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Slick Rock
Mountain/Rock

Slick Rock

 
Slick Rock

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Idaho, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 44.95000°N / 115.951°W

Object Title: Slick Rock

County: Valley

Activities: Hiking, Trad Climbing, Scrambling

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Elevation: 6894 ft / 2101 m

 

Page By: Sharon

Created/Edited: Feb 15, 2004 / Sep 25, 2007

Object ID: 152323

Hits: 11197 

Page Score: 79.27%  - 11 Votes 

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Overview

Slick Rock, located ~10 miles northeast of McCall, Idaho in the Lick Creek subrange of the Salmon River mountain range, offers one of the longest continuous technical rock routes in the state. The classic Regular Route (II, 5.6) runs from base to summit: 700 feet of high-quality solid granite. In 1993 there was only 1 bolt on the entire Regular route -- in the shallow dish at the end of the 1st pitch.


Tom Lopez' website & book, "Idaho: A Climbing Guide (2nd ed, 2000) offers route info & photos.

Getting There

McCall, ID is aproximately 385 miles from Spokane, WA (5 hours). Follow Highway 55 into the town of McCall. Follow the road east to Ponderosa State Park (big green sign). Skirt around Payette Lake and the golf course. Follow Lake Drive until finding a gravel road that turns off to the right. The road runs past Little Payette Lake (Road #48 - Lick Creek Road).

Travel ~8 miles on Yellow Pine Road to a creek crossing. Camp there at primitive Lick Creek Campground (free). A beautiful stream runnning through the campground is a great water source, although purification is advised. Slick Rock is only 1-2 miles further, and is very obvious from the road. Park in the pull-out at the Slick Rock signpost. Cross the North Fork creek on the log jam and meander up the hillside to the base of Slick Rock (~15 minutes). The Regular Route starts almost directly beneath the summit.

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USGS Quad: Fitsum Summit

Red Tape

No permits or user fees are required.

When To Climb

Late spring to early fall.

Camping

Lick Creek campground:
primitive & free; only 1 mile from Slick Rock's turnout. It's on your right after you pass Lake Fork. Lick Creek is a very nice campground & the price is certainly right!

Lake Fork campground:
Nine miles east of McCall on Lick Creek Road (#48). It's also on your right, before you reach Lick Creek campground. There are nine campground/trailer units with tables, fire pits, charcoal grills, toilets, drinking water from two centrally located spigots, day and overnight use, trail access, pack in/pack out. Fee: $8.00 / day.


Showers are available at Ponderosa State Park in McCall, ID.


Route Overviews

REGULAR ROUTE
Difficulty: II, 5.6
Protection: One rack including a wide variety of up to #4 Friends & chocks for the many parallel cracks. Hexes generally do not work well. Take lots of runners.

Description: 10 long pitches. It can be done in in as few as 6 with simul-climbing and running pitches together. In 1993 there was only 1 bolt on the entire route: in the shallow dish at the end of the first pitch. There may be several more bolts by now, but I understand they are all on the first pitch.

A series of jams, liebacks & stems are all found on this route. Size ranges from fingers / hands to chimney.

Follow the prominent triple cracks up middle of the face that lead directly to the summit.

Rock & Ice #50 (July / August 1992) features a topo and short article on page 112.

The climb is reminscent of Royal Arches (Yosemite Valley) & Great White Book (Stately Pleasure Dome, Tuolumne Meadows).


DESCENT: walk off to the right of the summit.

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SLIPPERY SLOPE
Difficulty: II-III, 5.10b "R"
Protection: Bolted/light rack

Description:
First ascentionist Jason Cronk describes: "This is an 8 pitch route (50m pitches), that was bolted by hand, on lead by Bob Gentry, Todd Chavez, and Jason Cronk over a couple of summers. The route is approximately 75 feet left of the Regular Route. As the route was put up from the ground-up, it is run-out somewhat. The bolts were drilled where they were needed though. It's the easier pitches that are run-out. If you climb directly over the bolt line on the 6th and 7th pitches, it goes at mid-5.10 in difficulty. A couple feet right or left and it's 5.9. Rapping the route is the best way down (clean rope pulls). "

Although placement of the bolts was considered good by one climber, the bolts themselves, as well as their condition, may be questionable.

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NEW ROUTE (NAME UNKNOWN)
Difficulty: 5.9?
Protection: Bolted

Willow helpfully reports a NEW ROUTE to the right of the Regular Route as of summer 2004:

"There is a new bolted route to the right of the regular route. The last two pitches are right next to the Regular Route. We ended up climbing the last pitch and a half of the bolted route when we climbed the Regular Route, which was good fun slab climbing (5.7). I do not know what the entire bolted route goes at (someone told me ~5.9)."


Sharon asks: does anyone know this new route's name? Who put it up? Any more details? Photos of Slick Rock?



Miscellaneous Info

Ponderosa State Park Ranger: (208) 634-2164

McCall Ranger District
Payette National Forest
102 West Lake Street
McCall, ID 83638 Phone: 208-634-0400

The land is owned by the US Forest Service (USFS).

Payette National Forest website

National Weather Service forecast

Another weather report page

McCall boasts a beautiful new ice rink in the center of town. There are many, many other recreational opportunities, including rafting / kayaking the beautifully wild Payette River


If you have information about this peak that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Additions and Corrections

[ Post an Addition or Correction ]
Viewing: 1-4 of 4    
willowUntitled Comment

willow

Hasn't voted

I finally climbed the unknown route to the right of the Regular Route and it is very fun. It is called Memorial and I added it to the list of routes. Hope others can enjoy it, the route setters did a great job in making a causal bolted slab climb.
Posted Jun 6, 2005 9:15 pm
SharonUntitled Comment

Sharon

Hasn't voted

Thanks for the addition, willow. Memorial...? In honor of who? Is there a story? Please share.
Posted Jun 28, 2005 2:59 am
atroutner1st ascent?

Hasn't voted

Jim Cockey, Harry Bowron, and Damon ?, first climbed the regular route in the summer of 1963. Jim was 16 at the time and Harry was a little younger. They had both attended a course with Paul Petzold at NOLS and came home to Idaho ready to use some of their new skills. Their rack consisted of a few lost arrow pitons, eiger carabiners, and 100' of nylon goldline rope. They made good progress until they reached the horizontal quartsite ledge at the top of the third crack (aka the lunch ledge). At that point they stalled for some time because of the lack of a crack for their pitons. Finally Harry took a long leadout up to the under clinging crack- most of the rope length, before finding a suitable place for pro. This was a big day for our family. My mom, little sister and I watched all day from the road. Very worried and very proud. My brother was a 'real' rock climber ( I was 8 at the time). I too climbed it when I turned 16. For many years slick rock was a right of passage for many young locals in the McCall area. My brother's equipment accompanied many a first timer up the face as he had given it over to our good friend Bill Whitman. Bill took it upon himself to initiate many a begginer to his favorite piece of rock, myself included.
Posted Sep 7, 2007 11:50 pm
SharonThanks!

Sharon

Hasn't voted

..for the interesting info & helping to preserve Slick Rock's history.
Posted Sep 25, 2007 4:20 pm

Viewing: 1-4 of 4    

Images

enjoying the runout on slick...70s MulletsSlick RockMe leading up one of the...Topo map of the areaSlick RockLooking up at the crux pitch...
Slick RockSide view of Slick RockSlick Rock