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New 8 pitch sport route in Rock Canyon (*Now 22 pitches)
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By Tristan Higbee
From Cambodia
Dec 7, 2008
Me on a mixed route Crisco and I did in Rock Canyo...
EDIT 9/21/10: The route is finished. Check it out here. Better late than never, right?

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Yesterday Christian and I finished the first half of our Squaw Peak route. It's been bolted for about a month and a half but we never got around to climbing it until yesterday. The route is not finished; it will eventually go all the way to the top of Squaw Peak and clock in at 18-20 pitches. But the first half is done, and we'd love for other people to get on it. The route is called Squawstruck and is III 5.10c, 8 pitches and ~600 feet. A couple pitches need to have bolts moved or added (pitch 6 in particular. The belayer needs to keep it pretty tight at the first crux!), but I don't think I'll do that before next season. It's definitely climbable as is. Here are some overview and topo pics:

Squawstruck on Squaw Peak, showing the lower half ...
Squawstruck on Squaw Peak, showing the lower half of the route that is completed (yellow) and the unfinished blue part. Approach and descent are also marked.


Topo for Squawstruck on Squaw Peak.
Topo for Squawstruck on Squaw Peak.


The only thing I ask is that nobody adds this route to the MP database. I'll do that when the whole thing is completed next year. More action shots of the climb can be found here.

I hope someone else can get on it this season. Oh, and don't forget helmets!

-Tristan

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By Perin Blanchard
Administrator
From Orem, UT
Dec 7, 2008
Racking too much gear, as usual.
Nicely done, gentlemen!

(The race is on...)

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By Christian "crisco" Burrell
From PG, Utah
Dec 8, 2008
Our less than official sponsor!
A few notes:
A small bit of history:
This route has been talked about for years it seems...and even at first, to me, it was a pipe dream for anyone other than D.K. or the Knight's. Just way too much work, time and money! I just didn't have enough faith. But Tristan persisted that it could get done and began bolting the first pitch on lead. He delayed the project when we began work on the Galaxy and Wild areas. But he kept trying to convince me it was a good idea. And then Tristan found a way to traverse above the first big headwall. After rapping down a bit, found that what many of us believed to be a major mix of occasional decent rock but mostly chossy crap, was actually mostly really solid stone. After several days of work humping loads of gear way up there on his own and then equipping 2 pitches all by himself, he finally convinced me to join him. I only make this point to show that it was his efforts alone that got the project really going and he deserves the credit.

-No matter which approach you chose, it is a pain. Whatever you do, make your way to the ridge top. this will avoid the "dance of the scree".
-While there are a few sections with sub par rock, they are really short and the rock is still climbable at a moderate rating. There is always perfect limestone before and after these sections.
-There is a TON of possible routes for the future. The rock proved to be way better that we could've dreamed. We have already picked one or two for future variations to the "approach pitches".
-The pitches may sound short but we wanted to take advantage of the ledges that presented themselves (each pitch ends at a good ledge so far). Also, we wanted to make the route doable (up and down) with a single rope (70 for sure).
-The bolts are sometimes a bit farther apart than a true sport climb. This was mostly done on easy stretches. Tristan has coined the phrase: "sportaneering" for our strategy. But in no place is it unreasonable.
-There is one spot that Tristan eluded to (on the 6th pitch) that we plan to move a bolt to eliminate a possible swinging fall (if you blow a tough clip higher). If your belayer is not paying close attention here, it is possible to hit a large flake.

