Best of Cody – Broken Hearts

Pitch 5 of Broken Hearts


If you could just do one climb in the Southfork… What an awful question. Still, Broken Hearts is the answer, no matter who’s asking. It has the easiest approach of the big, multi-pitch climbs, it’s mostly protected from the wind, it has some spectacular pitches, and it has about the widest range of difficulty of any drainage in the Valley.

Third pitch of Broken Hearts




The key to the whole trip up this climb is the third pitch. It gets sun in the morning and the top will disappear in warm, consistently sunny weather. It is visible from the road, if you drive a couple hundred yards past the parking spot for the approach.

First pitch of Broken Hearts

The first four pitches are moderate WI 3-4 climbing.


5th pitch, mixed form of Carotid Artery on the left.


Pitch 5 is a WI 5 pillar, with the WI 6/M7 pitch Carotid Artery just to the left.

6th pitch as fat as it gets.







Pitch 6 is a WI 6 pillar that often looks easier than it is. Pitch 7 rarely forms, but when it does – well, the photo speaks for itself.

7th pitch!

A few notes to supplement the guidebook Winter Dance, by Joe Josephson. The rappel anchor for pitch 3 is a tree high on the wall of the gully to climber’s right. The rappel atop the second pitch is from an ice anchor, check its integrity on the way up and be prepared to set your own or do the alternative descent if it looks dicey. Break the rap. down the first 2 pitches into two 30m sections, pulling the rope can be a frustrating experience otherwise. The ‘walk off’ described in the guide is feasible, but not trivial. It crosses some steep slopes and the break onto the ridge can be difficult to identify. Glass it before you try it and know that unless you have tracks in the snow to follow, it is the longer, more physically demanding alternative to descending the drainage.

3rd pitch rap.

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