Monday, February 6, 2012

Lawtons Route, El Salto Canyon

This January I bolted a new route in El Salto Canyon.  My original goal was for an easier multi-pitch in the canyon.  I had seen a large corner system with lots of tufas that was not too steep.  This is at least in comparison to the cave area which is just up the hill from this route.  It turns out the climbing is in the semi-moderate range, at least for El Salto where the easiest routes are pretty much 5.11.

I wanted to dedicate the route to my friend Adam Lawton who had recently passed away in an avalanche.  Adam was an inspiration to me.  He was an incredible person and I cherish the time I got to spend with him while briefly living Salt Lake.  He connected me to the backcountry skiing scene there and showed the incredible powder skiing SLC has to offer.  His incredibly positive outlook on life and passion for teaching, skiing, climbing, and friends will be missed.  The route is named Lawton's route to celebrate my friend.

I bolted the route with the help of Enrique Soto, Karla Moya, and Norma Torres.  We had a slow start as our drill was a hammer drill but not a SDS hammer drill, which drills maybe 10 times more slow.  The route is 4 pitches.  The first is maybe 5.11+, the second pitch 5.12- and then 5.11+, and 5.11.  These are guess's at the grades I welcome any feedback.

 The route is located in El Salto Canyon.  It is about 2 hours from El Potrero Chico.  To find the route go to the cave area and hike downhill about 4 minutes.  Visit to schedule a climbing trip in El Salto or Potrero.
This photo shows more or less where the route goes.  The X's are the anchors.

Karla on the sick tufa on the second pitch

Norma getting ready for a cold belay on top of the second pitch


  1. Looks awesome. A great route for a great friend. Can't wait to try it someday. Much Love, Luke

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