West Smith Summit

Page Type
Route Type:
Technical Rock Climb
Time Required:
Less than two hours

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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West Smith Summit
Created On: Oct 10, 2005
Last Edited On: Oct 10, 2005


Follow the directions on the main Smith Group page to reach the trailhead. From the trailhead, you have two approach options:

(1) Scramble over Asterisk Pass (follow directions given on Skyridge or Wherever I May Roam pages; 4th class) and head downhill and left toward the river trail. Turn left and follow the trail for a few hundred feet until able to see a low angle slope to your left providing hiking access to the plateau atop the Smith Group.

(2) Hike around the Smith Rock group (along its southern tip; class 1) on the river trail until you see the above mentioned low angle slope above you on the right.

Once you near the top of the grassy "knoll", the West Summit of the Smith Group will be the first spire you'll see ahead of you (The Platform and Arrowpoint are off to your left). The route follows the face you see as you approach (roughly west face).

Route Description

I'm posting this (short pitch) as a separate route page since: (1) precedent was established on this page and (2) this little peak-bagging line is pretty much unknown and not published anywhere (might get lost if it's included on main page....now we couldn't have that!). Additionally, this is a fun peak-bagging outing well suited for those days that are either too cold, too wet, or too crowded to do any meaningful free climbing.

West Summit spire is the highest point of the Smith Group. It is a few feet taller than its "twin" East Summit. Original ascent of this spire involved shooting an arrow over its top and pulling and fixing a climbing rope which was then prussiked. More recently, a bolt ladder has been added on the west face making the ascent relatively trivial (but fun). The bolt ladder is the only known route up the spire.

Pitch: C1, 40+ feet. From the end of the dirt "catwalk" (20 feet wide) leading to the base of the west face of West Summit, scramble up 15 feet over class 4 rock. Clipping the first bolt requires either a free move (overhanging, loose rock) or a short cheat stick (or possibly a hook move?). Follow the bolts up. One trad placement (small nut) is probably required (move can be done free but the rock is pretty bad). Top of spire is equipped with a new double-bolt anchor (no rap rings).

Descent: One single rope rap back down to the catwalk.

Essential Gear

Short cheat stick & small nut may be useful. Also whatever else you desire for a short (mostly) bolt ladder.

Miscellaneous Info

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