Swift Creek Spire Rock Climbing
Swift Creek Spire from Swift Creek Road on a typic...
AKA Balanced Rock
This tower was first climbed in the 60's or 70's by a since extinct group known as the Mountaineering Club of Idaho Falls. For some reason they felt it was good to climb the route via a bolt ladder, leave a register on top, and then chop their ladder on the way down. I bleieve they dubbed it "Balanced Rock"
I propose that we give it a new name. No, we have no authority to do this, but then again we never had the authority to name it Balanced Rock. For the time being I'm gonna call it Swift Creek Spire. If you have another one that seems fitting, jot it down in here and perhaps, by the time a guidebook comes out to this area, it will stick. Balanced Rock is the most overused name in the country, and the Mountaineering Club of Idaho Falls should be embarrassed that they dubbed it so. The name is so cliched that there is another Balanced Rock in Star Valley, and I can think of three others just in Wyoming while a quick search on Mountain Project pulls up three more. Also, this is not a "Rock", its a tower or a spire, and there need be no "Balance" because the limestone strata is fixed in place. SO, I'm hereby submitting this as Swift Creek Spire (let the howling begin).
Follow the Swift Creek Canyon Road for a few miles from where it turns to dirt. The SPire is obvious on the left side of the road. From a parking area on the curve directly under the spire, walk back down the road about 50 yards. Thrash through the bushes up and left, then find a trail that traverses up (right) to the spire. The approach time is about 3 minutes if you find the trail.
Climbing Season For the All Locations area.
Weather station 2.0 miles from here
6 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Featured Route For Swift Creek Spire
Pull the Plug 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c WY
: Swift Creek Canyon
: Swift Creek Spire
This is a very good limestone sport climb. The route has had only two ascents, so little bits of the surface will be breaking off (as they do on all new-dolomite/limestone climbs in the US, but after a few ascents it will be as clean as can be.Start the route in an alcove on the southwest face. Move up and right over some loose rock for 15 feet, then onto the proper face. Climb this overhainging wall for 120 feet to the summit, passing a 15 bolts and a rap anchor (part way up) on the way.Warning...[more] Browse More Classics in WY
Latest Regional Forum Messages
By Sam Lightner, Jr.
From: Lander, WY
Jul 29, 2007
Kyle Mills and I were back here yesterday. I had forgotten how pretty the canyon is and how good these routes are. They are a bit sharp and there is the odd bit of gravely stuff that will come off cus we are the only people to have ever free climbed ont he tower (ergo each route has had a total of 4 ascents). This means there is almost no chalk, so flashing is gonna be hard. However, once the routes are climbed a few times they will be uber-classics.
Jul 30, 2007
Way to go guys! We did some extensive scouting last summer and thought the Spire was certainly the place to start. The canyon is beautiful and will be a great destination once more routes are added. Right on.
Feb 23, 2015
This is a hidden gem, thank you.
By Neil Johnson
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
Aug 3, 2015
Thanks for your hard work, Sam. The route I climbed over the weekend was superb. I completely agree with you on the cliche name of Balanced Rock, but many of the locals who I talked to who have climbed it (or not) still call it Balanced Rock. Also, the summit register was empty other than some rocks and a bottle cap. If I would have had some paper and a pencil I would have replaced it. Just a thought for future parties.