County zoning website the majority of the Peeler is on LDS Church property (same parcel [ID 29-08-100-002-0000] as Gate Buttress) but the approach road is on PERPETUAL STORAGE INC's land. If climbers were to park 0.3 miles down canyon of the power house and approach from there to the Northwest then access would only be on LDS church property. I don't know if this would be feasible or reasonable to the LDS Church.
    By LCC-Climber
    Sep 18, 2014

    I spoke to one of the Perpetual Storage guys this year that was down by the boxes near the road and he said they don't care if climbers use the first portion of the road to access climbing. He just requested that climbers stay on the trail and stay off the old road where it takes the first switchback.
    By Matt Steubing
    From: Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov 20, 2014

    Video of Halloween 2014 climb up the first couple pitches of Western Grebe. My first climb in over 18 months after shoulder surgery.

    By Boissal
    From: Small Lake, UT
    Apr 11, 2016
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

    P4 is definitely worthy if you find yourself tired of slabbing. It goes all natural with a bit of faith. Don't let the grass growing in a couple spots in the crack deter you!
    By Thaddeus VanDenBerghe
    From: Salt Lake Sizzle, Utah
    Sep 12, 2016

    First two pitches can be linked together with a 70m with about 20 feet of rope to spare. Look for the bomber anchors to the east (just above) the big bush at top of p2 (go right of bush)
    Can be done with just QD's and Alpine draws (like 15?), and is an efficient way to get to the upper pitches of the Black Peeler. Ratchet up the mantle variation to really get your heart racing.

    While belaying your second, look over at the East Gate Buttress and plan your future approach up to the rad looking Flakes route!
    By Crag Turkey
    From: Holladay, UT
    May 31, 2017

    Great route! Pitch three being the dumpiest of the 4 as others have mentioned. That being said, if you're not in the mood for fools or it's Tuesday not a bad exploration. 4th pitch was too wet when I did it, so I opted for Dark side, but looks quality. would call the R sections of pitch three no harder than 5.6, not worth getting scared off unless you have a hard time with easy exposure that is tough to protect.

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