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West Face

West Face

West Face

Page Type: Route

Location: Utah, United States, North America

Object Title: West Face

Route Type: Trad Climbing

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Time Required: Less than two hours

Difficulty: 5.11- or 5.9 A0

Number of Pitches: 2

Grade: I

Route Quality: 
 - 2 Votes


Page By: rpc

Created/Edited: Feb 23, 2006 / Mar 23, 2006

Object ID: 175581

Hits: 3252 

Page Score: 76.48%  - 7 Votes 

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The route reaches the summit of the spire via 2 short pitches. The route has one variation mentioned by the guidebooks (on pitch 1; see below). The route starts on the left side of the west face of the spire and then traverses onto the northwest face on pitch 2 - in other words, it can get chilly in the dead of winter.

Getting There

Follow approach directions on the main Dark Angel page under Getting There. Route starts at the base of the west face on the left side of a large, triangular flake.

Route Description

Pitch 1: 5.9, 75 feet. Start on the left side of a triangular flake sitting at the base of the west face. The books mention climbing a 5.7 chimney formed by the left side of the flake and the tower proper but that did not look like the best option. Instead, climb the easy (low 5th) face of the flake near its left side. Short stem section near the top of flake brings you to a small ledge atop the flake. The crux of the pitch is a 15 foot finger crack (5.9) that puts you on a small ledge that is then traversed 6 feet left to fixed anchors.
Variation: The right hand side of the triangular flake has also been climbed acc. to guidebooks and is rated 5.8. Willow provides the following beta for this variation: I climbed the right chimney variation, since the rock crumbled the least there and I could get gear. The rock on the ledge is pretty horrible, well about the same as if you face climbed, but I felt good about most of the gear I put in the right-hand chimney and the climbing wasn't too difficult. I used a couple of medium cams for the chimney.

Pitch 2: 5.11- or 5.7 A0, 60 feet. Move left and surmount a boulder problem on the left side of the belay ledge. Books claim it's 5.7 but I thought it was harder than the short 5.9 section on pitch 1. Atop the boulder, either climb the 5.11- face (that's Entrada sandstone face climbing...) or A0 it on solid bolts and fixed angles. Bolt ladder ends as the angle kicks back. Runout 5.4 climbing on chunky rock brings you to the summit. Belay on bolts right of and 3 feet below the summit.

Descent: One double rope rap down the west face brings you back to your packs. Watch out for tourists when tossing the ropes.

Essential Gear

One set of cams from green Alien (~0.5 inch; perhaps double green Aliens) to #3 Camalot. Three nuts (small, medium, large). Slings. Double ropes.


Dark Angel Summitdark angle right chimney variationPitch 2 Of West FacePitch 1 Of West FaceCrux Of Pitch One Of West FaceDark Angel - West FacePitch 2 Of West Face
Leading Pitch One Of West FaceWest Face Pitch 1 Belay