Lion’s Head, 5.9-5.12a

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 42.09164°N / 113.69818°W
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Sign the Climber's Log


Dow leading Simba's Pride, 5.10b**
Dow leading Simba's Pride, 5.10b**

Lion’s Head is a formation with a west facing wall in an area named Northcreek.  Northcreek is reached by an independent road and trailhead in the park named Circle Creek, the same one that serves Steinfell’s Dome which is the largest formation at the City outside of the Twins.  As you head down from the trailhead for North Creek, the very first formation you run into is Eviction Crag which has what I consider the best 5.10 sport route in the park, its namesake, Eviction, 5.10c***.  A good day out is to combine this formation with two others clumped together to the west, Geowatt and Lion’s Head.  These three formations offer up 20 solid moderates to climb, both trad and sport.

Lion’s Head offers almost exclusively sport outside of one trad route at its right end, No Name Crack, 5.9*.  Lion Cling, 5.10a**, is soft for the grade and starts off the bolted climbing, left to right.  It is also the shortest of the routes.  Hakuna Matada, 5.12a***, and Lion of Judah, 5.10c**, share a 5.9 first pitch and are therefore each two pitch routes.  Lion of Judah trends up and right up a well varnished face via fun, steep and positive movement to a fixed rap.  Hakuna Matada continues straight up from the 5.9 pitch.  The 5.9 pitch is worth doing on its own to its own fixed rap and is listed in the local guide in the index as an independent 5.9 route named Hakuna Matada.  The guide basically has Hakuna listed twice.  Simba’s Pride, 5.10b**, is sandbagged at the grade for the City.  It is a short crux section however, with the rest of the climbing well below the grade.  The crux could have been bolted better to keep the leader off of a sloping ledge during a potential fall.  Quartz Dike, 5.11*, is a top rope only that should get bolted because it is such a unique feature to lead.  It is a straight up and down vertical dike just left of No Name Crack at the right end and shares the same slung block for a rap. 

Park at the Circle Creek trailhead and follow the road west through the gate.  You come to another gate with a fence line taking off north from the gate. Follow this fence line via a narrow trail past Eviction Crag on the left and up to where it intersects an east-west trail.  Head west on this trail and Geowatt will be the first formation on your left (well signed in 2019).  Head south on Geowatt's trail and trend right to reach the west face of Lion’s head which is just west of Geowatt.  All the routes for Lion’s Head are on its west face.

Routes Listed Left to Right as you face the West facing Wall

Lion Cling- 50’-5.10a**/ Fully bolted route that is easy for the grade compared to most of the sport routes on this wall. Labeled as 5.10b in the more recent guide book index but is listed as 5.10a on the description page. It is barely a 5.10a if even.  Pull several stacked bulges on good holds.  Fixed rap.  Dow

Haukna Matada- 85’-5.9***/ Fully bolted climb.  The most recent guide is offering confusing information on this route.  In the index pages it is listed as a 5.9, but on the Lion’s Head page it is listed as a 5.9 and/or 5.12 two pitch route at 110’.  In reality the 5.9 pitch is only 85’ and servers as the first pitch to either a 5.12a (straight up) or a 5.10c** (Lion of Judah- following the ramp up and right and up the steep face that direction).  In either case, if you go to the top, you will have to make two raps (160’), even with a single 70m. Climb the face to the right of an arete.  Positive and fun face moves lead up to a fixed rap.  Dow

Lion of Judah- 75’-5.10c**/ Fully bolted.  Climb Haukna Matada and continue up a ramp to the right and start climbing the bolted steep varnished face above.  Easier than Simba’s Pride, positive holds and side pulls but steep.  Good rock.   Fixed rap.  Dow

Simba’s Pride- 120’-5.10b**/ Fully bolted in the center of the wall.  The crux is stiff for the grade at the City but the rest of it is mostly cruiser 5.9.  Climb up to a roof.  Too many options can lead you in the wrong direction.  Rather stem up right to reach a positive plate before clipping the 2nd bolt of the roof pull.  That bolt protects you from the sloped ledge below.  Fixed Rap.  70m just makes it down with the bolts unclipped.  Dow 

Quartz Dike- 60’-5.11*/ Top rope only as of 2019.  Can be top roped from No Name Crack. 

No Name Crack- 90’-5.9*/ A fun, but easy for the grade, left facing corner located just right of the obvious vertical dike (Quartz Dike, 5.11*) on the right side of the wall.  A large slung boulder serves as the fixed rap as of 2019.  Quartz Dike is also only a top rope as of 2019 and must be top roped from this same slung block.  Single rack to #2.  Dow



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