Late August in the western Utah desert is hot. Bird-size bugs terrorize the unsuspecting, scorpions dwell under tents, and tarantulas lurk in the shadows. High above the basin, however, cooler temps can be found on north-facing aspects. Seeking refuge from the Hadean heat, Jonathan Schaffer and I forged a new route up the north face of Notch Peak over the course of three days. Like other routes on Notch Peak (none of which either of us had climbed), Notch Your Business(450m, 5.11 R/X) features run-out climbing over often-loose terrain. Ten pitches (all of which deserve an R rating; some get an X) ascend the middle of the face between the Swiss Route (5.10+ A2, Deinen-Koch, AAJ 1987) and Nightmare (5.11+, Kofler-Steufer, 2011). The climb begins with an 80m pitch up a very prominent left-facing corner and continues up connecting features. Most belays have at least one bolt. Two protection bolts and one piton were placed. A rappel line exists, mostly following the route of ascent.
– Pete Fasoldt
Editor’s note: Previously unreported in the AAJ, the route called Nightmare was put up by Benjamin Kofler and Roman Stuefer in May 2011. The two Italian climbers completed 11 pitches over three days during their first attempt, using only nuts, cams, and pitons for protection, with hand-drilled bolts at some of the belay stances. They bivied once below the cliff and once at a sitting stance en route. Poor weather forced them to retreat and prevented another attempt until a week later. The night before their second attempt, 4cm (1.5”) of snow fell and they decided the only way to complete the route was to hike up the south side of Notch Peak, rappel from the top, and climb the final three pitches to the summit. It is not known if an integral ascent has been completed. (Information from Alpenverien.it.)