The Open Book 5.7
Summit Wall, Lone Peak Cirque
About the Climb
The Open Book is Lone Peak’s easiest route, and it is one of the best in the Wasatch at the grade. This moderate route follows a huge right facing dihedral, but most of the climbing actually follows cracks and grooves just right of the corner. The climbing is fun, but can feel awkward at times. The Open Book offers great variety and is very sustained at the grade, with each pitch containing a good amount of 5.7 climbing. The Open Book protects well in general, but the pro can sometimes be tricky to place.
The Open Book contains a lot of flaring cracks and grooves that can feel a little awkward or insecure to some. The rock is also very coarse, so taping your hands is not a bad idea, and might help you “stick” better in those flares… The 3rd pitch features a classic “Bear Hug” section over triple cracks, and great hand jams are found all along the way. Some squeezing, laybacking, face climbing and roof sections add variety to this great climb. All belays require natural anchors, and retreating would be difficult without leaving gear.
Lone Peak Cirque sits high above a pristine alpine meadow, where melting snowfields provide the only source of fresh water, so plan accordingly. The approach is fairly long and strenuous, and most parties will want to spend at least one night to camp once up there. As with all the routes in the Cirque, the Summit is incredible and offers fantastic views of the Wasatch Range. Beware of fast moving thunderstorms.
On the second pitch, it is possible to move left into the corner (watch for loose rocks). Layback and stem up a great but short finger crack before moving back right to join at the belay.
Once you reach the top of the formation, you will follow the descent trail back to the base of the Question Mark Wall. From here, it is easy to climb another route to fill your day, and take advantage of the wonderful afternoon light that this wall receives. If you've never been up the Lowe Route (5.8), don't miss your chance and get on it. The Answer (5.8) is also a great variation. Another beautiful route is Out of the Question (5.10b), which is simply incredible but a lot more committing. If you don't feel like getting up another multi-pitch route, simply traverse the ledge system to the west and climb the wonderful Pika Paradise (5.8).
For other Wasatch multi-pitch climbs at a similar grade, but without the long hike to the Cirque, try Outside Corner (5.7), Second East Face (5.7), Schoolroom West (5.7), or the long classic Standard Thumb (5.7). Other good routes at a slightly harder grade include Pentapitch (5.8), Tingey's Terror and Torture (5.8), and Eleventh Hour (5.8).