Pentapitch 5.8 (5 Stars)
Pentapitch Buttress, Little Cottonwood Canyon
I was fortunate enough to go climbing with Laura in Salt Lake City in August of 2012 and we set our sights on Pentapitch which resides in Little Cottonwood Canyon.
The approach says to park at the pump house and cross a bridge. There isn’t a bridge to cross so you must find your own way across the stream. We walked down (towards the base of the canyon) to find a place to tip-toe across the boulders. Once across the stream make your way back up (towards the top of the canyon) to the huge pine trees (I never saw these either). When you cut through the boulder field just go up and to the right taking the path of least resistance.
The climb according to the TOPO is 5 pitches with the last pitch being the crux. After doing a little bit of reading, I decided to link pitches 4 and 5 together and make this a 3 pitch climb. As long as you have a 60 meter rope I would definitely recommend this approach as it takes out a hanging belay on pitch 4.
Here is a picture of me and my junk show. I had way to many pieces of gear, but I figured it was weight training if nothing else.
I led off on the 5.6 pitch 1 into the double cracks. This is a 100 foot pitch that ends on a big shelf and plenty of anchor options. If the bolts are taken you can build an anchor off of the trees. There were some great finger locks, options for lie backs and frankly whatever other type of climbing you wanted to do. The cracks took gear like crazy and there was never a spot where you had to run the climb out if you didn’t want to. I have a habit of maybe not placing as much gear as I should. Oh well!
Here is a picture of me leading Pitch 1
Pitch 2 is a 5.7 fingers to 5.4 EASY climbing 130 foot pitch. Again this section of rock took gear just about anywhere you wanted to place it. We made short work of this pitch which also ended on a big ledge. From here you scurry up about 50 feet of 3rd class to another ledge where you can build an anchor to being the link up of pitches 4 and 5.
Pitch 3 (link up 4 and 5) –
When you link up these pitches the TOPO says that it is 195 feet 5.8. Prior to linking these pitches together we talked to a few parties on the wall. Everyone said that the Crux was a bit sketchy and a bit puckering if you know what I mean. I read where the crux was about 12 foot of friction slab to a finger crack. In fact the party that was climbing above us actually came down and said they were not leading the last pitch because it was so scary. So needless to say I was a bit curious to see what I was going to encounter. . The beginning of the pitch is really easy and straight up. No need to stress out about gear placements as they are readily available. You begin the friction section about 5 feet left of the anchors that would have been the belay for pitch 5. In reality this section is about 2 moves and then you get some bomber finger locks. Just remember to bring your small stoppers or C3’s and gear placements will be abundant. This was the money pitch of the whole climb! If you get an opportunity to climb Pentapitch, you must do the last pitch!
To get off of this route we just rapped straight back down pitches 4 & 5 and then used the anchors on Sasquatch to reach the ground. It was really easy and straightforward.