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BETA PHOTO: topo of Astro Elephant by Reid Dowdle, with some e...
A relatively moderate but sustained outing, with 2 5.10 pitches followed by several 5.9 pitches. An easier version can be done by starting on Sideline, which avoids the 5.10 pitches.
Check out Brad Brandewie's photo trip report.
Center of South face, starting 100' above the chockstone in the descent gully. (Lower 5th class to climb around chockstone).
standard rack, including a 3.5" cam.
BETA PHOTO: Elephant's Perch - South Face
8. Lost Horizons 5....
Guillaume Dargaud on the second pitch.
I don't kn...
We're maybe half way up the route here and again w...
Here's a shot of Guillaume, fully off-route and no...
Fran Bagenal starting up Astro Elephant. Pitch 1.
Astro Elephant. Fran Bagenal.
Cory styles the short but sweet last pitch 9+ fing...
BETA PHOTO: Lots of people get off route on Astro Elephant loo...
BETA PHOTO: Jenny on the amazing dihedral to finish the pitch ...
Struggling to comprehend the view. The beauty of t...
|Comments on Astro Elephant
|By Scotty Nelson|
Aug 5, 2008
Great route! Climbing the original start with a 70m, you can link 1+2 (long pitch!) and 3+4.
|By Wyatt Payne|
From: Littleton CO
Dec 16, 2009
In 2008 Stu Ritchie and I got lost before we even started climbing
Astro Elephant. Everything looked as expected through the first pitch. As I lead out on the second after turning a corner and expecting to find a RF dihedral I was facing what looked more like a shallow right facing bomb bay that went up to a long horizontal roof. Very long story short we knew that we screwed the pooch badly. To remedy that situation I lead straight out Right below the roof. During that process I clipped a vertically driven knife blade, placed a .5 cam that I wouldn't want to hang a rice cake off of and traversed on slabby feet Way right. Then I hit a weakness and punched up over the top of the roof to belayed Stu over. Then I traversed slightly down and right on a slab then moved up to a weakness (Shallow vegetated crack), and then ran like crazy up and right all the way to the main ledge of Astro Elephant (70ish meters). Along the second pitch we clipped several bail anchors and some gear that looked like aid from previous parties. After looking at the climbing legend poster at the Elephant's Perch shop it looks like we came up Elephant Eye Variation 3b then traversed right over to Elephant's eye proper to belay, then way up and right to rejoin Astro Elephant. Climbing felt 11-hard. If anyone knows where the hell we were or what we may have unintentionally freed please let me know.
This was very exciting and committing, so be careful where you start out on AE if you don't want to step that route up substantially.
|By dave bingham|
Apr 9, 2010
Astro E. was first done in the days when climbers were hesitant to give anything at grade harder than 5.9. First ascentionist Reid Dowdle (king of the Perch) is infamous for calling everything 9+, and Astro is a good example.
Now Astro E. is given 10-, which IMO is still sandbag. The pitch off the mid-way ledge, given a 5.9+ rating, is brilliant but very inobvious, technical and scantily protected.
A good route, but expect a challenge if 10- is your top end!
From: Portland, OR
Aug 9, 2010
Did EXACTLY the same thing as Wyatt this past weekend. I would add that one would be ill-advised to follow the route highlighted in blue on the photo in the trip report linked above, at Piquaclimber, as that line's lower pitches trace the path exactly as Wyatt describes (and NOT the correct line).
Sidenote: With Josh leading (and aiding) the sketchy traverse under the roof, the aforementioned vertically-driven Knifeblade (Lost Arrow) popped out, just under body weight! Anyone have any FA beta on Elephant's Eye?...I'm curious how old it might be.
|By Brad Brandewie|
Aug 10, 2010
Sorry for the confusion guys.
I thought I had changed that picture years ago to show the correct line. I will make sure it is corrected tonight.
|By Tim Wolfe|
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 2, 2011
Having climbed both the left and right starts I suggest the left version as it is more aesthetic and the right side had a pretty concerning loose block that I could not avoid. Absolutely wonderful route, the big bivy type ledge up high reminds me of being on El Capitan. One of the more moderate routes on the mountain but you still need to have serious skills at gear placement to keep it safe.
|By Jeffrey Gagliano|
From: Pennsburg, PA
Sep 13, 2011
Just climbed this two weeks ago. Lead every pitch. Route finding was not too bad. Pithch 1 is signifacntly harder than pitch 2. The 5.8 bomb-bay chimney is challenging as was the "5.7" chimney encountered later. Though the best pitch was the 9+ traverse around and exposed areate high on the route with scant gear. Thrilling!
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 9, 2012
Amazing route that is a lot of fun. You can link the two 5.10 pitches with a single 60m rope. Then one more long pitch takes you to the ledge with the tree. Combining those and not counting the P6 ledge traverse, the route ends up being 7 pitches. A single 60 was fine but your call in case you have to bail.
1) Start above the descent gully chockstone. You start behind a tree and are aiming for the big trees on the ledge. You should not hit any big roofs in this section if you are on route. 2 full 60m pitches will get you to the ledge.
2) From above the 5.8 chimney you have to traverse about 60 - 80 feet left (P6 on the topo) before you start up from atop stacked boulders near the arete. Your first hold will be a two-handed super jug hueco. then you step right, climb a flake, traverse back left passing a white piece of tat, pull the 5.9 face moves and keep moving left (leaving a nut to protect the second). There are two other places you could start up too far to the right that will put you into 11r territory. The left of the two wrong variations had a fixed bail biner on it. Look for the ratty sling and avoid bail biners. The correct starting point for pitch 7 is the right side of the stacked blocks on the highest point of the ledge system. I will try to post a pic with more info as this is really the only place to get off route besides maybe the first pitch. (edit: see pics for this route for more beta)