Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Yankee Fork Crag

Over the past few years the guides at Sawtooth Mountain Guides have worked on the development of a little crag out the Yankee Fork of the Salmon River. As many of you know, the Sawtooth Mountains have some premier alpine climbs and long trad routes. But, there is almost no cragging in the Stanley area. To date we've established 8 lead routes at the Yankee Fork, with potential for more. The rock is part of the Idaho Batholith and I would describe it as decomposing granite. Although not the highest of quality, the routes climb really well and are all very different. There is some lichen and grit on the newer routes that will clean up over time.

To get there: From Stanley follow the Salmon River downstream on hwy 75 for 15 minutes to the Sunbeam Dam and the Yankee Fork Junction. Turn left and head up the Yankee Fork about a mile to the first large pullout on the right side of the road. Park here and cross the road to the crag.

Routes from left to right:
1) Little Bear Hug 5.9 : Bolts up a pillar feature to anchor.
2) dihedral 5.8 : Corner that takes gear to #3 anchors; needs cleaning.
3) Rusty Knife 5.10- : Cool moves up arete. Bolts wander a bit but stay on arete.
4) Kind Veggie Brother 5.10+ : Bolts up slab and over small roof. Shares anchor with #5.
5) You Be Lichen It 5.10+ : Bolts up arching layback. Tricky moves off the ground.
6) Stone Bruise 5.11- : Shares same starting bolt as #7 then climbs up and left. Beware of scary loose pillar off route on the upper section. You shouldn't have to even touch it!!!
7) Yank On This 5.11+/12- : Bolts through small roof with hard move pulling the lip.
8) New Yankee Workshop 5.10 : This nice crack splits a white face up high and behind a large pine tree. Start 40' right of Yank and carefully climb dirty approach rock to the large tree and the crack behind. Bolted anchors.

These routes have been set up for leading, although it is possible to top rope some of them. Be extra careful on the ledges above; there is lots of loose rock and grit up there!!! Leading is recommended and as always, wear your helmet!

Photos and updates to come...


  1. Is that "4th Class" or just 4th class? You better ask the Redfish boyz what they want to call it... they got the FA!

  2. Fun little crag, a nice rest day opportunity if you're in the sawtooths for a while.