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Lower Grotto Wall
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Before There Were Nine 
Engagement, The 
Espresso Love 
Grotto Wall Traverse 
Headless Crankin' Chicken 
Headless Franken Chicken 
Ineditable, The 
Knuckle Head, The 
Mad Arab 
One for the Road 
Pea Brain 
Scene of the Crime 
Space Sluts in the Slammer 
Stage Fright 
Stand By Your Van 
Stranger Than Fiction 
Tap Dancer 
Twin Cracks 
Under Pressure 
Under Pressure - Extension 
Unknown 13b? 
Victims of Fashion 
Wire and Fire 
Unsorted Routes:

Before There Were Nine 

YDS: 5.13c French: 8a+ Ewbanks: 30 UIAA: X- British: E7 7a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 50'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.13c French: 8a+ Ewbanks: 30 UIAA: X- British: E7 7a [details]
FA: Tommy Caldwell, late '90s
Page Views: 917
Submitted By: j wharton on Jul 2, 2008
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Rated .13b and referred to as #15 in Perkin's book, this route is among the best hard climbs on the Pass, deserving of a proper name, a realistic grade, and more atention. Originally bolted by Kurt Smith, and extensively projected by Dave Pegg and Phillip Benningfield, this route resisted all attempts untill Tommy sent in his typical crushing style. Very technical, slightly overhanging climbing on small crimps and sidepulls. Granite climbing of this style doesn't get much better.


From Cryogenics walk around the corner to the short, long shield of smooth rock that hosts a handful of hard sport routes. Walk slightly uphill between the rock and the base of a large dead (fallen) tree. Before There Were Nine starts on a boulder directly behind the large live tree before the trail steepens uphill. Another hard route (Unknown 13b?) starts just to the left of this boulder; both routes share the same anchor high on the slab. Before They Were Nine can also be identified by the mix of bolt types and the old rusty buttonhead to the left of the 2nd bolt.


7 bolts, anchor

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By Chris Beh
Jul 2, 2008

I cleaned this old aid pitch in 1987 right after I sent Scene of the Crime. But this thing was a whole different animal and I turned the proj over to Kurt. Way to keep cranking, Josh.

By Mike Anderson
From: Dayton, OH
Jun 5, 2012

Where is this route located? Please help.

By Alvaro Arnal
From: Aspen, CO
Jun 5, 2012

Mike- I've updated the route description to make this route easy to find. I'll also add the other routes that climb this lower shield of rock.