For a much better printable (PDF) topo and the history of the route, go here.
Welcome to the world of sportaineering. Squawstruck goes right up the south face of Squaw Peak (also known as Squaw Mountain). The line isn’t the most direct in the world, and some ledges and short pitches could be considered a drawback, but the rock is mostly good, the climbing is great, and the route is long! The route is also remarkably sustained, with five 5.8 pitches, four 5.9 pitches, twelve 5.10 pitches, and one 5.11 pitch. I tried to keep the route 5.10 or under the whole way, and almost succeeded.
The route is entirely bolted; no trad gear is necessary. The climb is characterized by slightly less than vertical pitches punctuated by roofs, though there’s pretty much a bit of everything. There are several large ledges that interrupt the route. Some of them you can walk in your climbing shoes, but some you need to change back into your approach shoes for.
You’ll encounter a wide variety of limestone on the route, from a few choss sections to beautiful water-streaked loveliness. You’ll see rock of all colors, including light and dark gray, white, black, tan, red, orange, brown, and blue.
This route was over two years in the making. More than 2/3 of the bolts on the route are stainless. Every belay has at least two bolts and a nice ledge. Apart from 3 & 4 and 7 & 8, I wouldn’t recommend linking any pitches. Pitches 9 and 11 kind of suck, but everything else has good climbing. The whole route is south facing and gets a lot of sun. Winter is too cold and snowy, summer is too hot.
Pitch by pich beta
1) 5.10b, 110’, 13 bolts – Sharp slab to chossy roof. Turn roof on left side. Hollow jugs above roof. Some crimpy moves lead to easier climbing two a two bolt anchor (bolts don’t have chains).
2) 5.8, 75’, 8 bolts – Cross from the pillar/tower to the main wall via the “Leap of Faith” and clip the chain anchor (this is where you rappel from if rapping the route). Climb up easy terrain to a dihedral.
Unrope and scramble up easy 3rd class terrain up to the big, sloping ledge. Angle right after the scrambling. (Keep your climbing shoes on. It’s a short walk.) Pitch 3 stars in a shallow, chossy dihedral.
3) 5.9, 60’, 8 bolts – Make some mantle moves on chossy rock. The rock gets better shortly. Go to the right of the bush on some 5.9 moves and belay on a nice ledge.
4) 5.10b, 50’, 7 bolts – Nice slab leads to steep climbing over the left side of the roofs. Belay at a great ledge. (Can combine 3 & 4)
5) 5.9-, 60’, 8 bolts – Go right, then up through the “Frosted Flakes” and some beautiful white rock. Turn a roof before the belay on a ledge.
6) 5.10c, 105’, 10 bolts – Climb through a band of chossy rock to the first crux, then head right over a sandy brown roof (second crux). Belay (3 bolts) on giant ledge.
Move up and left to the base of the next pitch, which starts just left of the edge of the pillar (belay at a flat spot to the right of the pillar).
7) 5.10a, 95’, 9 bolts – Turn the roof and climb up jugs on good rock to the ledge.
8) 5.8 or 5.10a, 40’, 5 bolts – Go up and right. Carefully stand on very tip of pillar and make an interesting move (5.8 or 5.10a, depending on how you do it) to the belay (3 bolts). (Can combine 7 & 8)
Walk right a couple hundred feet to the base of the next buttress. Pitch 9 starts on a blunt arete to the right of a broad trough.
9) 5.8-, 110’, 11 bolts – Dirty climbing on somewhat suspect rock leads to a large, dirt-covered ledge. Belay at the base of the next section of cliff. Go right and then up at bolt 8, not straight up.
10) 5.10b, 75’, 9 bolts – Lots of slopers lead to a small roof. Funky climbing beyond the roof leads to a corner, then a layer of orange julius rock to the belay.
11) 5.8, 105’, 10 bolts – Go left on the ledge, then up past a couple shiny bolts to a ledge with a large pine tree. Head up steep part left of tree, then trend right to belay (hangers only).
Scramble up to flat spot and unrope. Put approach shoes on and head northwest uphill till you see a short red fixed rope. Scramble up short cliff band (using fixed line), then head up and left. You’ll see a dark cave/mine at the base of the next section of cliff. Aim for that, switchbacking your way up the slope to make it easier. Pitch 12 starts just right of the mine. The mine offers a nice respite from the sun.
12) 5.10c, 100’, 13 bolts – Thought-provoking slab climbing with a couple bulgy sections.
13) 5.10c/d, 100’, 13 bolts – Climb up the steep wall using the cracks to a ledge. Climb up the steep funky flaring chimney thing to a large, sloping belay ledge.
14) 5.11-, 50’, 9 bolts – Tan slab with horizontals leads to a corner, which leads to a roof. Enjoy the exposure, get a rest right before the roof (there are bolted variations to the left and right here, as I didn’t know which would be easier. The left one is easier and better, and the right can lead to a bigger pendulum fall. So go left.) and then make insecure, desperate moves to the belay. This belay (an exposed stance) is the worst on the route.
15) 5.10b, 60’, 7 bolts -- Climb up the face, then head into the corner to some guano-draped holds. At the roof, turn the arete to the right and face massive exposure as you crimp your way to the belay.
16) 5.10d, 50’, 7 bolts – Move the belay to two bolts 10 feet to the right. Climb up the very thin slab. Some balancy moves, some big moves. Hard pitch to read. Belay at 3 bolts .
Put approach shoes on. Go up the slope, using the fixed line if necessary, then head right along the base of the cliff. Continue right (east) a few hundred feet to a shallow, right-facing dihedral. There’s a 10’ length of rope attached to the first bolt, making it easier to see.
17) 5.9, 90’, 10 bolts – Climb the dihedral and pass a couple bulges to the belay.
