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Hoback Shield

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Far Right (Warmup Area) 
Hoback Shield Left 
Hoback Shield Right 
McFlatus Roof Area 

Hoback Shield  

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Submitted By: Nick Stayner on Dec 23, 2007
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BETA PHOTO: The Hoback Shield


The Hoback Shield ("The Shield") is a slabby escarpment of nice limestone with a good selection of route different than any found elsewhere in the valley. If you enjoy calf pumps, pinches, dimples, and a few good roof pulls, check this place out!

Best in spring and fall. Summer is OK until the sun hits it at about 11 AM. The cliff is directly south facing. A good combo day can be made by hitting the Shield in the morning and Rodeo Wall in the afternoon.

Most of the routes were developed by Joe Sottile (AKA Maxwell Yanoff), Greg Miles, and a few others in the early 90s. Miles returned in the early 2000s to retrobolt a few of the sportier classics, thus making them extremely popular. Also in the early 00s, Trevor Bowman added a nice selection of moderate sport routes. Despite the rebolting efforts, routes here are still considered sporty by some. Bring your slab head!

There are a handful of trad routes here which should prove exciting for anyone interesting in polished limestone cracks. Also, many of the sport routes have second pitches that go to the top of the cliff and are protected by trad gear. Please be careful if you decide to top out. Much loose rock exists up there.

There aren't too many routes at the Shield, but it breaks down naturally into five distinct zones (from left to right):

Left (from Shady Grove to A Thousand Cranes)
Right (from The Joker to Electric Shower)
Center (She's Got To Have It to The Hunter)
McFlatus Roof (Naughty Guides-Nhervus Sheep)
Far Right/Warmup Area (The Bulge-Hoi Polloi)

Getting There 

The Shield sits above the Hoback River a few miles south into Hoback Canyon. Going south from Jackson, cross the Hoback River twice on Highway 191. Look for the cliff on your left after about 12 minutes from Hoback Junction. Park in a pullout on the right side of the road, just beneath the cliff. If you pass the junction for Granite Hot Springs and cross the Hoback a third time, you've gone just slightly too far.
Follow switchbacks up to the base of the cliff. Allow about 10 minutes.

Climbing Season

Weather station 1.0 miles from here

22 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',9],['2 Stars',12],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Hoback Shield:
Shady Grove   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 50'   Hoback Shield Left
Jam or Slam   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 55'   Far Right (Warmup Area)
Hook It   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport   Far Right (Warmup Area)
Mulvado Edge (Electric Arch)   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Hoback Shield Right
Drill and Repetition   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 65'   Far Right (Warmup Area)
A Thousand Cranes   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 70'   Hoback Shield Left
Petzl Logic   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 80'   Hoback Shield Left
McFlatus Roof   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 70'   McFlatus Roof Area
Browse More Classics in Hoback Shield

Featured Route For Hoback Shield
First 5.7 lead!  Trickier than I expected.

Shady Grove 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b  WY : Jackson Hole : ... : Hoback Shield Left
A fun little route. The rock's a bit different than you'd find at the rest of the Shield. Fun patina-like edges and some pockets/horizontals. A good warmup. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in WY

Local Information for Hoback Shield
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By Stevie Nacho
From: Utah
Oct 26, 2008
Way better than the Rodeo Wall. This place can provide some fun climbing, but should not be a destination. The routes are well bolted with new bolts and hanger, to protect the sometimes greasy hand and footholds. Its fun for a day or so.

By boulderkeith
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 1, 2009
Was hot in the July afternoon sun. Would be great for a morning or a cloudy afternoon.
By Hendo
From: Denver, CO
Aug 9, 2010
You have to cross the river 4 times...this is really important. Additionally, it's not a good idea to give directions in minutes. People drive different speeds (not all of us drive the speed limit, and that's assuming the person that wrote these directions drove the speed limit). Lastly, after you cross the 4th river crossing, you'll see a pull-off on your right, but the wall will be across the street on your left (south-facing, like the author noted). Hope this helps someone...we literally were on a treasure hunt for over an hour because of the "2 river crossings comment".
By DCSwish23
From: Lander, WY
Aug 3, 2011
After a tough time because of the "two crossings" I finally found it. It's ~10-11 miles from the junction with rt 26.
By Tzilla Rapdrilla
Jun 19, 2012
Free miniguide available here:

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