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Haystack Mountain
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North Face 

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

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 600', Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V British: S 4b [details]
FA: Jack Curtin and John Wells 1965
Page Views: 3,255
Submitted By: Arlo F Niederer on Mar 20, 2009
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BETA PHOTO: The North Face of Haystack Peak. The route follow...

Description 

A clean, moderate route on the North Face, seen in profile from Clear Lake. A nice warmup climb or for those wanting an easy day.

The first three and a half pitches are the best with clean rock and continuous moderate climbing. The first pitch is a hand crack in a left facing corner which leads to an obvious ramp leading up and left. The second pitch is a thin crack in a right facing dihedral, which leads to an overhang - which can be climbed directly via the thin crack (5.7 variation) which peters out (and is hard to protect). The easiest way is to traverse around to the right until a crack and hand traverse leads back to the left and connects with the 5.7 variation. Above here, there is a hand crack, and the angle starts to diminish, so there are many options for the last pitch and a half.


Location 

On the North Face of Haystack.

A ridge separates the Clear Lake/Deep Lake and Black Joe drainages and rises to meet the North Face of Haystack - the route begins where this ridge steepens to become the North Face.

From Clear Lake, some third or fourth class scrambling is required to make the top of the ridge, which is then followed southeastward to the North Face of Haystack.

The route starts in the right hand of two left facing dihedrals. Look for the steep ramp which leads back left at the top of the left facing dihedral which is pitch one.

The descent is via the Grassy Goat Trail. After unroping, continue southeastward toward the north summit of Haystack. If you try to cut south too soon, a steep drop off will be encountered on a rib of red rock. This is the rib of reddish rock which is just south of the top of the Minor Dihedral route. Once you clear the east end of the red rib of rock, trend southwestward to the top of the Grassy Goat Trail. Look for some cairns which lead to the top of the Grassy Goat Trail.


Protection 

A standard rack. Some of the thin cracks have crystals in them (reminiscent of Vedauwoo) which make them hard to protect with stoppers - alien sized cams solve this problem.

A piece of hand to fist-sized protection to protect the hand traverse back to the left.



Photos of North Face Slideshow Add Photo
Ryan Nicholson and Lee Timmons at the top of Haystack Peak's North Face.  Big Sandy and Clear lakes are behind and the Cirque of the Towers is obvious in the right corner.  Wolf's Head is lit up bright white with Pingora in front.
Ryan Nicholson and Lee Timmons at the top of Hayst...
North Face of Haystack - an always windy place
North Face of Haystack - an always windy place
Climbing the North ridge route of Haystack
Climbing the North ridge route of Haystack
Haystack Mountain
Haystack Mountain
Comments on North Face Add Comment
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By Aaron Martinuzzi
Jun 26, 2009

This is a great route at the grade on very good rock. Climbing this and descending the Grassy Goat Trail to climb Railroad Tracks or Steeple Peak's North Ridge would make for a really fun day.

By themostdirect
Oct 18, 2009
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V S 4b

This was a fun route with great access, only a few hours from the Big Sandy trail head. There was so much feature at such a low difficulty, it didn't seem to follow any defined line, so we just picked a crack system and started going for it.

The North Face is well shaded, of course, and was VERY windy the day we climbed.

By Jared Spaulding
From: Central WY
Mar 28, 2012

A quicker, alternative descent is to descend the north gully and wind up just 20 yards east of your packs at the base of the North Face route. This is downclimbable but there is a rap station at the hardest part (5.2) near the base.

By semicolin1
Jul 13, 2013

Doing the more direct 5.7 variation, this can be done in 3p with a 60m rope, all on good belay ledges and some 4th class scrambling at the top. It was a fun morning out when rain was forcast.

By Austin Pethan
From: Madison, WI
Sep 12, 2013

We did this route in four pitches. The first pitch led to a block with webbing around it, and a nice belay ledge. That was a 60m rope stretcher. Second pitch led up to a nice ledge found after you traverse around an overhang, and then traverse back left to get back on the route. Third pitch led up to a nice ledge as well (choose your own adventure at this point). Fourth pitch led to summit, and is mostly, if not entirely 4th class. I placed two pieces of gear on the last pitch. Make sure you look for the register in a PVC tube at the summit!

To descend, take the gully that is left of the route. Downclimb until you run into a rap station, which will take you to the bottom, where you left your packs. You only need one 60m rope for this.