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Still doing routes after 40+ years of climbing...
This route is easily identified on Circus Wall. It lies on the far left end of the main wall and goes up the W. Face near the North end arete. The 2 pins on P1 and 1 pin on P2 are not easy to see from the ground, but are hard to miss once on route.
P1: (5.6, 120') Climb up the easy slab tending up and left towards a pin seen from the ground, near the right-facing flake on the arete of the wall. While this is indeed the second pin, the first lies back behind a sloping ledge and can not be seen until you are upon it. Med-large stoppers or perhaps a few hand-sized cams are good pro here and the pins seem unneccesary for a good lead. Continue climbing for 120' (35M) to reach a ledge with fixed anchors. Rapping from here with a single 70M rope is easily done. With a 'short' 70M some 4th class downclimbing may be necessary to hit terra firma.
P2: (5.6, 140') Continue up past the anchor first going directly up, then briefly right to a crack, back left, then right to a single pin and up, arriving on a sizable ledge after ~42M. There are a set of chain anchors on the left edge of this sizable ledge. Along the way there will be some significant runouts with crispy chickenheads and plates slung for pro. I would not exect these to hold significant falls. As well, there are a few opportunities for nuts or tricams between plates which may be better, but not good. Approach a lead of this pitch with caution as per the experience and ability of the leader. This is not right for a neophyte climber. Retreat from this point would require 2 ropes or some downclimbing of significant consequence on questionable rock.
P3: (5.5, 140') On the face behind the ledge above P2 you can see a few bolts with red hangers, these are closely spaced for the most part and are generally good. A few are somewhat poorly placed though, and most require 1-foot draws to avoid hanging the rope in odd flakes. Sport draws would be a poor choice here. Climb past perhaps 12 bolts to a set of rap hangers, from which a single 70M rope will 'just' make it down or clip these with a long sling and continue 20' additional to the summit of the formation.
To descend, rap the route or do the standard walk/scrable/rap off to the north.
The climb is good overall and would improve with heavy traffic.
A single rap is required for easy retreat due to the right-hand movement of the second pitch. This can be done down to 4th class terrain with a single 70M rope or to the base with two 50M ropes. Either seems safe for anyone remotely capable of leading this route.
This route is a mixed route. The best protection to be had was a set of medium to large stoppers and perhaps a few cams in the hands range. Large pro clould be placed, but does little to protect the leader that decisive nut-placement would not accomplish.The second pitch is severely runout at a moderate grade of perhaps 5.4 and has questionable rock. This is easy for an advanced climber to handle, but would be a dubious proposal for a beginning leader. The 3rd pitch, as described, is for the most part a well-bolted sport climb.
Shannon leading Barbarian
Free-soloist on Barbarian
By S. O.
Oct 8, 2007
A seldom climbed route due to the requirement of gear. A fun climb, perhaps slightly "R" rated. You can sling chickenheads for pro. I really enjoyed the route.
By steve richert
From: San Diego, CA
Aug 16, 2010
P2 and 3 are seldom climbed. I know P1 gets climbed more than...well it gets a lot of traffic. What a splendid route. It would be nice if there was a bit more clarity in the guidebook about what route goes where because between bolts and pins you are potentially looking as rope drag which is no fun...
By Sarah Meiser
From: Boulder, Colorado
Apr 25, 2011
As a timid newbie leader I was totally comfortable and I'm glad I didn't see the R here beforehand or I probably wouldn't have tried it. On P2 a few of the huge chicken heads make great pro (double length slings) and I also found some relatively good nut & hex placements.
By Patrick Stark
From: St. George, Utah
May 2, 2013
As has been mentioned on the verticalcountry link, there is a line of bolts ascending the left side of the main Barbarian face on the second pitch. I believe this line is known as Just Deserts and begins by starting on the first pitch of Cloudwalker. There are still also the couple of pins from the original Barbarian line to clip if one wants to stay more to the right. The bolt line on pitch two of Just Deserts is well spaced and removes any "R" rating. The second pitch terminates on the big ledge with a tree that can be seen from the ground. The 4th pitch is also the last pitch of Cloudwalker and is well bolted, however, the anchor bolts are about 15' from the top of the formation and as of 05/01/2013 the bolts (not just the hangers) were wiggly. There is also a set of anchor bolts (no chains) half way up the bolted second pitch of Just Deserts presumably to allow for a single rope rap down the route.
We chose to double rope rap using the Cloudwalker anchors on the top of the second pitch (right next to the Barbarian anchors)and head down Cloudwalker as that way seemed to have less of a chance for getting the ropes hung up and there are several anchor possibilities heading down Cloudwalker.