18) 5.10c/d, 110’, 14 bolts – Long pitch with 3 cruxes. Make some burly moves to a big pocket, then more burly climbing leads up and left, left, left. The whole pitch angles left significantly.
19) 5.10c, 75’, 10 bolts – Thin slab leads up and left to beautiful rock and then back right on desperate and tricky holds.
20) 5.8, 100’, 9 bolts – The “Marble Slab” pitch. Climb up a steepish section, then enjoy the sweet slab with cool rock to the next belay.
21) 5.9+, 105’, 12 bolts – Thin holds over a less-than-stellar roof make you wish you were at the top already.
22) 5.10, 90’, 10 bolts – Keep climbing up then right over some roofs with depressingly small holds.
Unrope here and scramble up 30’ to the summit of Squaw Peak.
Option 1: Hike the great Squaw Peak trail back down to Rock Canyon (4.2 miles). This is the fastest, easiest, and best option. From the summit of Squaw Peak, walk north. After 50 feet or so, the trail becomes well defined. Follow this for a couple miles back down to the main trail that goes up Rock Canyon, then follow that trail down canyon to the parking lot.
Option 2: Make 19 rappels (walk around pitches 9, 10, and 11 to the west) with one 70m rope down the route. From 18, rappel straight down to a 3 bolt rappel station, then another rappel to the large ledge b/t 16 and 17. Rappelling the route is the slowest and worst option. I HIGHLY recommend taking the trail down.
The route starts on the lowest point of the limestone, up a tower/pillar.
Option 1: Hike up Rock Canyon. After 10 or 15 minutes, you’ll come to a green gate at a climbing area known as The Kitchen. A few minutes past the gate, you’ll come to a really big limestone boulder on the left side of the trail (this is just past the climbing area called PA’s Mother). Cross the seasonal stream in front of this boulder to a campsite on the opposite side of the stream. Locate a horizontal concrete thing and follow the trail over that. This leads to some scree slopes (not bad; the rocks are large and stable). Trend left toward the right side of a ridge, but don’t go onto the ridge top. Instead, switchback your way up through the thin brush to the right of the ridge. Once you’re almost level with the lowest point of the limestone to your right, cut right across a couple talus slopes to the start of the route.
Option 2: Hike up the talus gully between The Appendage and PA’s Mother until you gain the ridge top. Follow the ridge up and then head right to the start of the route.
4 24” slings w/biners
Whatever slings & biners you need for belays
1 70 m rope
No trad gear needed
|By Tristan Higbee|
Sep 21, 2010
Suburban big wall sport climbing at its finest...
Not sure how often the whole thing will get climbed, but the bottom 8 pitches are a lot of fun for an afternoon climb. They've been completed since 2008 and have gotten a fair amount of traffic, with the result being that they're pretty clean now. The original topo I made for the first 8 pitches is here.
Again, a two-page PDF (with a much better and informative topo and the approach and descent beta pics), along with a history of the route, can be found here.
|By Darren Mabe|
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Sep 21, 2010
congrats that you got this thing done!!! i have watched your progress over the years. very respectable amount of dedication and vision! inspiring!
|By Christian "crisco" Burrell|
From: PG, Utah
Sep 21, 2010
While I wasn't able to pull through the FA with Tristan, even being a minor part of this route is something I look on with real pride. Opportunities to be involved in such a monumental event don't come around very much. Thomas G. was able to step in a did a great job.
I know that I personally wouldn't have had the will to put in all the work that Tristan did (partly because of me, partly because of $$$, and partly because of family) to get this done. He deserves all the pats on the backs and free bottles of water anyone offers (after how dehydrated he was, I'm sure he will never turn down free water again). The day we attempted the FA was too hot for me as I would've needed more water than I could realistically carry (stashing water for ascents is not a bad idea).
Here are a few of my thoughts about the route:
1) When approaching, get on top of the ridge as soon as possible. It makes the going MUCH easier. You can cut over to the start as soon as you are level or continue to the bottom of the main cliff and just walk over. Both are about the same.
2) The first 8 pitches are fantastic and make a great climb all by themselves (many ascents of this have already been done) and the rock is pretty darn clean now. Plus, getting down by rapping isn't a big deal at all.
3) If you are not ready to go for the whole enchilada, the first 8 can be good training or fun all by themselves. But don't assume that just because you nail the first 8 the rest of the route is a gimmie. From the top of 8 you really feel like the rest of the route is within your grasp. Tristan said it best; this route is a climbing equivalent of a marathon. Unless you are in really good climbing shape you won't just stroll up the thing.
4) Pitches 9-11 are a bit annoying. Dirty and sometime weird. But it still beats just walking up the hill (which is possible).
5) The wall with pitches 12-16 (although I have not climbed 15-16 yet) is still dirty and loose (but not as bad as you might think). Be careful. But are packed full of great exposure and neat features.
6) I have only rappelled the upper wall at this time, but the climbing looks just as good as the bottom (maybe better)!
7) If you have to bail from above pitch 8 (after rapping the route to that point), there is a way to do a single rap instead of following the line all the way down. Directly above the Mine Wall is a set of anchors with quick-links. You can walk over above pitch 8 and do the one rap and then walk down the Blue Wall gully. See Tristan's topo for location.
8) This route is destined to be a major Utah classic. It should be a goal of nearly everyone and it is within reach of everybody if they are willing to put in some prep time. How long will it be until Alex Honnald solos this thing. :) Cheers!
|By Tristan Higbee|
Sep 22, 2010
To comment on Crisco's comments: I disagree with getting to the ridge top ASAP on the approach. I think staying to the right of it is better.
|By Jon Bitter|
From: Waco, Tx
Sep 27, 2010
Congrats guys. This is amazing. I'll definitely be training for it this winter.
