is located in the San Rafael Swell in central Utah.
is a big area, and climbing is still getting developed. There are no climbing guides for this area. Eric Bjornstad's Desert Rock II is out of print and mentions only a few climbs. Falcon Rock Climbing Utah guidebook has also only a few routes. This area is vast and uncrowded. It does get hot in the summer and expect a lot of driving on dirt roads.
San Rafael Swell has many canyons, indian rock art and mountain biking. Many adventures await for you here.
When one drives along I-70, just past the town of Green River, he/she gets an impressive view of raising rock formations = Eastern Reef Area AKA The Sandstone Alps. This area has over 200 routes and some are up to 2000' long. The difficulty ranges from mid 5th class to 5.12s. Some of the routes have a mountaineering feel.
The Sandstone Alps are divided into crags named in an alphabetical order: A through U. I have climbed only at B crags = Spotted Wolf Canyon, and O crags = Three Finger Canyon. One Thousands Feet of Fun is located at O crags. It is as the name mentions 1000 feet of easy and fun climbing, anchors are set, otherwise it is a trad climb and you descend the same way as you go up. The route is friendly for beginner climbers and offers a nice little summit with great views.
1000' of Fun - easy route with only a few 5.6 moves. Route faces south - so expect sunshine, great winter climb.
FA: Ben Folsom and Mark Owen, solo, December 2002
There are good primitive campsites at the O crags.
Drive west 13.1 miles from the town of Green River along I-70. The very large sandstone slab formation is your destination (just 2 miles past the exit for Hanksville).
From I-70 entrance (just opposite of Dragon Wash) drive south on a good dirt road for 6.1 miles to the intersection with an unmarked dirt road. There is a gate at the I-70 turn off, close it after you pass (it is to keep cattle out of freeway).
Intersection at 6.1 miles: Turn right (west) and continue on this rougher road (you do need 4WD high clearance on this section) for 2 miles to the entrance of an obvious canyon - Three Finger. There are several nice looking campsites and potholes with water at the entry to the canyon.
You can also come from Hanksville area to this intersection.
The climb is located inside the canyon on its north walls, so it faces south - plenty of sunshine. Expect about 10 - 15 min hike, depending how much time you spent examining rock art on your way in. The route runs inside a groove - very obvious, see photo.
1000' of Fun
1st pitchPitch 1
: Easy slab up the groove to the anchors, 55 meters, hard to rate low 5th class and some sections are 4th class.
Pitch 2: Another easy slab in the groove, again about 55 meters to the anchors.
Pitch 3: More clean slab to anchors, again about 55 metes, about 5.3 difficulty. A small green oasis above the anchors on your left.
Pitch 4: Follow up huecos on a steeper wall leaning towards the chimney. Do not enter the chimney. There are a couple true 5.6 moves and then the terrain gets easier. Again whole 60 meter pitch to anchors.
Pitch 5: Straight up steeper slab, reachy move: 5.5-5.6 and on easier terrain to the summit anchors.
1200 feet of fun climb is located just to the right of 1000 feet of fun (my partner has done it in the past and claims 1000' is a better one).
A small summit ledge is to the left of the top anchors - great place to enjoy views.
: Use the same anchors for rappel. You need two 60 meter ropes since each rappel is 55 meters long.
- Personal climbing gear
Anchors at each belay
- Helmet (there is some loose rock)
- 2 sixty meter ropes needed for rappel
- Anchors are built, but you do need a trad gear: we used BD cams from 1-4 fitting in pockets and crags in the sandstone, some slings
- Plenty of water (also parking is nearby)