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C'est La Morte 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 160'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Duncan Ferguson and John Bragg, 1974.
Page Views: 2,805
Submitted By: Ben Schneider on Jan 1, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (65)
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Finishing Flakes with the crux of C'est La Morte.....
  • Subject to Seasonal Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>
  • Climbing reopened after flood MORE INFO >>>

  • Description 

    Begin atop some boulders at the base of the prominent wall just a hundred meters north of the large cement slab by the river. Traverse up and left in the rotten band with poor pro. Reach a huge flake with good pro - place pro as far right as you can, and add a long runner to it. Surmount the flake, head right and around a corner (tricky - stay low to make it easier). Follow a beautiful finger crack up and right until it meets another crack (where you will find two pins - use really long runners). Now work up then sharply left to a two-bolt anchor. Expect bad rope drag. 160 feet.

    You can rappel with on 60m rope if you are very careful and downclimb from the ledge.


    Protection 

    RPs, standard rack.


    Location 

    This begins just right of C'est La Vie.



    Photos of C'est La Morte Slideshow Add Photo
    Gary Molzan leading the route, 1985.
    Gary Molzan leading the route, 1985.
    The gear is tenuous on this 5.6 traverse until you get to the downward pointing flake where you can bury a #3 Camalot (or place any of a number of smaller pieces). The route cuts back hard right around the roof on the right to the same crux crack for The Flakes and Whistle Stop. Photo by Ivan Rezucha.
    The gear is tenuous on this 5.6 traverse until you...
    Jason Baker warming up with the classic "C'est La [Vie]."  Eldo Canyon, Co.
    Jason Baker warming up with the classic "C'est La ...
    Anne near the end of the rotten band.
    Anne near the end of the rotten band.
    Relaxing near the first "good" pro.
    Relaxing near the first "good" pro.
    Descent by rappel from C'est la Morte. Whistle Stop and C'est la Morte share the same "summit" ledge.
    Descent by rappel from C'est la Morte. Whistle Sto...
    Below the crux.
    Below the crux.
    Anne Carrier, starting the route.
    Anne Carrier, starting the route.
    Anne Carrier seconding C'est la Morte.
    Anne Carrier seconding C'est la Morte.
    Rodger, low on C'est la Morte.
    Rodger, low on C'est la Morte.
    Comments on C'est La Morte Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 8, 2013
    By Charles Vernon
    From: Tucson, AZ
    Jan 1, 2001

    The "easy" climbing goes something like this: after traversing up and left (along a sort of rock stratum, toward Cest la Vie), traverse back right under a small overhang, head up a thin, right leaning crux crack, and then traverse back left to the fixed anchor (near the right margin of the large Cest la Vie dihedral). Bring 2 ropes to rappel.

    By John Keller
    Aug 29, 2001

    The anchors at the top of C'est La Morte and Whistle Stop (they end with the same upper part of the crack and left traverse) are set such that one 165ft rope will get you down... JUST BARELY... to the boulders leaning on the wall. Make sure the ends are even!

    By flynn
    Oct 17, 2002

    Three stars might be a little generous, but it's still a pretty good route. I remember it having an appetite for small, springy things; in other words, TCUs are very helpful. In summer, too, it sports an active hive of small wasps that don't seem particularly aggressive, though they are numerous. Naturally, they're housed very near the crux. The comment about a 50m rope just reaching the 'ledge' is completely accurate. The ends of the rope come through your ATC (or whatever) just as your feet touch. Mind your balance!

    By Ernie Port
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    Jul 2, 2003
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    Cool, exposed moves half way up, as you exit the lower face moving right and connecting with the upper crack. Same finish as Flakes. From the chains, 60m rope took us right to the start with rope to spare.

    By Clint Locks
    From: Boulder
    Jun 24, 2004
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    Remember to protect the second at the end of the climb, before the anchors. It'd be a pretty good swing. By that, of course, I mean a pretty BAD swing.

    By Shane Zentner
    From: Colorado
    Oct 9, 2004
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    Fun climb. I didn't see the 'RP crack' that the guidebook mentioned. A bit cool in the shade, smokin' in the sunlight. This would be a fun winter route.

    By Michael Amato
    Jun 12, 2005

    Devious route, but a lot of fun!

    By Eric Goltz
    From: Boulder, CO
    Oct 27, 2005

    Sweet route, at least as good as C'est la Vie (p1). Don't bother with gear until the undercling. I didn't find RPs necessary... the crack sews up with medium stoppers.

    By Ivan Rezucha
    From: Fort Collins, CO
    Dec 29, 2005
    rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

    A very good variation is to climb the variation left of The Flakes start (the right-angling ramp) to the left edge of the Flakes ledge and then step left to the base of the C'est la Morte crack (see Guy Humphrey's photo, but note that the 2nd and 3rd visible pieces of gear in that photo are on thumpy rock--I didn't use either of those). The rope runs straighter than either the regular C'est la Morte, The Flakes or the regular Flakes start to C'est la Morte. Gear is good. A #3 Camalot at the ledge with a double length sling protects the step left to the base of the C'est la Morte crack, and a #2 Camalot up and left will keep you there (at the base of the crack).

    By Steve "Crusher" Bartlett
    Mar 16, 2007

    In Guy Humphrey's excellent photo, the climber has a piece attached to a long purple runner behind a "thumpy" flake (third piece from bottom of the photo). This flake is AWOL. The reach up into the crack is now a tad harder. Still felt like 5.9-ish, but this felt like the crux move of the pitch.

    By Mike C. Robinson
    From: Rumney, NH
    Apr 22, 2007
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R

    Great Climb! Questionable gear at the start, but it is only 5 or 6 so enjoy it!

    By Jay Eggleston
    From: Littleton
    Jul 21, 2009

    This is a good pitch. It is more engaging than either The Flakes or Whistle Stop.

    By Phil Lauffen
    From: The Bubble
    Sep 26, 2009

    Dude, I got a great #1 Ballnut in behind one of those solid(er) looking rocks in the 5.6 section. Totally bomber. Also, totally nasty rope drag at the top. Be smarter than me. Place long runners on your pieces before moving right around the roof.

    By Rodger Raubach
    Mar 12, 2011
    rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

    I did this route many years ago before some of the loose flakes were "cleaned off." My comment in my notebook was "the lower pro is only as good as the flakes." I'd suggest breaking it into 2 short leads to reduce rope drag. A single 60 meter rope should suffice to get off, and a 70 meter is "no sweat."

    By Ian Cavanaugh
    Mar 8, 2013

    Great route. Use some double length runners on the first half, and rope drag should be just fine.