|Middle Bell Tower
|Private Property now at the entrance to Bells Canyon. MORE INFO >>>|
Winged Warrior is named after the winged horse Pegasus of Greek Mythology. You'll be riding high above the Wasatch on this one! This climb has the most "big wall" feel of any climb I have done in the Wasatch. With some low angle approach pitches starting from the lowest apron of Middle Bell, all varieties of climbing up rope stretching pitches are encountered until reaching the upper apex tower pinnacle. Plan on a long day, it doesn't seem to be an exaggeration to call this a Grade IV.
I had long looked at this line, yet though seemingly striking and obvious, history was lacking. A two bolt belay appears under the dihedral pitch on page 399 of the Ruckman Guide. In conversations with Les Ellison after finding ancient bolts in certain sections on the wall, we learned of an unreported 60's ascent by Jeff Lowe. His route, typically, was long, bold, and ahead of its time.
Pitch #1: From the lowest point on Middle Bell, climb weaknesses past some bulges through a swath through bushes to a two-bolt belay. 5.5, 25m.
Pitch #2: Continue straight up using the bush trimmings as markers to another two-bolt belay ledge. 5.6, 30m.
Pitch #3: Follow a groove/crack to a nice ledge and two-bolt belay immediately under the first prominent roof. 5.5, 33m.
Pitch #4: Climb a hand crack, up a steep shallow corner passing an old two-bolt hanging belay to a 3-bolt belay ledge. 5.10, A0, 40m.
Pitch #5: Climb out left, surmount a flake and gain more ground up the wild and steep groove/flake system. The Lowe route continues right up these grooves. WW moves more directly up slightly trending left at this point past bolts to the "railroad tracks", a pair of thin cracks that lead to the base of the Great Dihedral. 5.9, A1. 58m.
Pitch #6: Layback up the wide right facing corner to hands, eventually moving left to a two-bolt belay ledge. The only crack of its kind in the Wasatch? 5.9+, 56m.
Pitch #7: Climb directly above the belay to the left arete of the tower pinnacle. Follow more than 13 bolts and fixed protection up the slab to a 3-bolt belay. This pitch may likely be the only entirely new and independent pitch from the Lowe route. 5.10, A0. 55m.
Pitch #8: Scamper the final moves up the decomposed rock past a drilled piton to the tower's tiny top. A drilled piton was added to Lowe's single anchor found here. 5.5, 2m.
Rappel the route.
Hike up Bells Canyon and approach Middle Bell as for Arm and Hammer. After the boulder field stay right and low and find a small clearing directly below the route. Though some of these early pitches are easy and low angle, belay and rappel stations were installed to facilitate descent.
QDs and slings. Camalots from C3 to #5. An RB or hook. A few thin pitons, though this may go clean in subsequent ascents. This might be a candidate for a free ascent, but I suspect it might be 5.13 or so steep slab climbing. If a strong free climber would like to add a few bolts to avoid the nailing of the "railroad tracks" and make this feasible, great idea!....go for it. All belays bolted. All bolts used at least 3/8" x 3". Many 1/2". Two 60m ropes recommended
Jun 29, 2009
Great job guys! Thanks for the photos & history
From: Wasatch Back, UT
Jul 14, 2009
Drillled piton on the summit? Is your name Olevsky?
From: Winston-Salem, NC
Jun 26, 2011
Great route. Finished it in early june and it was already getting too hot to be up there. The nailing pitch will probably go clean on micros and small cams but bring a few pitons just in case. The lieback crack was amazing.