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The Watchtower Faces
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Auto Da Fe 
Brolga 
Mr. Chicken 
Watchtower Crack 

Auto Da Fe 

YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ British: E3 5c R

   
Type: Trad, 2 pitches, 300'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ British: E3 5b [details]
FA: Miller & Carrigan - 1982
Page Views: 762
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Jan 21, 2007
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Description 

On the right Watchtower Face. The classic trifecta of slab climbs at Arapiles are Brolga (5.8), Auto Da Fe (5.10d/5.11a), and Tjuringa (5.12). Auto Da Fe is quite simply brilliant. It is also a testpiece. While I was at the Pines a European climber fell from the crux and broke his ankle, and apparently this is a common occurance. Begin at a clean streak of rock 25' right of Watchtower Crack. There is a circular hole ten feet off the ground which is the first hold of the climb. The crux might actually be moving off of this hold!

P1: Jump for the hole and attempt to mantle up past it. I begrudgingly blame my partner for ruining my onsight by breaking out in hysterical (and contagious) laughter while I was attempting to do this move. At least the antics of leaping for the hold and slapping your entire body against the rock in the process helps to break the ice on this unnerving climb. Continue up to a ledge with bolts, placing Aliens and the like in horizontals. 75', 5.10d.

P2: Climb straight up through a small roof and continue up the clean streak through a bulge just above a delicate flake. Passing this section is the mental and technical crux. Continue up and stretch the rope out to the top of the wall. 200', 5.10d.


Protection 

Standard rack, extra TCUs/Aliens.



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By david goldstein
Jan 23, 2007

The crux off the ground is easily and obviously avoided a few feet to the left. The P2 crux is a about 10c vertical face climbing with a very small RP at your feet -- didn't seem like ankle breaking territory, but the record says otherwise. Long slings recommended for the upper half of P2 where there is a zig-zag traverse.

By C Miller
Administrator
Jan 24, 2007

Robin Miller (of the FA party) is reported to have spent 20+ hours wirebrushing the face clean prior to the first ascent. Some even claim the streak is visible from space...

By John McNamee
Administrator
From: Littleton, CO
Feb 8, 2007

This is a great route and can be easily protected with RPs and some tricams. I've climbed it many times and wouldn't call it 5.11 unless some holds have broken off. More like mid 10.

By john strand
From: southern colo
Jan 7, 2009

10C- was this not originally graded 19 or 20 ??? The kind of route Rp's were invented for, just make sure to bring your #1's. Really good !!