OverviewThis is the standard route up Window Blind Peak (“standard” is a relative term since the peak sees very few ascents). The route was first ascended by Hal Gribble, Paul Horton, Renny Jackson, Guy Toombes and Cindy Wilbur on February 19 1977.
The route scrambles up the northwest finger spur of the main peak and has much scrambling before the 3-4 technical pitches are reached on the north side of the peak. The route is rated 5.7 and is grade II-III.
Getting ThereVia I-70
West of Green River and on I-70, take Exit 131 and head north towards the San Rafael Campground. It’s a long, but good gravel road and if you don’t know how to read a map, better seek professional advice. A couple of miles before you reach the San Rafael Campground, park between a straight line between Bottleneck Peak (which is mismarked on the topo maps, but you can’t miss it-it’s very obvious and distinct!) and the obvious Window Blind Peak, the highest peak in the region (the impressive mass to the north is Assembly Hall Peak which is a more difficult climb).
South of Price and on Highway10, take the exit between mile markers 56 and 57 (or 49 and 50) and head towards Cleveland (the Utah one is slightly smaller than the Ohio one) and turn on the Buckhorn Wash Road. Yet another alternative is to take the Green River Cutoff which is just north of Castle Dale and exits Highway 10 between mile markers 39 and 40. From any of these routes and with a map in hand, drive to Buckhorn Flat and to the San Rafael Campground and head to the car park as mentioned above on the I-70 route.
Via Woodside (one house-no services)
The east side of the Green River Cutoff leaves Highway 6/191 just south of Woodside and between mile markers 283 and 284. This mostly well graded road heads west to Buckhorn Wash as mentioned in the Price route above.
Whichever route you take, make sure to take a good map and plenty of fuel and water. There are no towns near Window Blind Peak so make sure to get gas at places like Green River, Price or Castle Dale.
Route DescriptionObserve the Bottleneck Peak topographic map. Notice the big “finger” of land extending northwest of Window Blind Peak. The first order of business is to climb up to the Chinle (rock type) bench on top of the finger and on the north side. Three of us climbed up early, but one member of our group (Danny) stayed low and contoured below the cliffs. Going up high early is better unless you want to climb another technical pitch (there are several 3rd to 4th class routes up the first cliff band if you climb early).
Follow the NW finger and the Chinle bench towards the north side of Window Blind Peak. Stay to the west of the north ridge of the peak and climb towards the north rib of the peak. You can see the prominent bowl above.
Climb through several 3rd or 4th class cliff bands (depending on the route-there are also some 5th class variations); the little overhanging wall on the face is known as one of the “window blinds”. When you reach the headwall, this is where the technical climbing begins.
Notice the notch to your left. The climb to the notch isn’t that hard, but it is very dirty and those used to solid granite will not like it. It is somewhat hard to protect and is rated 5.5. (Note that the description in the Desert Rock series is somewhat inaccurate about climbing through chimneys).
This is the crux of the route. If you have anything less than a 60 meter rope, this will be two pitches. Ascend the face and rib sometimes using cracks and following the path of least resistance. The pitch has poor quality rock (the quality of the rock has turned several climbers away), is somewhat runout and rated 5.7.
There is a bolted anchor here for the descent.
Once on the wide ledge, follow the ledge to the right and scramble up to the summit (4th class).
Enjoy the spectacular views.