The Bishop's Scepter is a stunning, narrow spire just west of and downhill from the Bishop. It looks much harder than it turns out to be. In fact, the climbing is clean, fun, reasonbly well protected, and only 5.6 in difficulty. The top of the spire is so narrow that a regular 2-foot diameter sling will easily go around it.
From a comfortable belay east of the spire, make a few moves to engage its east face. Move up and right to a subsidiary thumb that you can stand on to place some gear. From here, traverse left under a steep wall to a comfortable stance and engage the crux, which consists of one or two 5.6 moves over a bulge and onto a slab. Reach out and touch the summit--and stand on it if you dare!
The first ascent party rappelled from a sling. Downclimbing off the route could leave the summit clean. An nice addition would be a well-placed pair of bolts or pitons near the summit.
This is a classic and stunning tower well within the ability of mere mortal climbers.
Cams and stoppers, sewn sling for the rappel.
Mark Oveson on the summit of the Bishop's Scepter.
BETA PHOTO: Route on the Bishop's Scepter
Mark Oveson climbing on the Bishop's Scepter.
The route on the Bishop's Scepter.
Mark Oveson at the crux of the Bishop's Scepter.
|By Dougald MacDonald|
Sep 3, 2005
For what it's worth, Karen Kovaly and I climbed this spire in August 1996, during a traverse of the ridge aborted by poor weather. We too rapped from a sling around the top, which must have blown or rotted off or been carried away by acrobatic marmots. We called it Un-Impotent (Un-im-PO-tent) Pinnacle, but I'll bet it was climbed before... it's an obvious target if you're up there. Very fun and dramatic climbing, and well worth bringing a rope and small rack to do this one if you're traversing the ridge.
|By the Ascender|
From: . . . CO
Dec 14, 2010
Looks like fun - looking forward to it next time I'm up.
|By Eric Klammer|
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 2, 2013
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V S 4b
Clean rock, amazing views, a formation that is rarely found outside the desert, and no crowds to share it with! What more can be said? This is a great route that should be in the sights of anyone attempting the Kasparov Traverse.
Also: Summit slings in good condition as of today. They seem to disappear with time though so plan on still bringing your own.