The Midget Widget Wall
By Dean Lords (info also available at Dean’s blog)
I thought it would be fun to do a small photo guide to the Midget Widget Wall. Likely it’s better than a written topo which would basically say… “Twenty-five foot crack route. Bring trad gear.” I also thought it would be fun to showcase the local crew that has been psyched on the new development. These are some of the guys and gals who make climbing and exploring around home so worthwhile.The climbing is short but fun. It’s easy to use pockets and other face features if you don’t know how to jam the cracks, but it’s worth taking the time to learn how! I’ll let the photos do the talking. So here you go…
- Type of climbing: Trad
- Number of routes: 8
- Difficulty range: All routes need consensus
- Type of rock: Basalt
- Season: Fall through spring, faces Southwest
- Camping: ?
- Guidebook: This page!
From Hwy. 26 turn south onto the Ririe Reservoir Road. Continue past the dam and boat ramps. After a few miles the road splits. The right hand fork drops down into Meadow Creek while the left road continues along the top of the canyon. Park in the large parking area where the road forks. Walk east along the rim of the canyon until you reach a cairn. From this point drop over the rim and down the hill side where you will find a climbers trail.
Walk Southeast along the rim from the parking lot until you reach a cairn on the rim of the canyon. Drop down the hill to a climbers trail. Follow this to the left, staying above the Meadow Creek Road. Look for anchors after a hundred yards.
Once you leave the rim of the canyon, please walk cautiously. Any rocks you trundle will roll down the hill off the cliff and onto the road below. Serious property damage could occur if you hit someone’s car.
Be cautions of Rattlesnakes also. Lots of signs of these buggers. Once it gets hot, be careful about putting your hands in the cracks!!
Some Helpful Tips
We don’t have any suggestions on the routes difficulty, so you get what you get! Also keep in mind the routes are short and if you decide to run it out you are likely going to hit the ground if you fall. The climbing isn’t that hard but it is basalt and things break off all of the time.
The routes are approx. 25 to 30 feet high. Although short, the Midget Widget Wall offers eastern Idaho climbers a place to get their trad game on. It’s better than nothing and offers good quality cracks and sound protection. More routes will appear as time goes on. Likely some of the nice pocketed faces will get bolts as well.
- Get Jiggy Widget – The first route you will encounter. Inside corner crack to overhanging hands splitter. Bring small gear (Yellow or Blue TCU) to protect the finger crack getting to the anchors. Gear: Yellow, Orange, Red TCU’s – Green, Blue, Purple (Metolius)
- Bitchin’ Widget – Finger crack on nice face to the right and around the corner from Get Jiggy Widget. Ringlocks/fingerstacks, pockets, or lay it back to a boulder crux with no gear. Finish in a good tight hands splitter. Don’t reach over the top; clip the anchors from the jam crack. Gear: Blue, Yellow, Orange TCU’s – Green (Metolius)
- Got Widgets? – To the right and around the corner from Bitchin’ Widget. A single bolt protects the loose mud-stone start. A nice inside corner crack and good pockets to a small roof; then step right and up steep hand crack to a small ledge. Two bolts protect the face moves to the anchors. Gear: Yellow, Red TCU’s – Blue (Metlolius)
- Widgets are for Kids – Crack to the right of Got Widgets? A roof crack to wide pod to hand and fist splitter. Shares finish and anchors with Got Widgets. Gear: Black, Green, Blue, Purple (Metolius)
- Little Widgets – To the right of Widgets are for Kids is a nice face with deep pockets. Protect the climbing with the thin crack on the left side of the face. Gear: Blue, Yellow, Orange TCU’s
- Three Piece Chicken Widget Meal – Another short walk from Little Widgets. Likely the easiest route. Climb a slab to a hand size corner crack with a roof. Finish is a wide left leaning splitter. Gear: Green, Blue, Purple (Metolius)
- Wicked Widget of the West – Just right of Three Piece Chicken Widget Meal. Climbs the inside corner. A fun inside corner. Stem, pull on pockets, layback, and jam up the steep corner. Gear: Blue, Yellow, Orange TCU’s – Blue (Metlolius)
- The Widget of OZ – Around the corner to the right of Wicked Widget, obvious splitter. The area test piece. A total classic!! Hands to cupping hands splitter. Bust left and into a wide crack. Overhung and powerful the whole way! Gear: Black, Green, Blue (Metolius) #4 Camelot or equivalent size.
A note about “Gear” suggestions. These are all based on Metolius colors unless otherwise stated and does not represent the order or what you might use on the route.
I doubt this place is worth traveling very far for most climbers. Have I mentioned it’s short? Perhaps it’s late in the climbing season and as usual, I’m pretty burned out on sport climbing now. I’ve found some adventure and a venue to get more comfortable with crack climbing, so I’m not gonna complain about the height of the routes. It is what it is and at least we have some new terrain to explore in a style of climbing not found in the immediate area. I’m psyched, and I hope you’ll find it too when you check this place out.