Oct 1, 2010
Phenomenal effort, Tristan. I agree with James in that you'll have a hard time topping this FA -- I'm not sure if you'd even want to! I did the first eight a couple years ago and thoroughly enjoyed them.
Is there a reason why you wouldn't recommend linking some of those middle/upper pitches? They seem pretty short. Rope drag, perhaps?
I can see this route first becoming quite a destination in itself (22 pitches!?), then a superb training route for budding alpine/big wall climbers. Looking forward to giving it a burn soon, though I'm not sure I have the endurance to top it out!
|By andy dorais|
Oct 3, 2010
Just did Squawstruck on 10/02 as a party of 3. Started climbing around 10:30 and topped out around 6:30. Here are a few thoughts. It's HOT. October 2nd...come on, felt like July 2nd in the sun all day. The rock is still pretty chossy on the upper pitches. We had a couple falls as a result of holds breaking. Leading to the next thought - helmets are a must.
At first, the meandering nature was a detractor, but given all the loose rock, I think it actually adds some safety to the route as a party above us was knocking down bowling balls all day but they would harmlessly fall hundreds of feet to the side...until we pulled within a pitch or two at the end and were in their direct line of fire.
The climbing is mostly 5.9ish with distinct cruxes that make the pitches in the mid 10-11 range. There are a couple exceptions that seemed pretty continuous for the entire pitch (mostly in the middle/upper pitches).
It's long. Maybe the climbing felt a lot harder near the top simply because of the fatigue factor.
The anchors and bolting were very well done, but some of the pitches seem too short (although I rarely felt the urge to run them together). We did the 22 stated pitches in 20. Tristan's route description is dead on.
The FAs did a ton of work to put together a great local adventure. If it gets enough traffic to clean it up, I think it will be a huge classic (not necessarily for the climbing or the line or the rock, but the adventure). It was great to hike out this evening and then look back up trace the line that I'd thought about for 10 years but never would have actually put together. Thanks again to Tristan and co.
Oct 4, 2010
Colin Hale and myself where the second assent to the top. What a great climb! The last sections were pretty dirty and could use some more traffic. We started at 7pm and topped out at 5am. i would suggest doing it at night due to the heat factor. Plus the glow from the city make for some amazing night climbing. We only carried 3 liters of water per person and at night it was the perfect amount. i look forward to doing it again soon in a much shorter time slot.(maybe 5-6 hours) great job my friend on the bolting and lets all try to clean the top sections for the future climbers.
|By Dom Layfield|
Oct 4, 2010
I climbed Squawstruck with a friend on Saturday. An awesome experience.
Here are some observations:
- The hike in took us about 35 minutes. We ended up walking straight up the scree. Not very smart, particularly given that we had both made the questionable decision to wear super-light "approach shoes". In retrospect (looking down from top of first pitch), I wish we had followed Crisco's advice to head straight for ridge to left and stay on ridge until level with start of climb.
- We started about 7:30 am, and finished about 5:30 pm (10 hours). That was moving at a gentle pace and included a lunch break. On the other hand, all of the climbing was well within our capacity, and we didn't struggle anywhere. I would guess that 10 hours would be fairly typical.
- This is really a 20 pitch climb. Tristan suggests linking pitches 3 & 4 and 7 & 8. Frankly, I can't see why anyone would *not* do so. But 20 pitches is still a LOT of climbing. Be prepared to be very tired at the end.
- The route is graded at "11-". But there's just one single 5.11 move, right at the end of pitch 14. It's a reachy move, so will be harder for short people. But you could easily skip the move by pulling on the bolt. The rest of the climb is hard 5.10.
- Both of us were whining about our feet aching long before we made it to the top. Wear your most comfortable shoes! There's virtually no edging on the climb, so tight shoes are unnecessary and very painful.
- Tristan has gone to a lot of effort to make the climb as beginner-friendly as possible, and the bolting is is often very dense, particularly around the harder sections. We skipped a lot of clips.
- Much of the rock is still very loose. As the route sees more traffic, it will certainly clean up and become more stable. But don't even think about climbing without a helmet.
- Because of the loose rock, climbers need to be very aware of where rock will fall. Belayer will often need to move around to avoid being directly under leader. We frequently employed the "pebble test" to confirm that belayer would not get hit.
- On the final set of pitches a very fast party of three came up behind us, putting themselves directly in the line of any rockfall. We did our very best to dislodge as little as possible, but holds break off and pretty much every ledge is still covered in rocks. Just the motion of the rope often showers the seconder in pebbles. We were very worried by the possibility of seriously injuring the climbers beneath us. Until the rock is more stable, I would STRONGLY advise against climbing underneath other parties. Since the route is conveniently split into tiers with grouped pitches, it is easy enough to wait until parties above have cleared the next section. I would have been far more relaxed if that group had opted to take a snack break before tackling pitches 17-22.
- The anchors at the top of pitch 9 are unfortunately located precisely where rockfall from the climber on pitch 10 funnels down. And pitch 10 is still very dirty and friable. Recommendation: put long extenders on the anchors here, so that belayer can shelter under the small bulge about 6 foot to the right.
- Put your approach shoes on for ALL of the upper transitions (between pitches 8 and 9, 11 and 12, 16 and 17). The surface is loose scree and brush, and very unpleasant in climbing shoes. You won't save any time by keeping your climbing shoes on, as you'll have to take them off again to empty out the grit.
- The hike down took us about 70 minutes and is very mellow. The trail detours a bit further west than shown in Tristan's descent map, but it's obvious where to go.
- Heat is likely to be a big issue. The route really bakes in the sun. We climbed on October 2nd, which was an unusually hot day for that time of year. I took 3 liters of water and my Camelbak ran dry about an hour an a half before the top. Take as much liquid as you can reasonably carry.
- The anchors at the top of pitch 14 are easy to miss. My partner led straight past them, and only realized when he ran out of quickdraws and had to down-climb. The belay is on left, immediately after the "11-" move.
- The limestone is often ferociously rough. A few moves up the first pitch, I was convinced that my fingertips would be worn raw long before 22 pitches were finished. Thankfully, the rock is not consistently that rough. By the end of the climb, however, both of our knees were amazingly scratched up: a slight brush with the rock can be enough to draw blood!
That's about all I can think of. A great (and long) day of climbing. Congratulations, Tristan, on your superhuman achievement! Hopefully this will inspire others to clean and bolt more lines in the area. I've contributed to your bolt fund, and encourage others to do the same.
Oh yes, one last thing: on the route I picked up several cigarette butts (Camels) and a blue lighter -- presumably all littered by same guy. Shame on you.
| || Cigarette butt (one of several) found on Squawstruck. |
|By Ben Collett|
Oct 17, 2010
Let's get realistic with the quality of this route. It is fun because it is a long well bolted sport route- I cannot imagine the expense or effort required. I know that I am far too lazy to ever make such a contribution. That said, the rock is rather chossy and will likely remain that way. The ledginess also detracts some from the quality. While the route does have some nice exposure in parts, very few of the pitches are as good as mediocre single pitch routes. In comparison to routes like Infinite Bliss in Washington and most of the longer routes in Portrero, this route is not that sweet- the developers just did not have that much to work with.
|By doug haller|
From: Boulder, Colorado
Oct 17, 2010
Clearly, a lot of time and effort went into bolting this route. Leaders should not worry about lack of gear. The quantity of bolts reflects the lack of quality of the rock. On every pitch climbers should anticipate loose rock. To minimize risk, avoid climbing below other parties. Definitely wear a helmet. Expect rock fall. Expect to break holds while climbing. The 6 routes I have done in the Black Canyon had better quality rock. We combined pitches doing the 22 as 16 back cleaning draws.
|By R O'Connor|
Nov 8, 2010
I wish I had read Dom's comments beforehand as hiking up the scree slope to the first pitch was definetly the least enjoyable part of the experience. Neither my partner or I had anything break on us although we were both selective about what we put our hand and feet on. A helmet is defenitely a must as there are loose rocks all over the place. I had a blast climbing this thing. Thank you Tristan for spending so much of your time and money to put up this route.
|By Jack Dean|
Dec 9, 2010
Anyone know when it will be warm enough to climb this route again?
It appears that this fall was the first season it was completed so there may not be much knowledge of the weather in the winter and spring. My friend and I will be driving around the U.S. for January-July and sounds like this one is a good one to check out. So anyone have weather beta?
Also, is a 70m necessary if you're going to hike off the summit? (we have a 60m)
|By Tristan Higbee|
Dec 10, 2010
Fall should be great on the approach and on the rock itself. There will probably still be snow on the hike down, though. If you're not rappelling, you could do the thing with a 50m rope. The pitches aren't super long.
I'm not sure when the earliest it will be climbable is... I can see the route from my house, though, so if you need a conditions report, shoot me an email.
From: Utah / Nevada
Dec 20, 2010
Tristan/Crisco, I've been reading about this route and looking at all your pics and I am super psyched to do this in the near future (as soon as weather permits). Yesterday I saw the bit about Squawstruck in Climbing magazine. I am so excited to be back in Utah and to do this and your other new routes - I know you guys put up a bunch of other fun routes while I was gone. Happy holidays, and I hope to climb with you guys soon! I've been in the gym almost everyday since November trying to get back in shape so I can keep up with you fools :)
|By Tyson Taylor|
Jan 31, 2011
I think everyone who's climbed in rock canyon has at some point looked up and wondered if anyone will/has ever climbed up the face to the peak. I'll look forward to hitting this in season. Let's hope the dirty nature of the route doesn't hurt anyone. Don't follow too close behind another group, wear a helmet, and keep an eye out.
|By user id|
Jan 31, 2011
I know I've looked up and said, "i wonder if anyone would be dumb enough to climb up the face of that peak?"
Thats a fine service you guys have done down there.
|By Jordan Tait|
May 16, 2011
Climbed this route on Saturday. Unfortunately we were not able to top out as a thunderstorm rolled in and we were forced to retreat as lightning grew closer and closer. Thank goodness for the cave as it gave us a place to escape the rain/lightning. We loved pitches 1-8, we found that they were mostly 5.8-5.9 climbs with one 10ish move. Pitches 9-11 were still very dirty and we blew holds left and right here. You must have a helmet! Even with helmets you need to pay attention as we were blowing pieces that no helmet will protect against. If you cannot top out as we couldn't I would highly recommend rapping off. We hiked for quite awhile trying to find a decent way down without any luck.
From: Austin, TX
May 28, 2011
rating: 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
My Buddy and I did the whole thing Friday the 13th, 5.13.2011. It was a blast. We are probably some of the weakest climbers to ever complete the whole thing, so keep that in mind when you are considering my input. Your ability will definitley make what I have to say more or less relevant.
We did the whole climb in 16 hours, and that is with taking a half hour break at the half way, and an hourish break at the 3/4 way.
We did the first 11 pitches in 4 hours, the last 11 pitches in 11 hours. We got stuck at pitch 15 for probably 2 hours though because I was so burnt and another hour and a half on pitch 22 for the same reason. The first 11 pitches are now relatively clean (no holds broke) while the 2nd 11 pitches are still somewhat dirty (we fell on 3 broken holds).
