Slick Rock


A 1000' rock climb, Slick Rock never gets dull.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

I've done the "3 Cracks" route on Slick Rock many times, and I always enjoy it. I even climbed it on my honeymoon. But I hadn't been in rock shoes since I broke my leg a year and a half ago, so I had a little more nervous anticipation than normal.

Plus, Brian was visiting, and that always gets my blood pumping. Brian got off the airplane at 8:40, and we were headed up the hill to the base of the rock by about 1:30. Swapping leads, we were soon looking up at the scrambling section below the first crack.

In October, the sun "sets" on Slick Rock quite early. We were in the shade all the way, but it never really got cold.

Here Brian tops out the First crack, with the rope showing the traverse into the Second crack.

Brian got to lead the Second crack. Here he is just above the big hole in the Second crack, approaching what may be the trickiest part of the route.

Still in the Second Crack, Brian has moved past the wide slot, a spot where the only handhold is pushing outward on either side of a 12-inch wide slot. This is where the route earns it's rating of somewhere in the 5.5 or 5.6 rating.

I lead the Third Crack and onto the Lunch Shelf, where this picture was taken from. We extended the difficulty of the route by climbing straight up to the lunch shelf. From that vantage point, we noticed a bolt ladder immediately beside this section- only on the much easier terrain. There were bolts placed about every 6-8 feet, and some of them were right next to protectable cracks. I have a real problem with people bolting rock that is easy to climb, easy to protect, and with no real need of bolts.

Brian took the final lead through the summit flakes. In the past, we climbed this with a 150-foot rope, and today we used a 200 footer. What a difference- instead of stretching to reach each belay spot, we had tons of slack- very cool.

Then we scrambled down the gully, somehow missing the right descent route. Probably talking too much.....

Mr. Natural Home | 2005 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski