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Perla's Ridge and Environs
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Perla's Ridge 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c R

   
Type:  Trad, 11 pitches, 1800', Grade IV
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Ron Perla, Chuck Satterfield, 1964
Season: Summer
Page Views: 2,046
Submitted By: kBobby on Jul 6, 2006

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Bobby above the first pitch.

Description 

AKA: Satyr Ridge, the Ruckman guide says this is 1800 feet, but really, from car to summit it is well over 3000.

Typical alpine granite (good to crappy) with a (relatively) easy approach. Lots of hiking, though.

Although there are lots of easy sections that you could either simul or solo, the technical sections appear often enough that it probably isn't worth it. We seemed to find a 40m 5.8 pitch just about every 50m or so (alternates 5.easy, 5.8, ...). These were almost always very exposed.

The (small amount of) beta that I heard before we did this climb was, "it is loose and scary, and I won't ever do it again." We didn't find it all that bad. We didn't complete the route, however; we were stormed off at about 700 feet from the summit (long descent involving many rappels).

Location 

Park just up-canyon from the LDS vaults. There is a bouldering area here, but I don't remember the name. Look for the talus field coming off the ridge, this is your goal.

Hike down past the boulders to the LCC trail. Walk up canyon to the bridge and cross the river. A small trail enters the woods here (toward more bouldering). Follow this trail until it begins descending a lot. Leave the trail and bushwhack WSW until you get to the talus field. Follow the talus up and into the gully.

You will eventually get to some immaculate white slabs on your left (after a couple of bouldery moves). Further up the gully, it splits into two gullies. The right one is sandy and loose, the left is solid, but requires technical climbing (5.8+ R).

Above each of these there is a grassy quasi-meadow below a headwall. It looked like several lines on the headwall would go at around 5.7 or 5.8. We opted to hike game trails in the trees to the left to bypass the headwall.

Above the headwall are a series of ledges on the left side of the huge slabs. Follow these up along the path of least resistance, heading left when possible and aesthetic.

If you can find the "Endless Dihedral" pitch and the 5.8 o.w. right on the ridge, I highly recommend both of them (see topo)

Descent: Either south into Bell's Canyon, or two drainages east back into LCC. You can scope the second descent option from the road just above the gate buttress parking area.

Protection 

Standard rack. We didn't bring anything bigger than a #2 (gold) Camalot, but there were a couple of places where a #3 would have been useful.


Photos of Perla's Ridge Slideshow Add Photo
Above the first pitch and almost even with The Thumb!
Above the first pitch and almost even with The Thu...
The "Endless Dihedral" corner goes for a whole pitch!  Low angle, but sustained (except for one good pod to the left of the crux).
The "Endless Dihedral" corner goes for a...
A shot of me in the same spot...  It's a good spot.
A shot of me in the same spot... It's a good spot...
A shot from fairly high above the road.   And we hadn't even started the harder pitches yet!
A shot from fairly high above the road. And we h...
The headwall...  Climb some low angle (low 5th) to the base of the headwall, and scramble up left throught the trees (3rd).  The slabs can also be skipped entirely by heading left early.  Or check out all the cool crack systems directly on the headwall!
The headwall... Climb some low angle (low 5th) to...
Leading the dihedral.
Leading the dihedral.

Comments on Perla's Ridge Add Comment
Show which comments
By Rob C.
From: Freeport, ME
Jul 9, 2006

Wow! Bobby nice topo. I'd like to add on the last pitch, the handcrack to gain those traversing ledges is probably somewhere between 5.8+ to 5.9+. It felt harder than any of the moves on Satan's Corner (and very exposed). Will try to get pictures up next Tues, Weds...
By Craig Martin
From: Park City
Jul 12, 2006
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R