There were several memorable spots for me:
1)The second pitch ("The Relic" pitch) upper crack/corner was pretty fun. Perfect hands in the crack. This is the only true crack section we have bolted. It was done after much discussion. We did bolt a short tower with a crack on pitch 8 as well.
2)The fourth pitch, has the only overhanging section so far. But this is passed by a very juggy bulge on the left of a large roof.
3)The "Frosted Flakes" pitch was incredible: do whatever you have to to make sure YOU are the one leading this. The wall gets more vertical here and the exposure kicks in. A somewhat awkward start leads into some terrific steep flakes on some almost perfect white limestone. Then a steep slab takes you to a roof with a perfect jug over the top. As steep and intimidating as this pitch looks from the belay, it proves to be just that darn good and amazingly moderate. 4)Pitch 6 is the longest pitch (so far) and was the crux for me. I took a few falls trying to figure out a section with some flakey rock (.10b/c?). The clip of the bolt you are going for is made from either a lower, less than wonderful hold, or a higher good hold but risking a longer swinging fall right above a pillar (this is the part where the bolt will be moved). After you get through this, the pitch doesn't give you an easy finish, the sandstone roof and upper slab keeps your attention. Save some gas for this pitch. At least the belay spot is really beautiful and one of my new favorite spots outdoors. There is even a flat bivi spot under some obvious trees.
5)The last 2 pitches are just good clean fun. Pitch 8 is really short but a bit crazy. You follow a tower to it's top where you make a exposed mantle (bolt right in your face). Then the holds that have been everywhere seem to stop and you are left facing a pretty blank "what do I do now" spot. Tristan figured out a dyno (8)and I spotted a static way to do it (9).
This brings you to the BIG terrace you can see below the main upper pyramid of squaw peak. Overall this was a fantastic experience and well worth the effort needed. While some pitches are just ok, other are absolutely amazing!
We will finish the upper section of the route when the snows melt!

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By paintrain
Dec 8, 2008
Chuck Norris can Divide by Zero
That's awesome. Thanks for all the hard work.

I like that term "Sprotaneering"

matt

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By Christian "crisco" Burrell
From PG, Utah
Dec 8, 2008
Our less than official sponsor!
I almost forgot to mention: While we were rapping off a huge bird flew over head. The third such incident while we have been on this wall. However, this time I am positive it was a bald eagle. I am aware of several mating pairs in Utah. I was stunned to see it.

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By James Garrett
Dec 8, 2008
Hollow Point in the middle of the photo. Route cli...
Nice...I like long routes. I might just have to drive down to Happy Valley asap!

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By tenesmus
Dec 9, 2008
looks cool to get way off the deck. can't wait to see how it works out.

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By Shawn Mitchell
From Broomfield
Dec 9, 2008
Splitter Jams on the Israel/Palestine Security Wal...
Props to Tristan.

A lot of climbers--heck, a lot of generations of climbers--have spent time in Provo and Salt Lake and looked up at Squaw Peak and probably thought something like I did: "What a big, intimidating face. Too bad it's loose and there's nothing to climb up there."

Way cool. Can't wait to come try it.

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By Bad Sock Puppet
Dec 20, 2008
Bad Sock Puppet
Good Job guys! This looks like it's going to be one awesome climb. How long did it take you to climb the first 8 pitches? Can't wait til the snow melts.

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By Christian "crisco" Burrell
From PG, Utah
Dec 20, 2008
Our less than official sponsor!
We were having such a blast that we forgot to pay close attention to the time. When it is all done, just plan a good long day you plan to rap the route as well. Please don't leave any dirty socks at the belays...

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By Tristan Higbee
From Cambodia
Dec 20, 2008
Me on a mixed route Crisco and I did in Rock Canyo...
Bad Sock Puppet wrote:
Good Job guys! This looks like it's going to be one awesome climb. How long did it take you to climb the first 8 pitches? Can't wait til the snow melts.


I think it was something like 3-4 hours.

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By Bad Sock Puppet
Dec 22, 2008
Bad Sock Puppet
I was talking with A.K. a few days ago, and decided that since the route he and a few others are working on is...well pretty much 5.12 most of the way, and yours seems mostly 5.10, someone should find and bolts a solid 5.11 all the way up. Any takers?

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By Christian "crisco" Burrell
From PG, Utah
Dec 22, 2008
Our less than official sponsor!
We have several other projects planned for the wall. Don't worry, next year will see lots of craziness!

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By James Garrett
Mar 19, 2009
Hollow Point in the middle of the photo. Route cli...
Loved this route! Each pitch is unique and different than the others. Real cruising conditions. 8 real pitches, intelligently protected in the right places, awesome mountain and rock landscape experience, 4"-5" SS bolts!!!! in good rock, easy to rappel the route, mellow approach (though the trail needs some work like markers otherwise people will be tramping over everywhere), a Grade III which can be accomplished in a few hours car to car by a competent party. Strong work! Thankyou many times over. The end of single pitch sport climbs on big limestone walls has arrived in the Wasatch.

