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Upper Great Face
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A Few Moments of Pleasure 

YDS: 5.7+ French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ British: MVS 4b

   
Type: Trad, 2 pitches, 300'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: unknown
Page Views: 348
Submitted By: Leo Paik on Jul 5, 2004
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Doug Redosh on P1.

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Description 

This is a pleasant route up the left side of the Upper Great Face of the Crags. It runs up 2 pitches starting up a small, right-facing dihedral perhaps 35 feet right of the 1st overhanging bit from the left side of the Upper Face. This route is probaby not the ultimate in rock quality; however, for a nice climb, with a moderate approach (alpine standards), for an alpine-feeling climb it may fit in as part of your day.

Determining where to start may be the crux. From below, you can find a recessed pod about 110 feet up where P1 ends.

P1. The very start is in a wider crack in a shallow RFD. There is a good ledge 20 feet up. The RFD peters out about 40 feet up into face climbing. The crux lies about 30 feet up where you pull through a bulging section than could be harder for short folks. A #3.5 Camalot or #4 Friend may be helpful here. About 60 feet up you make a pleasant traverse left about 15 feet to gain more moderate rock to the belay in a rectangular inset. We removed a large, very-unstable block about 100 feet up. The belay can protect with a medium hex, a large cam (#4 Camalot at least), and possibly a slung loose chockstone.

P2. Go up and right using the wide crack in the corner with face holds to a pin. The holds seem slick and slopey as you go up to a good ledge. Follow your nose up more moderate rock to the top. Note, there is quite a bit of loose rock at the top of this pitch. Be careful as you go up this bit to find a belay above.

The descent can certainly be the crux. If the weather is good, you may find continuing up and right to the summit and then down the gully between the Upper & Lower Great Face to be more straightforward. However, if you are up for adventure, walk down & left (NW) to find a chimney descent. This selection may be the challenge. Allegedly there is a chockstone to sling and rap 75 feet per R. Rossiter's Crag Areas guidebook. Hmmm. There is also a very tight slot (probably the 4th chimney, & the last one before the ridge starts to fall away) that we used & found a loose nut with a biner than someone used to rappel. A belay down a 25 foot chimney (fixed a #11 BD wire) & 2 short licheny downclimbs may be one way down. The pleasure factor may be a bit low on this descent.

It carries a 2 star rating in B. Gillett's Estes Park Valley guidebook. 1.5 stars IMHO.


Protection 

Wires, cams to at least #4 Camalot.



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From the base, the line.
BETA PHOTO: From the base, the line.
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By Doug Redosh
Jul 10, 2004
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b

Actually, it was a 1.5 Camalot and a large hex at the belay. One 20 foot runout on 5.3 in the middle of the 1st pitch. The descent took as long as the ascent as there are several chimneys to the NW. We found none with anchors for a rappel.

By Doug Redosh
Jul 12, 2004
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b

Leo informs me that it was actually an orange Alien and a #9 hex at the belay.