Mormon Canyon Corner Project

A next-level multi-pitch project, close to home

With two hands pressing on the left wall of the corner, I match my left foot to a sloped rail far out on the right wall. Going fully horizontal for a moment, I try to not make eye contact with the #2 HB brass micro stopper between me and the belay. I’ve spent many days practicing these moves alone on a fixed line, and eke out this section with a tense effort on lead, but this is only the “filler” portion of the pitch. Twenty feet above lies a palm pressing stem crux that would be a double-digit boulder on its own, with another #2 brassie placed mid-maneuvers. A few moves later I fall onto a 0.3/0.4 cam in a shallow pod. 

This pitch alone will be the hardest pitch I’ve ever climbed when I do put it together, yet remarkably, it is in the middle of a beautiful multipitch route, and the pitch afterwards is equally as difficult! This project is a new route in the works up a beautiful 600’ feature in Mormon Canyon, 45 minutes from my home.

Bridging sideways low on the 5.14 stem pitch

This spring I spent 10 days hiking up the 2 miles of rocky wash and steep slabs to scrub rock, add anchors, and sort out free climbing sequences. Currently dubbed the “Mormon Canyon Corner Project”, this immaculate corner system was first inspected by Joel Unema and Blake McCord in 2019. They deemed the route improbable, or even impossible due to the very open corner without even the smallest of down pulling holds, and focused on the near perfect Dickel’s Delight (5.13c, 6 pitches) 100 feet to the left. 

It still looks impossible with chalk on it..

I stared at this corner plenty from my own ascent of Dickel’s in 2021, and had to come investigate for myself. I love the improbable style of tech corners, where the subtlest of ripple can allow upward movement. The day after Christmas 2022, Amity and I found ourselves with unseasonably warm weather during her visit. I offered up jugging support behind her ground up Dickel’s attempt, figuring it was the perfect opportunity to haul a few old ropes with and string them down the mystery corner. 

With the ropes in place for reconnaissance, the weather flipped to three months of heavy winter. I finally hiked up solo in early April to ascend the ropes and assess the potential route in a low impact manner (aiding up the corner would have risked creating holds and stifling the difficulties). What I found blew me away - this was the perfect next level project for my climbing! 

Tip toeing on Pitch 2

The route is now fully equipped, but I am still projecting the two crux pitches (I will release full route beta when its ready for the public). It seems to break down as follows:

Setting up for the palm mantle crux of Pitch 3. You have to stop in this postion and wiggle in a tiny brassie! 

Palm crux on the stem pitch, I am aiming left hand for the tiny gaston above my head, and then walk both feet up the left wall.

Palm damage from the hot day

Top crux of pitch 4

Steep and sheer

This dream project is a high priority for the coming fall season. I feel lucky to have found such a challenge close to home! As this spring faded to unworkable heat, I dabbled with lead goes on two days. One of the days was with Andy Earl shooting photos. I am far from sending, but I wanted to share the process, and the beautiful photos! Stay tuned.. 

Many thanks to La Sportiva for providing the fresh Katanas that the stem pitch will demand. I also signed onto the EDELRID athlete team this spring - I am super excited to join the likes of Tommy Caldwell and Sonnie Trotter, using some of the most innovative gear out there!