Pitch 15 was the hardest for me and my buddy, maybe because it was different than anything we have ever done, but we were stuck on it for a LONG time before finally doing it. While we went through, a huge piece of the roof came off probably making it harder for the next guys. I think a hold or two must have come off on this pitch because it was much harder for me than any of the other 5.10b's on the route.
I was really surprised by the difficulty of the final pitch as well. The topo says that it is a 5.10 with no letter grade listed. I had thus assumed that it would be a 5.10a, but it was a wicked roof on small holds when I was as tired as i've ever been.
Finally, when we were coming down, there was about 2 feet of snow that i had not been able to see from the bottom of the canyon. We had to hike about 1/2 a mile in the snow where we couldn't find a trial. Eventually we found foot prints and just followed those down until we came to a more clearly marked trail.
One of the funnest climbing days i'll ever have. Thanks for all the hard work Tristan.
|By James Garrett|
Jul 23, 2011
Lots of climbing and certainly adventure to be had. Perhaps a little bit of sandbagging going on between Pitches 17 and 23, but maybe we were just whupped...not a lot of gimme pitches up there.
A 70m rope and 15 QDs with 10 free biners and slings allowed some linking not previously mentioned. Many loose bolt heads, especially the upper pitches. Recommend taking along a wrench to remedy said situation. What a view!
From: Rexburg, Idaho
Sep 22, 2011
My friend and I want to do a female ascent of this. Does anyone know if a female ascent has been accomplished yet?
From: Stony Brook, NY
Sep 25, 2011
My camera unclipped from my harness on top of the 5.9+ pitch this saturday. I'd love it back if you find it!
Also, I was wondering about the flip-flobability on this route. so if you were too, flip flops work just fine for the approach and descent.
That first female ascent question is too funny. soooo many thing wrong with that, i don't even know where to begin with the mockery.
fun route, thanks for the hard work and expenses.
|By Brian in SLC|
Sep 26, 2011
My friend and I want to do a female ascent of this. Does anyone know if a female ascent has been accomplished yet?
Well, since its Utah County, probably not (ha ha).
The potential for sponsers if you pull this off makes my head spin...
From: Stony Brook, NY
Sep 26, 2011
Penises are aid
I'll toss in a $75 reward for the camera, even if it's busted.
|By steve edwards|
From: SLC, UT
Oct 17, 2011
Did it yesterday, 10/16. Nice route. Amazing bit of work by the FA team to get this up. That said, not one of the pitches would ever be repeated if it were in the Verdon Gorge. But for a big wall in the chossy canyon it's pretty cool. Great views, decent climbing, civilized belays for the most part, and easy descent make it worth doing.
Descriptions here are very accurate. Someone would have to pay me to do the approach in flips but it's certainly possible. I've done a lot of speed climbing. This route isn't a good candidate for that approach. Didn't see a camera but found a fossil. I think it highly unlikely Honnold will solo it. That would be a game of Russian roulette. Maybe the FFA would bear merit if the girls became "team choss" and got known for comparing the world's loosest rock climbs. Could see the mags all over that one.
James, I don't think it's sandbagging as much as holds breaking. Did it with someone who'd done an early ascent and he said many pitches have changed a fair amount, almost always making them harder. Upper part has some moves for sure. I can see how it could be vexing for anyone pushing their limits. Neither of us thought the original crux was the hardest pitch now. Currently that honor seems held by the slab two pitches after it but will probably stay up for debate as the route morphs.
Big thanks again to the authors. Excellent public service provided.
From: Cedar Hills, UT
Oct 21, 2011
Hey all - we left some gear at the top of pitch 2 and 8 i believe. if you end up climbing the route and feel so inclined to pack it out, go for it. you return it to mountainworks and let them know it belongs to jeff rose (8013188214) if not please dont make away with it. also if you see it and dont pack it out call me ad let me know its there. THANKS.
Apr 26, 2012
Climbed Squawstruck last week. Many thanks to Tristan and Co. for putting it up. Overall I am glad I climbed it as it was a thoroughly unique adventure-sport climbing experience.
Bring a helmet. Most of the rockfall we saw was of the starburst sized variety that casually bounced of our helmets. However the character changes in the upper pitches (19-22). Here seemingly solid looking handholds broke off unleashing VHS cassette and car battery sized chunks of stone. I was appreciating the closely spaced bolts in these sections!
| || Top of pitch 8 with lots of loose stuff ready to go. |
Amazing views and exposure, many sections of solid fun climbing, easy access and descent.
|By Broseph L|
From: Provo Canyon, UT
May 8, 2012
Question, I haven't climbed the route, but would it be possible to DRIVE off? I know the Squaw Peak road goes up that way, but I've only of it as a place for BYU students to go and get lucky...
|By Tristan Higbee|
May 11, 2012
Nope. The Squaw Peak Road does not come anywhere near the summit of Squaw Peak.
|By Nich Cloward|
From: American Fork
May 19, 2012
rating: 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Started working on this project this week. I am very excited to see what the other pitches are like. We hiked up the huge scree to the west of the Appendage thinking it would get us to the ridge. It didn't. We ended up skipping the first two pitches to our disappointment. Time only gave us pitches 3-6 but they were very fun. I really liked the frosted flake section on pitch 5 (I think). These pitches were mostly clean. We did knock some small stuff down, but a helmet is a must. Very well protected.
|By Nich Cloward|
From: American Fork
May 21, 2012
rating: 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Did the whole first half today, 1-11. Enjoyed the first 8. Pitch 9 wasn't bad and 10 was fun with a couple small chimney-esk parts. The first is really dirty, lots of loose stuff. Pitch 11 seems like it was just thrown in to get up to the next approach up to pitch 12. I didn't care for it, but at least it was easy and the scenery was great. We did go to the cave at the start of 12, but made the mistake of going too far west. Water is a must. We both had a 2qt camelbak and ran out after pitch 11. Good thing that was the plan, so we came down, but nect time we will have to double what we took. And the heat really takes it out of you. Will have to wait for a nice, cooler, overcast day to finish all 22.
