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Kamp's Ridge 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

   
Type:  Trad, 8 pitches, Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: Bill Kamp had several early ascents "back in the day"
Page Views: 2,879
Submitted By: Sam Cannon on Jun 7, 2013

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photo: Mooner Here again you can see the various ...

Description 

Looking at the north face of Mt. Olympus you'll see the "West Slabs" on the right side of the mountain -- Kamp's Ridge is on the skyline on the left. This ridge is approached via Neff's Canyon, and good directions to the trailhead can be found here:

summitpost.org/kamps-ridge/165...

There is also some information in the Ruckman/Falcon guide for the Wasatch.

To reiterate - park at Neff's and follow a broad dirt road/trail to a stream crossing where the trail forks. Head right here. The trail gets pretty faint, and the bushwhacking, depending on where you go, can get pretty nasty. You're essentially following a drainage, getting good views of the ridge earlier on and then just glimpses the closer you get. Takes some scrambling to get back there, and once you're out of the drainage you'll see a series of 3 or 4 ridges that all give you options for ascent. My partner and I started on one too far back and had to traverse over to one that worked better for us and seemed to have the best climbing, second back from the skyline. The lower part of this ridge had excellent scrambling and was nicely aesthetic.

The approach will take the average person between 1-2 hours, depending on how effectively you're able to navigate the faint trail after the stream crossing.

As you get closer to the upper portion of the ridge where you cross over the Great Chimney and Valhalla, the two ridges closest to the skyline consolidate into one while the others run up to the sub-peaks between the north and south summit.

You'll come to a shoulder where the ridge sharpens and you have an amazing view of the slabby north face. The route does not stay directly on the ridge, but uses cracks and ledges to traverse the face below it. You'll come across a few pitons here and there.

This is one of my favorite ridges in the Wasatch - the climbing is very exposed, sustained at the 5th to 5.4 level with a 5.6ish crux, incredibly aesthetic, rarely visited, and has phenomenal views. In my humble opinion this is one of the best routes on the mountain - more difficult and sustained than West Slabs and Geurt's Ridge (or South Ridge of Superior).

For good descent options (all of which involve rappels) check out the summit post link mentioned earlier, or, for a really fun finish, do "The Goddess Traverse," i.e. the scramble across the myriad sub-summits (class 3,4) to the south summit and take the standard trail down (requires two cars, one at Neff's and one at the standard Olympus trailhead).

You can find more info on the "Traverse of the Goddess" here: mountainalbum.com/mountains/ut...

Protection 

Light rack. One set of cams and a set of nuts will be more than enough.


Photos of Kamp's Ridge Slideshow Add Photo
photo: Mooner  The money section - you won't follo...
photo: Mooner The money section - you won't follo...
photo: Mooner  As you can see there are multiple r...
photo: Mooner As you can see there are multiple r...
The one section we roped for. There was an old pit...
The one section we roped for. There was an old pit...
Olympus from the east - Feb 2013.  Kamps Ridge on ...
Olympus from the east - Feb 2013. Kamps Ridge on ...
photo: Mooner  A closer look at the ridge from the...
photo: Mooner A closer look at the ridge from the...
looking down the roped section
looking down the roped section
West Slabs are on the far right, Kamp's Ridge is t...
West Slabs are on the far right, Kamp's Ridge is t...
West Slabs are on the far right, Kamp's Ridge is t...
West Slabs are on the far right, Kamp's Ridge is t...
Found a piton on the crux section! woot
Found a piton on the crux section! woot
Mooner traversing just below the ridge on the uppe...
Mooner traversing just below the ridge on the uppe...
For the upper ridge I prefer to stay on the face, ...
For the upper ridge I prefer to stay on the face, ...

Comments on Kamp's Ridge Add Comment
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By Mooner
From: Bountiful, UT
Jun 7, 2013

This is a must do alpine ridge classic! Here is a link to my pictures of my Photography FB Page

facebook.com/KYogaMama/photos#...

Just a note, When Sam and I did this climb we actually started on the ridge that was just to the left ( further in toward the mountain) This ridge joins into the Kamp Ridge proper about half was up. I haven't been on the Lower Kamp Ridge proper as of yet but I can say that the ridge what we took up which joins into Kamp was superb and knife edge for most of it. Looking over to the Lower Kamp ridge from our alternative start it look more vegetated and not as knife edged like the route we took. I will post descriptive photos later and will go try the Lower Kamp Ridge proper to make a comparison and report back. This Climb in Amazing
By Stan Pitcher
From: SLC, UT
Jun 10, 2013

I don't think heading up the gully that leads to the Great Chimney is the best approach (Summit post beta). We went that way accidentally when we did it and had to get around the 'Death Ridge' and do a pitch or two straight up to get on the northern most Kamp ridge where we encounterd a steep step that I thought was the crux of the route (5.7 poor pro). Maybe if you left the gully much earlier than we did it would work out better though?

Backed off a big corner that day left of the Great Chimney. Wonder if that or the prominent diagonal-ling crack has ever been climbed?
By Sam Cannon
From: Holladay, Utah
Jun 15, 2013

Stan- we climbed the ridge from its toe and this worked well for us. Because of the nature of the climb (no clear trail to ridge) I'd imagine very few people will do this the same way. The lower sections of the ridge were awesome as well, and worth doing instead of bypassing. More of an adventure climb- makes it more exciting!
By Mooner
From: Bountiful, UT
Oct 13, 2013

Just made a short little clip of some of my favorite sections of this climb. Enjoy
By RKM
From: Alpine, Utah
Mar 24, 2014

Great video above - Mooner. Nothing better than miles of quartzite.

I see you've got the "a' cheval" down.
By Grant Burton
From: Holladay, UT
Jun 9, 2014

The best thing to keep in mind when you are finding this ridge is that it will not look like an obvious ridgeline when you get to the foot of it. In fact there will be several sets of ridglines, and some ridges to the south that may look more like Kamps than Kamps does. The best thing to do is to follow the river bed on the trail up to the great chimney and branch off to the left drainage almost right as you come into the river bed. From here keep in mind that you should not be doing any major downclimbing anymore. If you aim just right you should be able to ascend right up the ridge. However, this is hardly ever the case. When you find yourself at the top of the gully staring at several different ridglines hop on one of the two most prominent ridgelines right next to the great chimney approach gully. once you start hiking on knifeblades of quartzite you will know your in the right place. Also I found the pictures of the ridgelines behind Kamps helpful for eliminating possible options. This is an epic classic alpine climb. I wouldn't recommend trying this as a free solo for the crux section.
By Sam Cannon
From: Holladay, Utah
Oct 6, 2014

One more note about the descent -- I've done Kamp's three ways now...first by finishing off with a Traverse of the sub summits to the S Summit and then coming down the standard trail (shuttle car required), the second by traversing the N Summit ridge to the West Slabs descent and coming down that way (again, shuttle required), but the third time, not wanting to use a shuttle car, we tagged the N Summit then backtracked a bit to the top anchors for Valhalla.

For this descent double 60s are required. As you rap trend climber's left as all the pitches kind of slant in that direction. We left new cord on the pine tree you rap from to get down past the drop into the notch. It took us 6 raps to get to the base of all the 5th class+ BS that is the first two pitches or so of the great chimney. From here, the trail out is much better marked than the trail in for Kamp's. This is not a bad option but the raps were tedious. It will make you want to do the upper pitches of Valhalla, however, which look incredible.

This last option seems much more advisable than rapping the Great Chimney, as you'd have to be downclimbing the cruxes of Kamp's.