SPELUNK SPIRE

Yes, the hardmen of old even found this place. Its an adventure to get here, let alone to climb it. There are some old iron pegs up in here if you look for them. Looks like Mickey Mouse ears up top, an easy way to identify this high formation from a long way off. Be sure to check out the MAP on the OUTBACK PAGE to orient yourself to existing trails. 1.) Space Shot 11a/b Start in the large alcove at the base of the spire. A thin, up trending crack at the juncture of the wall and roof is sustained fingers and lie backing. Get in a small cam or two on the way to the lip, and there’s a great jam just above it. The near vertical crack is pretty straightforward at lesser grades from there, but it goes wide near the top, so preserve at least a big piece ( # 3.5 Camalot, or #4 Friend) or two for up high. Usually one pitch, belay on top with gear. (Harper, Schmidt and Lossner, ’94) 2.) Dermatome 10b/c Named because of the poor guy who left significant skin and blood clots adhering to sharp crystals inside this wide one prior to the FFA. Tape up! Climb the crack to the right of the alcove. About 20′ up, the crack splits in two. Take the continuing crack up over two small roofs and a wide flaring pod near the top. Or split off right and find a gradually widening crack ending in off width. Belay from the top of the large blocks or continue to the top. Belay on gear. (Luebben and Harper, ’94) 3.) Fingertwister 10b/c A short, but stout vertical off fingers crack found about half way up the southwest side of the formation in behind a large flake. (Johnson and Harper, ’94) DESCENT: downclimb the ‘south side’ (or ‘backside’) generally trending left (east).

This formation has a shoulder that stretches southward along a small valley until it terminates. There is a west to southwest facing wall along here with some established climbs on it. Here are a couple. D.) Old Dog’s New Trick 11c Probably more of a boulder problem, this is a splitter finger crack near the south terminus of the formation, about 30 yards south and around a corner from # W. See the shot. (B. Scarpelli, c ’81)

P.) Paper Training 9+ Hand jamming up to an overhanging crux. Found about 12 yards right of # W. W.) Wrist Ranger 9 A 45-foot hand and fist crack. This crack actually faces NW and is found in a small, open recess. Rap slings usually at the top or scramble up unprotected face and walk off. See the photo. There is a substantial aspen grove along the main trail thru this area. This climb is directly E on the rockband at the northernmost extent of the aspen grove. Check out the MAP on the OUTBACK PAGE and you’ll see two orange trails leading over towards Spelunk Spire. Take the rightmost trail – according to the map. (B. Scarpelli + P. Piana, ’89)

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