|By Nich Cloward|
From: American Fork
Jun 18, 2012
rating: 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Pulled off the summit on June 11 with Mike Vaughn. Great climb! The "third quarter" (Pitches 12-16) were definitely the hardest overall, although pitch 14 wasn't a sustained 5.11-, just like Tristan says. It's really just pulling that corner. Pitch 15 was thin and crimpy too. I appreciated the last pitch, even though I was tired and it was dark when we hit it. Great little roofs. It was almost disappointing to not have a super easy finish, but only because we were tired. Thanks for not letting up on us Tristan. Cool visitors log at the bottom of the last pitch. We had perfect weather when we went; 70s and even had some clouds when we hit the 3rd quarter. It got pretty dirty in the 3rd and 4th qaurters, although it seems to be cleaning up nicely. Take plenty of water, find a nice cool day, and enjoy. This was one of those "far-fetched" dreams in my mind and I never thought I would actually accomplish this goal. Thanks to Mike for pushing me. Thanks again Tristan for your investment.
|By Nich Cloward|
From: American Fork
Jun 18, 2012
rating: 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Don't miss this sweet diving board at the top of pitch 8. Top the chains and head west about 100'.
| || Don't miss this sweet diving board at the top of pitch 8. Once you top the chains, head west about 100' |
|By Michael V.|
From: Provo, Utah.
Jul 4, 2012
In April of 2010 Taylor Maughan and I climbed the first 8 pitches. Even though the rest of the route wasn’t set yet, I fell in love with the route. It wasn’t until June 11th of this year that I climbed the route again, this time with Nick Cloward. This climb has amazing variety, great exposure, and gives dynamic to the climbing challenge.
Nick Cloward and I picked the perfect day. As far as weather goes, this is my opinion:
- 70-80 degrees is just fine (We climbed it with a high of 76)
- 80-85 is pushing the limit (We trained in this weather. We were downing water like crazy)
- Anything 85+ you will find miserable.
There’s pretty much a constant breeze moving around up there, which is nice. But the hotter it is, the more water you bring, and the more the sun zaps your energy.
This was our time schedule. We kept it pretty chill on the speed – enjoying the scenery a bit too much and whatnot:
7:15 leave parking lot
8:15 start 1st pitch
1:15 reach cave
- Lunch -
2:15 start 12th pitch
11:15 end 22nd pitch
11:45 start trail descent
1:15 get back to cars
TOTAL = 18 hours
We climbed 3 pitches in the dark. We summitted 2 hours behind ‘schedule’ – the sheer volume of pitches takes a good bit out of ya. The last quarter just seems harder because you’re tired.
- DON’T climb this without a helmet. I got beaned in the helmet twice with rocks. And that number easily could have been more.
- The “red” rope described in previous posts is now grey. Fully functional, just grey.
- In reading this form there is a high probability that climbing is a large part of your life. If you call yourself a climber, live within the Valley, and do not give this route a full-hearted attempt – you are doing yourself a disservice. The location of this superb route is second to none!
Tristan – Thank you for all your hard work and time spent in creating this route. It truly is an amazing gift to the climbing community. Rock Canyon has been a ‘stomping grounds’ to me for the past 3 years. I’ve climbed all over that place and I can truly say this is an impressive and unrivaled capstone to all the routes in Rock Canyon. Thank you.
Oct 3, 2012
wayyyy too many bolts and they are not even well bolted. If you want adventure on chossy limestone, you are better off climbing notch peak.
|By Brennan Crellin|
From: Draper, UT
Oct 21, 2012
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Tristan, thank you for your hard work on this classic climb! We looked forward to it for two years, finally set aside a day to send it, then loved it. The rock quality is sub-prime in a few spots, but that was out of your control and you set a great line, with fun climbing. Well done!
Climbed with my wife, Alexis, October 19,2012...43-67 F, no precipitation
Timing: Left car at 6:45am, started Pitch1 at 8:00am, finished Pitch 11 at 12:00 pm, reached summit at 6:30 pm, 10.5 hours of climbing
Gear beta: 20 draws, 4-24" slings, 2-48" slings, small backpack each, 3L water each, light food, headlamps, helmets, daisy chains, approach/traversing shoes
- Bolting is great on almost every pitch. Skipped some when linking pitches, but Tristan did an awesome job bolting this safely for its grade.
- Linked pitches 3 & 4, 5 & 6, 7 & 8, 14 & 15
- Pitch 1: not 5.10b but probably 5.9+
- Pitch 11: NOT 5.8 but probably 5.7 awkward...worst pitch!
- Pitch 16: NOT 5.10d. This pitch is easily 5.11a/b. Also, bolts on the sharp thin slab of this pitch should have been closer.
- Pitch 17: not 5.9 but probably 5.8. We added a section of red rope to the first bolt for improved visibility.
- Pitch 19: NOT 5.10c, but more like 5.10d-5.11a
- Roofs of Pitch 22: 5.10???.....probably 5.10c-5.11a range.
Feb 26, 2013
Is this route usually dry and the descent without snow between last week of april and 1rst week may ?
|By Mr. Hummus|
From: SLC, Utah
May 1, 2013
We climbed this yesterday and had a blast. Car to car in 10 hours. 8 hours of mostly casual climbing and breaks for food. It was a super fun day! Where else can you climb a 22 pitch route without placing a nut or cam? I couldn't believe how many bolts were placed. Very well bolted, perhaps a bit excessive, but nothing to complain about. If you don't want to clip 'em, then don't. We skipped lots of bolts, but felt safe. It was nice to have lots of bolts up top when I started to get tired.
We linked several pitches using a sixty meter rope and 12 draws (2 of them alpine draws). If I remember correctly we linked 3 & 4, 5&6, 7&8, 10&11, 14&15, 20&21. We skipped bolts to do this. If you aren't comfortable with that then bring more draws.
I got to lead the crux 5.11 pitch and the exposure was incredible. It wasn't too bad for me. I thought pitch 16 was equally hard if not harder. Definitely harder to read.
We lucked out and had great weather. 60 degree day at the end of april! Perfect.
Great work Tristan. Thanks for putting up a fun route.
|By Ethan L|
From: Santa Barbara, CA
May 5, 2013
I was looking at the beta for this route and I have a few questions. First I see on the main picture associated with this climb that there's a walk off to climbers left after pitch #11. I also noticed the question mark after it. Is this actually a walk off possibility? Or just one that might be feasible in case of an emergency bail? My second question is, can you rap the route with a single 60m rope? To be honest I'm not feeling strong enough to climb the entire route since I'm coming back from a shoulder injury, but I want to climb as many 9-10 pitches as possible in one outing. Since we'll be passing through, I thought it would be a great way to link up as many pitches as possible.
May 21, 2013
I would be interested in hearing what others have brought on this route to eat? Anyone care to share? Thanks in advance...
|By Mark Parrett|
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
May 28, 2013
Climbed this last Friday with Tim Golden. I would say that I overall agree with the grades, with a couple of exceptions. P16 is really hard - I felt that it was 11b/c, but maybe I just don't know how to climb limestone slab stuff. Much harder than the crux for us.
I also thought P15 was significantly harder than the crux, so I would call it 5.11-. The crux felt like it was in the 10's to me, but these are little nits. The final pitch felt easier to me than the 5.9+ P21... which was still very loose and we pulled off a couple of car-battery sized rocks.
Overall, the first 11 pitches are cake and I thought that the final wall (P18-22) contained the best climbing. I was whooped by the time I got to 18-22 so thanks to Tim for being a bro and taking the lead more than his share. Weather was perfect - we were only roasting in the sun for the crux segment and were in the shade before and after that. Took us 12 hours of climbing. I highly recommend doing this in the spring as you'll have way more daylight to work with (only important if you're on the slower side like we were) - we did the first half last fall and it meant a dark approach and a shorter day (we would have been in the dark had we tried this in October. The weather was perfect for us overall with a high of 77 and a nice breeze all day.
I was a bit sad to see that the logbook at the top has been taken over by hikers - maybe someone can move it down a pitch next time they are up there so we can see who has climbed this route? Many thanks to Tristan for putting this project up.
|By Tristan Higbee|
Jun 6, 2013
When we did the FA, I think that pitch 16 is the only one that took me multiple tries. I had to pull the rope and re-lead it like 4 times before I got it clean. I thought I was just really tired and dehydrated and that's why it felt so hard, but it's interesting to hear others confirm that they felt it was hard, harder even than what I thought was the crux. It might very well be the crux of the whole route. It's thin, that's for sure.
The summit register was originally in a Nalgene bottle at the belay below the last pitch, so it wouldn't be accessible to hikers. Interesting that it's been moved to the top.
As far as the possible walk off after pitch 11 goes, I've never done it, so I don't know if you can actually walk off that way. There might be cliffs blocking the way at some point. If you want to descend after pitch 11, walk down around pitches 9-11 (as shown by another orange line in the pic), rappel the Buckley's Mine wall, and then walk off past the Blue Wall. It's not as complicated as it sounds. The Buckley's Mine anchors are obvious if you just go as far east as possible, as is the Blue Wall walk-off (there are cliffs above and below you, so you only really have one way to walk down).
You CANNOT rappel the route with a single 60m rope. You need a 70 or two 60s.
As for food, I think I just filled my pockets with Clif Bars, Gu, and maybe some trail mix.
From: Pleasant Grove
Jun 22, 2013
On 6/15 we did the first 11 pitches it took 7 hours.
started first pitch at 6:30 (45 min lot to p1)
p6 has 13 bolts not 10
linked p7 & p8
I do not like p 11
hiked off to the west, i think i lead us astray somewhere and ended up in the scrub oak... 2 hours hike down
i drank 6 liters of water (2 3 liter camelbaks)
nice weather all day, could have started the hike 1.5 hours earlier because it was light enough to climb at 5:45. started to get warm around noon and hot by 2
|By Chris Doobtrain|
From: Sandy, Utah
Aug 9, 2013
If you think you've got a lot of stamina, put it to the test! I sure thought I did, and I screamed my way through the last few pitches. Managed my FA in May and ate a heinous amount of Clif bars along the way. Bring more water than you think you will need (you can always pour it out to lose weight) and WEAR A HELMET! I was hit several times in the helmet with small rocks and avoided many. Its way CHOSSY but that's to be expected on this large of a limestone climb. Also, take the hike down. Its much more mellow and faster than the rap.
| || Epic view after the top out. |
Aug 19, 2013
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Did this yesterday in 10 hours, super cool route, the traverses got kind of old but what gives? Honestly thought the rock was pretty damn good most of the time with only a few small sections of chossy garbage.
There are a few spots where bolt placement left me scratching my head, a few bolts that invariably position the biners in a crossloading situation, and a grip too many slammed into the summit blocks, which may or may not have been the FA party.
Next time definitely not in August in a black shirt and helmet. If you decide to, and even if its in shoulder seasons, I would highly reccomend a camel back or more than 2 nalgenes. Dehydration is a bitch.
Sep 23, 2013
First-off, Thank you Tristan and FA team for all your hard work making this route take place. Pretty cool line up Squaw Peak. It's amazing to climb 22 pitches with only a 45min approach and a really nice mellow hike down. Tristan's Topo was very accurate and perfectly described.
