For some reason, Upper and Lower Creekside (which are fairly large walls by City of Rocks standards) get little attention when compared to Parking Lot Rock, Incisor and Anteater. Perhaps it is the extra 100 yards down the trail the Salt Lake City crowd baulks at. Specific moderates that deserve way more attention than they are currently receiving are Smucker’s Jam (5.8) and Dire Straights (sic) (5.9), located on the lower wall. Both are stout for the grade by City of Rocks measure but in line with most desert grades. They were established in the early 80’s. Dire Straights is as classic a climb as any 5.9 crack in the City. On the other hand, Double Trouble (5.8) and the Ramp (5.9) on the upper wall are quite soft for the grade, but great cracks to teach lead climbing, offering hand cracks along with straight forward pro to the top.
Park at the Parking Lot Rock parking area and hike south past Anteater. Both Creekside walls have shade in the morning (west facing), but the lower wall has longer shade with trees shading the wall. You are also closer to the creek on the lower wall.
UPPER CREEKSIDE Routes Listed Left to Right as you face the Wall
Old Timer- 5.5*/
This Spud’s For You- 5.10bR*/
Big City Dikes- 5.10aR*/
Enter the Fold- 5.6R/
Double Trouble- 5.8*/
The obvious parallel twin cracks in the middle of the face. This route would be 5.6 in Jtree. A good route to teach hand jams on. Follow the twin cracks finishing on the right one via perfect hand jams. A slung rap is on top. Takes a full 70m to rap. Dow
A bit steeper and more interesting than Double Trouble, but only for a few meters. You can use the slung rap on Double Trouble to set up a top rope. Takes a full 70m to rap. Dow
Corner Kick- 5.7*/
LOWER CREEKSIDE Routes Listed Left to Right as you face the Wall
Playing Without a Full Deck- 5.10d*/
Mark’s Corner- 5.10d/
Lesbian Knife Fight- 5.12b**/
Moderna Zeiten- 5.11c***/
Boulder Urbano- 5.11aR*/
Smucker’s Jam- 5.8*/
This route deserves more than one star and is definitely worth combining with Dire Straights for two worthy routes side by side on the lower wall. Smucker’s makes up the obvious large right facing corner in the middle of the lower wall. The crux is stout for City 5.8, a short off-width (C4#4) problem about half way up. A pleasant and quick route from there. Can set up a gear belay at the very top with medium gear for a top rope (70m rope) and down climb to rap off of a set of fixed anchors (Skinny Street Walker) just to the right when done or use those for your top rope to begin with as you are not missing much at the end. Dow
Skinny Street Walker- 5.12b**/
Dire Straights- 5.9**/
One of the better moderate pitches at the City and deserving of three stars in my opinion in Bingham's guide. The off-the-deck crux no doubt lends to its lack of popularity. Old school 5.9. From atop the boulder to the right of Smuckers, Make some easier moves for a few meters and then comes a committed layback (crux). After that it stays nice and steep and sustained for the grade. Move from the right crack to the left crack (for a hand jam) then back right again, stemming and jamming. Can sling a horn on top for a 70m top rope or bring a 2nd up and scramble down the back. Takes some small gear to protect that lower crux. Dow
Roid Void- 5.11c/
Snake Charmer- 5.11d/
Wimp Factor- 5.11d*/
On the upper wall, there is a slung rappel that a 70m rope barely makes it down on above Double Trouble. There is a fixed rap atop Skinny Street Walker next to Smucker’s Jam. If you want to finish Smucker’s Jam to the top, a competent climber could down climb and clean his/her gear until it is possible to rap from this station. The alternative is to scramble down the backside (east) and walk around the south end of the lower wall.
Smucker’s Jam protects a short off width section with a C4#4. Dire Straight’s requires micro cams or wires to protect the crux off the deck. 70m rope is helpful as these walls are tall. Shade in the morning, sun in the afternoon.
""You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.""