The Central Spur
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I had long peered at this alpine face and I had wondered if a quality Wasatch Alpine route could be yielded. We actually expected more moderate rock climbing grades yet we found 5.9-5.10 cruxes on almost every pitch. These are fairly well protected. We chose the aesthetic Central Spur because the rock appeared better and the climber is quite protected from falling rock and ice (spring and winter conditions). We were greeted by very dry rock in a wonderful alpine cirque. As the lichen and loose rock cleans up on the pitches, this climb will get better, we found it pretty good as it was. It was almost as if it had been waiting for us!
But this is an alpine climb....with all its associated characteristics and risks differing from the trade routes found lower in the canyon. Please wear helmets and climb with caution.
Pitch #1: Look for a bolt about 40 feet up from the beginning of the climb when the angle steepens. Follow the arete/spur past two fixed pins and another bolt to a two bolt belay onto a pleasant perch. 5.9,55m.
Pitch #2: Up and right up a difficult section, but staying on the spur, pass 4 bolts and a few more fixed pitons. A traverse left brings the climber to a two bolt belay under a roof. 5.10, 35m.
Pitch #3: Traverse under the roof trending right passing two bolts to the "snow ramp" and a good ledge fixed belay. 5.9 (very alpine!), 20m.
Pitch #4: A beautiful pitch with a steep start. Climb past a bolt to a finger crack on the arete. Pass two more bolts to a two bolt belay. 5.9, 30m.
Pitch #5: Clip a fixed nut in the dihedral, traverse the face under the roof and pass 5 bolts to more fixed gear and then topping out on the climb to a ledge and two bolt belay. 5.10, 30m.
Continue about 200 vertical feet of easy 2nd or 3rd class to the summit.
Located on the NW Face, this can be done in one long day, but Broads Fork provides many beautiful camping opportunities. Awesome hiking! Snowline started just above the start of the Bonkers Ski Run for the FA party. 1.5 hours of casual snow slogging took us from there to the start of the climb. We did not need crampons and were able to kick snow steps. Conditions will obviously vary at other times of the year. Large boulder fields will make up the final approach during the summer months.
Rappelling the route is possible, but it may be more recommended to walk off from the summit to the east ridge and snow/scree fields back into Broads Fork. Approach and descent via Tanners is another option. If rappelling the route, two ropes are required.
QDs for Bolts and pitons on every pitch to good anchors. A very light rack of assorted medium size nuts and microcams to #2 Camalot should suffice. Mountain boots and either ice axe or ski poles are helpful depending on conditions.
Jason leading spectacular Pitch #4 on the Ce...
Looking down from the Pitch #1 belay.
Pitch #4 Central Spur
Spent, but still Smiling, after descending....with...
James starting pitch 1
following p4 with upper Broads Fork in the backgro...
James leading the crux final pitch
Rachel following on pitch 4
Rachel following pitch 1
Leading the final and crux pitch. This pitch has ...
|Comments on The Central Spur
Jun 9, 2013
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII E2 5b
Thank you very much to the person who did so much work putting in all the bolts to make this unique alpine line take place. The description above is very accurate and when it doubt stay on the arete. We both found the route to have a fair amount of loose rock. The more the route gets climbed the better the route with get. I would highly recommend not climbing this route if there is another team above you. This route has a very "alpine" feel to it except for all the bolts which I was very stoked to have!
Rachel and I climbed this route yesterday linking up the Eleventh Hour on Sundial Peak to create a long single day in the Wasatch Alpine.
Approach: We approach via Lake Blanche (2hrs). From there we walked around the lake and up moderate angled snow slopes to reach the saddle between Mill B and Boards Fork. From there a short descent down to the bottom of the Central Spur. Total approach time 4hrs from car.
Descent: We descend the standard West Ridge of Dromedary and wrapped around back into Boards fork (45mins back to base of route)
Gear: Single rack 2 BD with 12 alpine runners. We took a 50m rope and only had to simulclimb 10ft on the first pitch.
Thanks again for all the hard work bolting this line!