We climbed this on Sept 20th. It was forecasted to be 80F in Provo with some clouds. However it was still very hot on the route and no clouds came in. I wouldn't recommend climbing this unless it is in the 60-70's in Provo.
We linked several pitches as mentioned above in comments doing a total of 17 pitches. If you want to link pitches bring 12-14 quickdraws and 6-8 alpine draws.
Pitch 16 referred to in Tristan's topo was defiantly the crux. Possibly some hand holds have broken off over the years?
I didn't find the rock to be loose at all on route. Way less loose then the Central Spur on NW Face of Dromedary or any route in the Dolomites.
We started at 8:30am and back at the car at 4:30pm. Great training day in the Wasatch and highly recommend this route!
|By Tim Moore|
May 3, 2014
So we climbed the first 8 pitches today and it was only low 70s with some clouds every now and then and still very hot. It sucks the energy right outta ya. Great climbing though. Not too hard at all. The route is generously rated on the hard side in my opinion. It's definitely over bolted but they are their for you if you need them. Thanks for all the efforts. We link pitches 3/4, 5/6, and 7/8 with a 70m and much left over to spare. Route was very clean didn't pull off any rocks or anything that I can remember. The hardest part is getting up to the dang thing. We turned left at the large boulder and went up the shoot which is still ahrd but much easier then going by the Bulge route area way. Also, I would highly not recommend the walk off after pitch 12 or so. Only do this if you have no other choice because it is very long, very steep, very loose, and no trail basically. Great day on the rock with some awesome views and great exposure. Definitely a must do.
|By Isabeau Pratte|
May 5, 2014
Climbed April 22. Long and sustain climb, can't believe we reach the summit yaa! Hardest pitches in the second half. Awkward 11th pitch? Great exposed roof on the last pitch when you're totally exausted but the rush of adrenaline keeps you psyched. Long day but worth it. Easy walk to come back, it took us 1h30. Total time on the wall 12h30. Total climbing day duration with scrambling approach walk and back : 15h. Sharp limestone though. Bring at least 14 draws.
|By Joe Forrester|
From: Ft. Collins, CO
May 19, 2014
Went ctc in 14.5 hours on this on 5/18. Temps were 80s in Provo, and it was pretty pleasant on the climb, but we started early. Had 3.5L per person.
We climbed it in 16 pitches with a 70m. Linked 1+2, 3+4+5, 7+8, 10+11, and 14+15. I brought 24 draws/slings and I didn't have to skip many bolts while linking.
The upper pitches are more sustained and don't lend themselves quite as well to linking although I would bet 19+20 could be linked without too much work.
The rock isn't that loose on the actual climbing, plus there are ton of bolts. Quite an effort to bolt that thing!
Also, on the last pitch. There is a bolt under the last roof that is loosening up a bit. Might be worthwile to rap in from the top and replace that one....
As of 5/18, the summit register was no where to be found.....
While the climbing itself isn't spectacular, a route this long so close to suburbia is pretty wild. A logistical achievement for sure.
|By Eric Mercer|
Jun 2, 2014
Climbed it in 14 pitches with 20 draws (35 minutes approach via Appendage gully, 7 hours on the climb, 2 hours to get down via the trail). Here is the link up:
15+16 (last 2-3 bolts sparse on hands/feet, stay left),
18+19 (tricky start for me),
All the pitches are well protected, so it was not unusual to comfortably skip bolts or back clean. Pitches 12 through 22 are very enjoyable, and the longer linked up climbs are very isolating and peaceful.
I would rate many pitches down at least one full grade putting the climb at 5.10 b/c. Thank you Tristan for this Rock Canyon legacy.
|By Landon McBrayer|
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jun 14, 2014
We climbed this route Friday the 13th (spooky!) in June, at night under a full moon with cool temps (50s-60s). Perfect conditions. A few comments that might supplement what others have said:
(i) Climbing at night was glorious. This wall bakes in the sun ALL day, and the sun will drain your energy even if it's chilly. We got on the route at 1.30 AM and topped out at 9.30 AM; the sun didn't touch us until pitch 18. You'll also be able to carry less water and still stay fully hydrated if you climb at night.
(ii) We linked pitches in the same way that Eric Mercer did (see above comment). This drops the pitch count to 14, and nicely breaks up the difficulties between you and your partner if you're swinging leads the whole way. Doing so much linking was surprisingly easy; there was a little rope drag here and there, but nothing worth avoiding. I would, however make one change to the links: don't link 18+19 (18 traverses hard left, and 19 is vertical to rightward trending, so the drag was a bit much). Instead, I'd do this next time: 17, 18, 19+20, 21+22. The pitch count would still be 14 and the drag eliminated. All the other linked pitches were smooth and natural.
(iii) Pitch 14 has a tricky spot, but it's truly a one-move wonder. Pitch 16 is the crux for sure.
(iv) I wore a pair of comfy Mythos (with socks!), and I didn't need to remove them once. So, wear comfy shoes and leave the approach shoes in the bottom of your bag. The ledges and traverses aren't nearly as big/long as I was expecting them to be.
(v) We found the listed grades to be a little wonky (e.g., expect to find one 10c to be significantly easier or hard than the last/next). Also, there isn't a single slab move on this climb, so ignore the description of a few pitches as being slabs. They're not.
(vi) There are bits of good stone here and there, but the rock quality is generally poor throughout. Given the nature of the rock, this isn't the kind of thing that will be eliminated with more traffic. There is just loose choss everywhere, and pulling holds will just expose another layer of choss. That being said, I think this climb is definitely worth doing simply because of the position, length, and general environs. After a few pitches the poor rock quality becomes an afterthought.
Overall, a nice, worthy outing.