Thursday, July 26, 2012

Schoolroom, LCC, UT

5.6 Trad
5 pitches

Schoolroom is one of those routes I have always heard about but I never made it to, until yesterday.  5.6, should be easy right?  Depends.  Depends on the rock type and the style of climbing.  5.6 on featured quartzite or limestone is a free solo.  5.6 on granite up a featureless crack can be tough.  At least for me.

Schoolroom is located on the Gate Buttress in Little Cottonwood Canyon.  The route starts 50 feet to the west (left) of bushwhack crack.  This route is appropriately named.

Pitch 1 climbs a juggy, messy crack and then traverses along a horizontal flake.  Make sure you protect the traverse for your partner.  Belay at the bottom of the big crack.

Pitch 2 climbs this steep hand crack with no face features.  Power through and traverse right out of the crack before the small overhang.  Great protection and a fun pitch.

Pitch 3 climbs a nice finger crack with lots of face features on either side.  Move up and to the left.  Downclimb a bit to a belay spot in the middle of some bushes.  Lots of fun.

Pitch 4 climbs an off-width crack up a dihedral towards the giant Schoolroom roof.  I struggled on this pitch.  This was my first true off-width and I can't say I am a fan.  Before the roof, traverse to the left to large evergreen tree (little to no protection on the traverse, but not very steep)

Pitch 5 climbs a gully with lots of big cracks and holds.  Belay at the dead tree/log on the left.

Schoolroom taught me plenty of things:
I need to practice crack climbing.
I strongly dislike off-widths.
I am not as good a climber as I thought.
I don't plan on going back anytime soon.