Skiing Corn in the morning and cruising long limestone in the afternoon. That's about as good as it gets.

Take a 70m rope and don't forget your chaulk bag. I suspect I will repeat it a few times this season. For now, this may need to remain a single party route...wear a helmet.

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By Tristan Higbee
From Cambodia
Mar 24, 2009
Me on a mixed route Crisco and I did in Rock Canyo...
Bad Sock Puppet wrote:
I was talking with A.K. a few days ago, and decided that since the route he and a few others are working on is...well pretty much 5.12 most of the way, and yours seems mostly 5.10, someone should find and bolts a solid 5.11 all the way up. Any takers?


If you give me $1000 for bolts then yes, I'll do it.

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By Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
May 21, 2009
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of ...
tristan/christian. great energy, great vision. excellent job.
i appreciate and know how much work it takes for a route like this. cheers to you!

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By Tristan Higbee
From Cambodia
May 26, 2009
Me on a mixed route Crisco and I did in Rock Canyo...
I had planned last week to drive up on the Squaw Peak Road, hike to the top of Squaw Peak, carry loads, rap in, and start drilling. Unfortunately, the road wasn't open yet.

I was told that it would be open after Memorial Day so I called the ranger station today to confirm. Turns out that an avalanche came down over the road somewhere "past Hope Campground" and that it will be another month or two until the road opens!! The road is open from the Spanish Fork side but my car can't make that road, plus that's a super long drive...

It's possible to hike to the top via Rock Canyon but it takes about 3 hours. With bolting gear it would be murderous.

In other words... the second half of this route will be done by late summer, not early summer (as we had hoped last year). If someone finds out sooner that the road is open, let me know.

-Tristan

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By Christian "crisco" Burrell
From PG, Utah
May 27, 2009
Our less than official sponsor!
For this crime...someone will pay a terrible price!

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By James Garrett
May 27, 2009
Hollow Point in the middle of the photo. Route cli...
No biggie, T...what is in is good enough...probably going for my 3rd round next week.

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By Thomas Riddle
From Provo, Ut
May 28, 2009
Managing expectations
I will say, it was accesible by 4wheeler on the 16th, so if you can borrow one...

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By Christian "crisco" Burrell
From PG, Utah
Jul 10, 2009
Our less than official sponsor!
Tristan went up and fixed the 6th pitch. Very well protected now...

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By Christian "crisco" Burrell
From PG, Utah
Sep 12, 2009
Our less than official sponsor!
FYI: The upper pitches are fully being worked on now. If you have binoculars, you can go look for us on Saturdays. I took a water stash up today for Tristan (who was bolting the last 4 pitches) and I could barely spot him as a TINY speck way up there! It was like trying to spot climbers on the last pitch of the Nose on El Cap with your naked eye! Keep your eyes peeled and your comfy shoes ready...this route will be done this fall and ready for mass consumption.

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By Alec
Sep 14, 2009
Stairway to Heaven, pitch three, Provo Canyon, UT
Woohoo! Looking forward to it.

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By Matt Jesperson
Sep 14, 2009
Sunrise on the summit of Cotopaxi, Ecuador.
Mmmmmmmm

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By John Sanders
Sep 26, 2009
Did this today with Steve Bott and had a lot of fun. Good route. Thinking it might be mixed bolts and gear like Devil's Castle, I took a light rack and used none of it. At the end of the eight pitches, we walked up the slope to look for the next pitches. I think we followed the topo photo but could not find any. Have the next pitches, after the first eight, been completed?

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By Christian "crisco" Burrell
From PG, Utah
Sep 27, 2009
Our less than official sponsor!
Not yet. We are now working on the last big wall. 4 pitches up there so far with maybe 2-3 more. Then we will get going on the shorter middle wall. Time and money have been slowing us down this season...Hope to be up there the next three weekends to get it done.

FLAG


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