The Open Book

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 44.03941°N / 114.93873°W
Additional Information Route Type: Technical Rock
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: 5.8 II
Sign the Climber's Log

General Information

See The Complete Sawtooths List for every named rock tower, pinnacle, and unnamed mountain of note in the area.


On Highway 75, drive approximately 12 miles south of Stanley and turn west onto Decker Flat Road. Two trailheads lead to Hell Roaring Lake: The lower one (poorly signed) is at .75 miles; the upper one, which requires 4-wheel drive, is the most popular and is at the end of the road, 5.25 miles from the highway turnoff. From Hell Roaring Lake two separate routes exist: an old fishermen’s trail hugs the northwest shore of the lake, and the other shadows the main trail, skirting the lake to the southern end (this is the faster and easier hike although it requires some log walking to stay dry). Both trails meet on the west side of the lake where a small stream drains from the lakes above. Staying to the right of the stream, a fairly distinct trail leads to the upper lakes. The trail skirts to the northwest of the first small lake then to the east of the larger lake. From here the trail becomes indistinct but basically heads up the large gully to the south of the Finger. From here, hike around the Finger below the east face continuing to the north face proper. The Book is the largest dihedral on this face.

Route Description

Climbing starts at the top of a snowfield on the NE side of the Finger.

Pitch 1- Start up the 5.5 left leaning crack to a point where the chimney goes vertical and straight up. Here make some 5.8 layback moves in a 2-4 inch crack. Just under an obvious ledge, is one of the tougher moves on the route.  After the layback move, reach up and mantle onto the belay ledge.

Pitch 2- From the ledge, climb up into an offwidth layback crack (3-4") to a point under the obvious roof.  The 5.8 layback moves are slightly easier than the pitch 1 5.8 moves.  From under the ledge traverse right and up with minimal feet, but a big reach up reveals big jugs to pull onto a mini ledge. (July 2014 there was a stuck nut in the crack under the roof). Continue up the dihedral on 5.6 to 5.7 terrain to a point near a chockstone where the gully divides slightly.

Pitch 3- Climb through the notch over loose blocks and 5.5 terrain to a point where a committing yet easy (5.6) move slightly up to the left puts you out of the dihedral and onto 3rd class terrain.  Gaze at the east side of the finger and the selection of different cracks.  Scramble up and to the right to a notch below the twin cracks.

Pitch 4- Climb the twin cracks using opposing pressure at first. Left crack is about 1 inch, right crack about 3 inches.  Feet are non existent at times on the outside of these cracks and the rock is lichen covered. Eventually left crack peters out and you will need to double hand and double foot jam (5.8). This section along with the 5.8 on pitch 1 are the crux moves.  Atop this move, emerge slightly right to a ledge and a point where the route goes left.  Leave a directional runner in this area for your 2nd and climb 5.5 runout slab for 35 feet to a ledge and a large boulder with many slings.

Pitch 5- Climb up and left on a 5.5 slab and tunnel your way under the summit block. Go straight through, or if carrying a pack go right and emerge on the west side. Either way , there will most likely be rope drag.  This would be a good pitch to climb unroped.  On the west side, make a leap across a chasm toward the south side and a set of slings. Alternately, make a balancy slab crawl to avoid the jump.

Pitch 6- On the south side at the obvious notch, climb the boulder just south of the summit block and step across onto a ledge with a piton. Traverse out onto the east face using crystal pockets and ledges (5.7). Mantle onto the summit block. If you mantle early, it's 5.7. If you traverse further out onto the east face, it's closer to 5.8.  The summit contains a bolted on summit register and some newer rap anchors.

Descent-  Rappel single rope toward the west and the class 3 blocks below.  Scramble 100 feet toward the northwest side and find a tree with slings.  Double ropes gets you off in one rappel from here, or use a tree below for the 3rd rappel. You will emerge in a loose and sometimes snow covered gully that takes you back to the base rather easily.

Essential Gear

1 or 2 ropes: 50-60mm
1 set of nuts, tcu's, camalots
No ice ax or crampons unless you go in May or earlier

Miscellaneous Info

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



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