Knockin’ on the Sky  //  a new 4-pitch mixed 5.12a at Rock Springs Buttress

Knockin’ on the Sky

Of Jackson Hole’s cragging opportunities, Rock Springs Buttress is by far the best overall day climbing experience. Not only does the Buttress offer the highest concentration of quality day-cragging in the immediate region, but the quality of climbing here is also high caliber for any part of the country. Moreover, the variety of rock climbing styles and disciplines is diverse. The climbing here comes highly recommended.

Over the last few seasons Rock Springs Buttress has seen a tremendous amount of new route development. Yet the vast majority of these new routes have managed to stay off the local climbing radar. This is unfortunate, because the bulk of the new routes are well deserving of attention, and a handful are likely to be deemed classics…

Knockin’ on the Sky a new 4-pitch mixed 5.12a

Knockin’ on the Sky is a worthy addition to Rock Springs Buttress that was established by Toby Stegman and Wesley Gooch in October of 2012. The climbing is made up of a mixture of well-protected sport with intermittent sections of moderate cracks. The route’s second-pitch crux is the obvious prize but all pitches are classic! Knockin’ on the Sky is a long, memorable, and safe route – a worthy challenge for capable teams.

The route charges up new territory on the far right side of the East Buttress. Expect a line that flows naturally while encompassing feature-rich granite, steep faces, overhanging flakes, and two sections of wildly exposed arête slapping fun!

Get inspired, then go send! Here’s the beta…

Route Photo Gallery

Select an image to enlarge.
Photos ordered sequentially by pitch.
Climbers: Orange shirt is Toby Stegman. Blue shirt is Wesley Gooch.
Photos © Eric Rohr and Laura Krusheski.

Route Topos

Select an image to enlarge.

Route Topo

Route Topo

Pitch 1 Options Topo

Pitch 1 Options

Route Beta Notes

Pitch Notes

All belays are bolted.

  • P1 – 5.10d (mixed, 10m):
    • Short & powerful. Very thuggish. 2 bolts.
      • 2nd bolt is tough to clip (clip hold out right) – belayer be ready!
    • P1 Variation (5.9 trad) – Continue up the crack system to the right of the bolt line and pull a small roof/bulge to gain the ledge and belay. Well protected.
  • P2 – 5.12a (sport, 20m):
    • Classic! Multiple cruxes – one  at mid-height and a second (harder) near the top.
    • Finish on a hanging belay.
  • P3 – 5.10a (mixed, 32m):
    • Super fun arete directly above belay, fun slab climbing, section of easy trad, and fun roof pull to finish.
    • Optional gear belay about halfway on a good ledge or finish at a bolted hanging belay.
  • P4 – 5.10c/d (mixed, 33m):
    • Wild and airy arete!
    • Work both sides of the arete.
    • Crux is hard to read.
    • Good ledge to belay from on top.

Gear Notes

All belays are bolted.

  • A 70m is rope required!!
  • 14 sport quick-draws and one 24-inch trad draw.
  • Bring a small trad rack:
    • Single set of cams to 2 inches.
    • A few small stoppers.

Rappel Notes

  • A 70m rope is required!!
  • Rappel is very airy and not direct.
  • The second rappel requires clipping a directional perma-draw to stay in line – go slow, or risk swinging into outer space!
    • Note: First person down the second rappel should clip a few bolts for directionals before the perma-draw and give the next climber down a fireman’s belay.

Route Location Map

The Red Marker Labels Route Location
Refer to the Jackson Hole Day-climbing Guide for more info on Rock Springs Buttress.

  1. Wesley Gooch01-07-14

    Photo Gallery Updated: Two new photos have been added of pitch 4 (5.10d) by Laura Krusheski.

    Thanks Laura and Eric for the great photos!

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