Includes Schoolroom West (5.7), Bushwhack Crack (5.8), and variations up to 5.9
Gate Buttress, Little Cottonwood Canyon
About the Climb
Schoolroom and Schoolroom West are probably the most popular moderate multi-pitch climbs in Little Cottonwood canyon. A short approach, moderate grades, clean cracks and perfect granite slabs means that Schoolroom is also a very popular area. Both routes are varied, demanding a good mix of climbing technique. Note that there are no bolted anchors on these routes, so plan on building your own natural belays.
Schoolroom is the easiest of the two routes and has a great old-school feel. It’s a first multi-pitch lead for many aspiring trad climbers. The rock is solid, the pro is mostly good, and the belay ledges are comfortable. Each pitch offers a very different style of climbing, ranging from slab to crack to a chimney, face, and even an airy traverse. It’s also possible to add different variations ranging from 5.7 to 5.9 if you want to add a little spice to your day.
Schoolroom West offers even more quality climbing than the standard Schoolroom. It is a very interesting route allowing for a more direct and steeper line shooting straight up the buttress. Schoolroom West also avoids the chimney, low angle and traverse sections of its neighboring sister route. It is a little more sustained than the standard Schoolroom route and has a few tricky moves, but they all protect very well.
Both routes enventually converge at the top and share the same last pitch. Even though this last pitch is great, the "Movie Variation" (5.8+) offers a great alternate finish and is highly recommended.
Climb both Schoolroom and Schoolroom West back to back to make it a full day. If you climb both routes, consider the "Movie Variation" (5.8+) on the last pitch. It climbs the amazing overhanging dihedral on the right. Jam, smear and layback under the roof and around the corner with excellent protection, and finish with handjams up to the tree. Highly recommended.
On the first pitch of Schoolroom West, there is also a 5.9 variation. It is a short bolted face with 3 bolts, and has a mantel move that adds great fun. For the first picch of the standrad Schoolroom, the direct start is also highly recommended, because it avoids the long traversing pitch of the original route. However, you'll have to put up with a short but very committing face climbing section.
Another great addition is to climb Bushwack Crack (5.8), which is the beautiful single pitch splitter hand crack located 50' to the right right. Great warm-up or perfect to round-out the day.