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Little Cottonwood Rock Climbing cover

Little Cottonwood Rock Climbing

by Tony Calderone

Mountain Dreamer

Twenty minutes from downtown Salt Lake City lies the largest concentration of rock climbs in Utah. The true gem of Wasatch rock climbing. Little Cottonwood Canyon!

The Author

With 24,000 feet of LCC first ascents, 1,000 quarter inch bolts replaced, and 20 years as his primary climbing area, Tony stands among few with such intimate knowledge of this canyon. Nobody has ever had as much experience climbing here before publishing a guide. Tony’s personal guidance is based on over 30 years of climbing throughout the country and personal experience on over 70% of these routes.

The Technology

First-hand knowledge, combined with Rakkup’s growing, state of the art technologies provide you with the most powerful tool to enhance your climbing experience. Never get lost again. Stop wasting time bushwhacking around the trail. Stop finding yourself on routes you don’t want to be on. Tony’s tips will help alleviate misplaced fear and redirect your energy.

The Environment

Temperatures vary widely as routes can be found at every elevation between 5,000 and 9,000 feet. The variety of wall orientations to the sun also mean you can see people ice climbing on one side of the canyon while comfortably rock climbing in a T-shirt on the other side.

The Climbing

You won’t be doing the same move over and over again here. Low angle, high angle, overhangs, pockets, slabs and giant chimneys. Finger, hand and off-width cracks. Even the protection varies. Lube up the sliding nuts and 4” cams. Your micronuts and tube chocks will be shiny no more. This granite will eat them all up.

The App includes close-up, pitch-by-pitch photos of over 300 multi-pitch routes as long as 1,500 feet. 1,147 routes in total, from 5.3 to 5.13. Check your ego at the trailhead. Little Cottonwood difficulty grades have a deserved reputation for being “full value”.

Plans to quickly bump your way up through the numbers will promptly be thwarted. But an apprenticeship here will hone every skill at every level. Hand jamming, stemming, smearing, edging, manteling, lay-backing and high-stepping.

Mastery of classic, so-called “beginner” routes will earn you the solid status of a true all-around rock climber.

Schoolroom (5.6) will prepare you for every size crack. Perhaps (5.7) will beat your lay-backing skills into submission. Crescent Crack (5.7) will teach you respect for chimneys. The lost art of nut placement will be within your grasp after a no cam redpoint of Pentapitch (5.8). The S-Direct (5.9) will test your mettle and give you pause to call yourself a 5.9 climber. Anyone who has climbed The Dorsal Fin (5.10+) comes away with a different perspective on the accomplishments of climbers throughout the ages.

These routes won’t just just force you to think. They constantly require you to re-think the way you climb. Routes are not simply sand-bagged. They just can’t be easily categorized by a number. The routes are truly complex and frequently sustained at their grade. So-called “trick” maneuvers are commonplace. You won’t remember these routes by the number next to them. You will remember them by your experience. You will call them by name.

Sectors in alphabetical order:

Alpenbock Loop169 climbs in 14 sectors
Black Peeler Area85 climbs in 5 sectors
Gate A329 climbs in 9 sectors
Gate B87 climbs in 4 sectors
Gate E99 climbs in 5 sectors
Introduction4 climbs
Jake's Wall1 climbs
Temple Quarry34 climbs in 4 sectors
The Vaults70 climbs in 3 sectors


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