Steeped in Wasatch climbing tradition, though long ignored, Main Hellgate and the climbers on it are in full view directly across from the Snowbird ski area. Most people would probably concur that the legendary alpinist Mugs Stump cut his teeth on the Main Hellgate Cliffs. During the early years of being a Snowbird ski bum, he climbed Virgo in 1976...two years before he went on to climb the first ascent of the Emperor Face of Mount Robson....his first really breakthrough climb. Hellgate choss had prepared him well for Canadian Rockies choss. Hellgate was the place for his early first ascent adventures. It is my understanding that most of the existing routes on Main Hellgate have been established from ground up and, therefore, provide that same alpine style adventure even today.
Drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon. The biggest south facing grey limestone cliff is the one. Park off the road, if possible, and start hiking up an old unimproved road that may at times be gated. Find a trail that vears to the north up an old wash, connects with a worn trail, and eventually reach the Towers...continue skirting the base of these cliffs to Main Hellgate. I like to park my stuff at a huge Doug Fir that has a bit of a platform for gearing up....it is also a sign that because it is still there, it may be a relatively rockfall free area. Carefully continue under the wall until at the base of the various routes.
Browse More Classics in Main Hellgate
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Main Hellgate:
Hell Raiser 5.10b Trad, 5 pitches, 500 feet, Grade III
Wierdo 5.10c/d Sport, 1 pitch, 80 feet
Till Hell Freezes Over 5.11b Trad, 4 pitches, 500 feet, Grade III
Featured Route For Main Hellgate
Hell Raiser 5.10b UT : Wasatch Range : ... : Main Hellgate
Starts in right-facing corner 50 feet right of Till Hell Freezes Over. P1 is protected by three or four bolts with mixed small placements in the corner crack on the left. P1 ends at a two bolt anchor on a nice ledge, The rest of the belay stations on this route are hanging. (5.8)P2 follows eight bolts up a blunt arete. Fantastic climbing! (5.10b)P3 traverses left past a bolt and then joins Till Hell Freezes Over. This intersection starts the 5.11a climb...[more] Browse More Classics in UT