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Hidden Wall
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Blitzkrieg T 

Blitzkrieg 

YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c R

   
Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 700'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c [details]
FA: Sal Mamusia and Richard Harrison 1982
Season: Fall
Page Views: 466
Submitted By: J. Thompson on Sep 19, 2011

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Josh Racking up at the base

Description 

Here's the basic description, I'll add a comment that will clear up some things and provide some additional beta, please read it!

Pitch 1: Start up the left facing corner system, there are a couple of ways to do this. Continue up the obvious crack and corner system aiming for the first big bush covered ledge and belay. 215ft, 5.10.

Pitch 2: Climb off the left side of the ledge up towards a slightly lower angle bushy area. Avoid most of the bushes by climbing on the right. Step back left through the biggest bush. The crack above the biggest bush is filled with loose blocks, these can be avoided by traversing out left on a ledgy area then back right into the corner(its obvious). Once back in the corner climb up until a ledge/foot rail/ramp thing appears on the right. Follow this out and around the corner to a ledge. Belay here if the rope drag in bad, or continue up another 40 ft(or so) to the huge bushy ledge. 150-190 ft, 5.10.

Pitch 3: Either move the belay to the other side of the ledge or climb the forty feet up from the previous ledge. On the ledge,stop under the only crack that doesn't pinch down into nothing, its 3/4 of the way across the big ledge. 150ft, 5.8.

Pitch 4: Climb the aforementioned crack. Get gear where you can. about half way up you'll encounter a slab section. The left side (where a crack should be) is full of vegation, so step over right and gain the corner. Once in the corner, there is a key #3 Camalot placement, have one when you get there. Do full foot to foot stemming up the wide channel, starfish! This wide channel is capped by a roof, pass it on the right. Yard up one last section of vegated and flared crack and belay on the nice, big, flat ledge. 130 ft, 5.10+

Pitch 5: Start by traversing out left on the ledge, balancy and exposed. Climb the corner/flake system above to a sloping ledge. Climb off the right side, over a bulge,to the face above. Climb past a tree and up the corner and slab above. Pass the first crux just after the tree. You're now climbing on the black water streak in the center of the wall. Get to a nice little ledge/stance, place some gear and contemplate the crux above. Figure your way through the bulge and small holds. There is a key thread (currently fixed) just above the crux. Climb up into another steep section. Here it gets tricky. Either continue up the weird,hard,steepness above or tension traverse off the now fixed #2 cam down and right into the obvious chimney/ flare. Climb the chimney/ flare up to a big bushy ledge. If you continue straight up find a belay up there somewhere!
150ft, 5.11, AO. or 5.11?

Pitch 6: We soloed off from here by heading up and right, then back left, then right again. Following the path of least resistance. If you went straight up, on pitch 5, there is supposedly another pitch of 5.8 or 5.9 climbing. 200ft, 5.6.


Location 

The Hidden wall is located at the head of the south fork of Ice Box Canyon. The first 3 ascents of this wall/route approached from the loop road all the way up Ice Box canyon. This is a long approach! An easier approach exsists. Drive up the Rocky Gap road and park at the "trailhead" for the Buffalo wall. Hike up the trail to the rim of the canyons. Head right to the top of Ice box. There is currently a tree with blue rap slings above the entrance slabs marking the head of the correct canyon. You don't need to rap, the down climbing is no big deal. Continue down the canyon, staying generally left. There are currently cairns leading the way. Pay attention for an obvious ledge system that heads out (right) across the wall, above the mossy slabs below. There is a bit of a trail, presumably formed by Big horn sheep. Follow this ledge system all the way around. You'll be below the Hidden wall proper now. Keep traversing, you need to follow another ledge system out and around the "pedastal" that divides the lower part of the wall. Once around the pedastal, scramble up to where the pedastal meets the wall. Pitch one starts right around that area, its pretty obvious. To Descend head back to the rim and hike down the trail.