Thanks for the Topo! We climbed the Satyr Ridge on July 11th, and found the Topo to be pretty handy. Where your Topo ends there are 3 or 4 more pitches to get to an unroping spot and 300 to 400 feet of 3rd class to the summit. The remaining 3 pitches go at; easy 5th, 5.6 thru a nice roof, easy 5th. Never found the "Endless Dihedral" mentioned in your Topo. I may have been closer to the ridge at this point. I found an unprotected chimney (easily laybacked the edge at 5.6 or so) followed by a 5.7 OW to end the pitch at the blocks to the left of the belay indicated in the Topo directly under the 5.8 OW. This is the money pitch, probably only 5.7 but fun. The last pitch on the Topo is also very good, I would call it 5.9-, and a #3 camalot works very well here. We descended Coalpit #4, with Two single rope raps from trees towards Bells Canyon and a short hike over to the top of the couloir. Found water halfway down Coalpit#4, coming directly out of the western slope, with a nice pour over to fill bottles from. Very needed after a 12 hour day. Thanks again for the beta, it was my third time up Perla's, never touched the same ground twice, bit this was the best trip so far.
By BobGray
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
Aug 3, 2009

I just replaced a couple of the old rappel slings for the lower pitches, and added a new rappel station near the bottom of the head wall lower. My suggestion is to bring (2) 60m ropes when exploring this area as my 70m didn't quite reach all the stations when rapping and we had to down climb several times.
By PeterSLenz
From: Salt Lake City
Jul 2, 2010
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R

Mark Shah and I climbed the Satyr Ridge on 6/30/2010. We took about 15 hours car to car.

This climb has it all! A long, but pleasant approach, many possible variations, generally excellent rock, varied climbing from friction slabs to overhangs and cracks (even a short off width), wild exposure, and a magnificent summit with great views into Bell's canyon and Thunder basin. Bring water; there was none until we were in the descent gully. Absolutely three stars, in my estimation.

One full length rappel (or two half length... the anchors are there) from just below the summit on the South side begins the arduous descent. Somehow, despite our attempts at careful route finding we ended up descending a very nasty loose gully, which spit us out just across the creek from the Black Peeler area. I think the descent took nearly as long as the ascent. The good part: there was water in it. The bad part: it was incredibly loose, and there was water in it. Try to do better than we did, finding the best descent gully!

This climb has a character similar to a Teton rock climb. While not quite in the same quality league as Irene's Arete, it is an excellent adventure, marred only by an ugly descent...just like Irene's. Highly recommended!
By James Garrett
Jul 3, 2010

Hi Pete...way to get after it. I think I have done this route, albeit many years ago and I know it was somewhere on "Perla's Ridge"...but the Alpenheimers leaves me somewhat confused. I, too, thought the descent was horrendous, hence, I have never been back. Do you think that a descent into Bells would be a better way to go? And do you know where you were in Bells (in relation to the towers) when you reached the top?.... I am OOT at the moment, but hopefully, we can get out sometime soon! Kind of a bit more complex than Irene's.
By PeterSLenz
From: Salt Lake City
Jul 6, 2010
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R

With regard to James' question about descending into Bell's: 1) I have no idea which is the better way to go. Mark Shah commented that Bell's could not possibly be any worse than our descent route. I (like Vonnegut) feel that things can always be worse. 2) The summit of Perla's is much higher, and farther "up canyon," than the Bell Towers. I remember looking at them, and thinking they looked pretty small, and far away.

By the way, the Gate Buttress and the Black Peeler look positively minuscule from high on Perla's!
By PeterSLenz
From: Salt Lake City
Jul 18, 2010
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R

If TP descended into Bell's and came out between the East and Middle Bell, then I stand corrected. I thought I was looking way down canyon at the towers, but did not study the situation carefully. Bell's may very well be the best descent route. Ours was quite unpleasant.
Pete
By Mark D Evans
From: Sandy, UT
Jul 25, 2011

It took us about 45 minutes to do the steep (straight down) bushwhack from the summit to the trail in Bells. We were definitely higher in the canyon than the East Bell Tower, possibly in the Waterfall Dome(s) Area? From there, the trail back wasn't that bad.

I have only done this descent, but I would recommend it after hearing stories of other descents. Yes, you have 45 minutes of kinda heinous bushwhacking, but overall, I think its a good way to go. Did this yesterday, car to car in 13hrs.