Part two of a post about climbing in the Wasatch Mountain Range.
– Maple Canyon:
Although not technically part of the Wasatch Range, it is close enough to the end that it deserves to be a part of the list, solely on the fact that Maple Canyon is hands down some of the greatest rock climbing in all of Utah. I have met more people from out of the country in Maple Canyon, than in any other climbing area i’ve been to in Utah. So what makes it so great? Everything! Everything about Maple is awesome. The ease of access to amazing crags, and routes. The cobble stone roofs that tower over you in the Compound and Pipe Dream Caves.
My personal favorite areas in Maple are Box Canyon and The Pipeline. Box Canyon holds the 5.13a that would be my very first. Shoot em up is an amazing route that is steep and fairly short. As you move up through the crux you grab one of the coolest holds i’ve used climbing, that is popularly known as the baseball. Box Canyon is such a wonderful place to climb due to the limited amount of sun it sees, which makes it a great place to climb in the fall, if you are looking for cooler temps for some perfect climbing.
The pipeline is my personal favorite, mostly because it has more twelves on it than any other wall. It is a unique wall in that it honestly looks like the side of a pipe with how it rounds over and creates some really great steep climbing. Chia Pet, 5.12b is my favorite route at the Pipeline. It is a little longer than some of the other routes, and is a pretty technical route. It is a must do for anyone looking for a great 12 to get on.
– Big Cottonwood Canyon:
My introduction to Big Cottonwood Canyon happened just this year. I had never climbed there in my years of climbing, and I attribute it to the fact that I only ever went north to boulder at Little Cottonwood. But, with my wife and I moving to Herriman, I made it a point to start climbing on the quartzite of the canyon. This season I didn’t get on anything harder than 5.11, and I was completely fine with that. It was one of the best seasons of climbing i’ve had.
The Challenge Buttress is a local classic area to climb and has some really great 10’s sprayed on the walls. My favorite 5.10 that I got on all season was a route called Better Than Bitter. I assume making some kind of reference to Merril Bitter, but I don’t know. Merril is a local Salt Lake legend and is featured on the front cover of the classic Ruckman American Fork Canyon guide book. Better Than Bitter is a long route and a pumpy one at that. It was juggy and a lot steeper than it looks. A definite to get on if you are looking for a good 5.10 to get on.
I don’t have a lot to say about BCC, other than I have enjoyed every day of climbing I have had up there. Most of that has to do with the people that I have climbed with up there this season, mostly my wife who loves the routes found at the Reservoir Wall.
– Little Cottonwood Canyon:
Any local to Salt Lake City, and even nationwide knows LCC for either the amazing bouldering found there or the masses of granite slabs and cracks to climb. I personally have never been on a rope in LCC, but have spent some of my earliest days bouldering up there. All of the bouldering in LCC is awesome, and the access is great. This canyon is an absolute must for any climber new to the sport, or passing through.
My personal favorite boulder problems are found at the Gate Boulders. Before I left on my two year hiatus to New England, I went to the Gate Boulders and redpointed Barfly and Superfly, both V8, back to back. It was easily the best day of climbing I had had at that point. Simply put, all of the bouldering and climbing in LCC is amazing, and so worth the cheese grated finger tips after a day of climbing.
I love the Wasatch, and I love climbing. It is perfect that the range has such amazing climbing in so many accessible areas.
Twist and Twisted V4/6