Bridger Jack Spires 5.10b-5.11b
Includes East Face Route (5.10d), Learning to Crawl (5.11b), Sparkling Touch (5.11a), and Thunderbolts (5.10b)
Bridger Jack Spires, Indian Creek
About the Climb
The Bridger Jacks are a group of relatively short spires in the heart of Indian Creek. If you get tired of cragging at Indian Creek, want to get away from the crowds and are looking for a little more adventure to the top of a tower, then these towers are for you. This is also a great spot to camp if you’ll be in Indian Creek for a few days. These spires offer a relatively moderate and quick approach, as well as several quality short summit climbs. It is easy to climb multiple towers in a day because of the easy access. The rock is excellent, the views are great and the climbing can feel very different from one climb to another.
Learning to Crawl (5.11b) ascends Thumbelina, the leftmost detached tower of the Bridger Jack Mesa. This is a somewhat unique climb for Indian Creek standards. It is a very fun face climb on superb rock up a mostly bolted arête. Although a light rack is required, the hard sections are bolt protected. If you’re looking for a full pump, climb this route in one super long pitch (watch for rope drag), or break it into 2 pitches and belay at a break halfway up. Learning to Crawl starts with some 3rd class and climbs a wide crack to the base of an imposing arête. This climb ascends the arête and features aesthetic thin face moves on impeccable rock.
Sparkling Touch (5.11a) is a very fun climb located just right of Thumbelina. It climbs up the right side of the Sparkling Touch Tower and even if it is rated 5.11 (a single move with a bolt at your hips), the route is mostly 5.10. The first pitch might be the real crux: it climbs up a sustained hand to fist crack, going over a bulge with awkward but fun moves using the edge of an offwidth flake. Then, a short but thin crack brings you up an easy but very enjoyable hands corner. The technical crux of Sparkling Touch is a bouldery move at a bolt that allows you to reach the true summit via a cool step across a gap.
Thunderbolts (5.10b) is located on Easter Island, the tower just right of Sparkling Touch. It might be the shortest of the Bridger Jacks spires, but it is also the most popular tower of the group. Thunderbolts is a very fun moderate climb that requires a good blend of crack and face climbing skills. The first pitch climbs up a wide hands/fist crack. A couple of exciting moves are then encountered before you reach a notch. The second pitch climbs up an exposed bolt protected face around the backside of the tower. Although it is well protected, the sandy and slopey holds will keep things exciting.
East Face Route (5.10d) is located on Sunflower Tower, the tower just right of Easter Island. It is another classic climb and is definetely one of the best routes on the Bridger Jacks. East Face Route is a very fun climb, offering a lot of variety in three pitches with awesome and aesthetic climbing the whole way. The start feels a bit awkward, but you're soon rewarded with a cool stembox and great jams. The second pitch is what you came for: it ascends an awesome left facing dihedral that is super fun but quite sustained, going from perfect hands to small hands and finishing with fingers and liebacks. Although easier, the last pitch will require your attention with some ancient fixed protection, an exposed traverse and sandier rock.
Getting to the base of the Bridger Jacks requires driving on a dirt road that can be rough in sections, depending on the conditions. Most 2WD cars will be OK, but a high clearance 4x4 can help. Camping at the base of the Bridger Jacks is very convenient and will offer the easiest access to East Face Route, as well as incredible views of Indian Creek. Sites are first come first serve, and no toilets or water are available. Please use Wag Bags (donation box or bring your own) and pack out everything with you.
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