Protection 

RP's: Down to #3.
Nuts: 1.5 sets.
Cams: 1 Black Alien.
1 Blue Alien
2 Each Green Alien through Red Alien
2-3 Each .75 Camalot through #2 Camalot.
2 Each #3 and #4 Camalot.


Photos of Blitzkrieg Slideshow Add Photo
Pitch 1 Hidden Wal
Pitch 1 Hidden Wal
Josh on Pitch 4ish
Josh on Pitch 4ish

Comments on Blitzkrieg Add Comment
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By J. Thompson
From: denver, co
Sep 19, 2011

Ok, comments.

I've been wanting to tick this one off the list for awhile, it was a fun adventure.
This route is full value. Be ready to run it out. The crux is run out. A fall at the crux would leave you hanging in space. Supposedly Richard Harrison did just that on the first ascent. A scary thought!
Other parts of the route are runout as well.

Any pitch labeled 5.10 or above has multiple cruxes. They all involve a wide variety of climbing techniques, be creative.

We had a 70M rope, thus the first pitch was long. This would also account for the 2-3 cam reccomendation. We didn't have 3 each.

The crux pitch is hard and runout. This pitch has been called 5.10+ in several guidebooks. Its just not the case. Its hard and alittle dangerous. My partner elected to do a tension traverse, as the day was getting short. I had to leave the cam and lower off, as the risk off falling into the corner/ chimney was high. Don't take this pitch lightly.
We did probably the 4th ascent of the formation. Talking with the other people who've been up there, 2 of them have climbed the route twice. They both say they climbed it different ways each time. Keep that in mind when route finding. But it was pretty obvious to us.

It had been well over 20 years since the last known ascent of the route. It showed. There was lots of vegation, loose rocks and general "issues". I dare to say that if this route were climbed more it would clean up. There's no way that's going to happen.

I was happy to tick this off as I consider it 1 of the 3 "crown jewels" of Red Rock canyon. The other 2 being the Rainbow wall and the Buffalo wall. These three are the 3 big walls at the head of drainages, with their summits being part of the canyon rim. Quite the crown really!

Have fun!

josh
By Cultivating Mass
Sep 19, 2011

Rad, Josh. Really, really rad. Sounds full-value and then some. What info do you have about the other ascents? I know supposedly RH+Sal did it twice, thought a local I know might have gone back to do it by now, heard a snippet about bailing a few years back. Definitely curious who else threw down on this one. Thanks for all the info, congratulations on bringing this one out of the cobwebs!
By J. Thompson
From: denver, co
Sep 19, 2011

Killis;
RH and Sal, FA.
Sal and Bob, 2nd.
Bob and ?, 3rd.
It's possible, though unlikely, that someone else climbed it after Bob's last ascent and ours. I'd love to hear from anyone who has, pretty small club.

There was no evidence of anyone bailing.
The only piece of fixed anything was webbing on the thread on the crux pitch.

This route is, no question, full value.

josh
By Andrew Gomoll
From: Las Vegas, NV
Sep 19, 2011

I posted a few photos but for some reason the others wouldn't go. This is a hard route to rate due to the varied rock quality, techniques required, and protection (or lack of) options. We made copies of the topo from the Brock guidebook, but forgot them in the car (classic). I checked the topo out after climbing the route and it seems spot on. Other than that, Josh's description says it all. It is a hard route in a remote place.

Andrew
By Doug Hemken
Administrator
Sep 19, 2011

Congratulations, I know you've been scouting that for a couple of years! You are true Masters of the Red Rock backcountry!
By J. Thompson
From: denver, co
Sep 22, 2011

So...I just went back and looked at the Brock/Mcmillan Topo.
It seems fairly accurate for the crux pitch. It appears that we went the correct way after the crux. Do not go Straight up.

Something else I've been wondering about. The crux pitch climbs the huge obvious, black water streak. This water streak is running water for up to 8 months out of the year...sometimes less. Since the last known ascent was in 1983...I wonder if maybe the edges where "dulled" on some of the holds? Has 28 years of water running over stand stone made the climbing harder?

Hmmmm....

josh