Steort's Ridge 5.6
Includes Jig's Up (5.6) and East Dihedrals (5.6)
Dead Snag Area, Big Cottonwood Canyon
About the Climb
Steort's Ridge is a great area for beginner and lower level trad climbers. It is the site of choice if you want to bring someone on their first multi-pitch climb. It is also a good choice if you want to lead your first multi-pitch trad route, and practice placing gear.
This area has it all: a short pleasant approach, good solid rock, great exposure, amazing views of Big Cottonwood Canyon, comfy belay ledges and a quick descent via rappels. Note that it can be a little tricky to protect because of the irregular shape of the cracks. Also, you should be competent at building solid anchors, since none are fixed. You will have to leave gear if you want to retreat. Just beware of the cam eating cracks! A helmet is recommended if there is traffic on the wall.
The rock is vary featured and ledges and stances abound. Many variations are possible on this face. We have indicated the most obvious routes on our GearLoopTopo, but you can feel free to make your own variations, or combine one route with another one, especially on a busy day.
Steort’s ridge has amazing exposure and follows an arête for 3 pitches. It has a bit of everything: face climbing, fingers to fist cracks, roofs, etc… However, the highlight of this route is the last pitch, with its amazing exposure on the final arête, and thin pro for a 5.6.
Jig’s up starts from the big ledge on Steort’s ridge. It goes up a series of cool parallel cracks and follows sustained fingers to hand cracks the whole way. The route can be done in a super long pitch, but also has various options if you want to brake it down in two pitches. It’s a great variation if the upper part of Steort’s ridge is busy.
The East Dihedrals follows the long and obvious right facing corner system that goes almost to the top of the face. The first pitch is the best, with a roof move to thin fingers layback. The second pitch has a good start, but the angle decreases quickly and the rest of the route is much easier. It’s a great first multi-pitch trad route and also has many belay options.
A great combination consists of climbing the first pitch of the East Dihedrals, moving the belay to the right, then climbing the 2nd pitch of Jig’s Up, and finishing on the last pitch of Steort’s Ridge. Feel free to make your own variations, as the whole face feels like a 5.5/5.6 no matter where you go!
Combine with Second East Face (5.7) or Outside Corner (5.7) for a full day of quality quartzite climbing. Note that while these two routes are located very close to each other, they require a different approach due to a very loose scree slope.
If you don't feel like getting on another multi-pitch climb, many quality single pitch routes can easily be found at the nearby Glass Ocean, Challenge Buttress, and Storm Mountain areas.