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BETA PHOTO: The Owls West face routes.
Perhaps not as well known as Anaconda
. Autumn Mist is a fine outing including an airy roof on P2.
NOTE: some crazy hard climber is working (or may have already freed) the FFA on P1 of this climb. So, you should know.... The anchors have been moved to facilitate a more convenient TR anchor. However... for lazy aid climbers such as myself, it is now more challenging to reach the start of P2. without a stickclip. More info below.
P1. C1+, some people end up aiding the rotten crack out right. However, if you're looking to climb the three star route, make sure you aid the thin cracks on the face just left of this rotten crack. So, scramble up the spike of rock just to the right of Central Chimney
, and climb up thin cracks on great rock until forced into the rotten crack (which isn't too rotten at this point). Continue up to the new anchors. 90 feet.
P2. C2+/C3-, from the new anchor, you need to get up and right to an old bolt which leads to the roof, but the old bolt is now a little way away. One way to do it is with a large hook and a long runner. Swing the runner with the hook on the end at the hanger. This may take a while, but it's better than rapping. Otherwise, bring a stick clip. Anyway, once you've gained the single bolt, aid out the roof using your smallest TCUs and RPs until better (more secure) gear is reached. Climbers with belay slaves may want to belay shortly after the roof due to rope drag. 30 feet. Rope soloers may easily continue onward.
P3. 5.7 C2, pitch three is a mystery to me. The guide books show to go straight up keeping to the left of Viper but it looks mighty unlikely. I went up and right joining Viper at its old A4 crux. After finishing, I even rapped back down to scope out this supposed finish to Autumn Mist, and it looked pretty dang bleak. If someone has actually done this, I'd love to hear about it. So, correct me if I'm wrong, but I would finish on Viper (see Viper C3-). It seemed like the only choice to me.
Standard clean aid rack with some extra thin stuff for the roof on P2. Doubles from #00 TCUs (and/or Aliens) to #3 Camalots, one #4 Camalot, two sets stoppers, tricams, two #1 Lowe balls, RPs, HBs. Also, because of an anchor movement on P1 you may want a stick clip or a large hook.
Per Eli Helmuth
: Autumn Mist as a 60’ free climb starts on the right edge of the Central Chimney
on top of a couple of blocks which can be easily 3rd classed to the top of from the left. It is recommended to maximize the amount of rope in the system by placing the belayer at the bottom of the 30’ high slab, down and right of the route so that there is as much rope as possible in the system to make for a more dynamic catch if necessary. The route consists of multiple thin cruxes in the first 25’ of varnished brown rock, which are protected at first by medium cams, then very thin nuts which are difficult to find on lead. The route trends left until reaching a decent rest at the edge of the chimney, before a 10’ traverse right takes one into the obvious lighter colored flared crack which starts at the bottom of the buttress. One of the cruxes is getting established into this flared crack. I used superglue on my right pinkie to keep from ripping it off in the initial thin jam, as tape made the fingers too large to fit. Medium nuts and cams protect the remaining 40’ to the anchor which require a bit of endurance and 5.12 crack climbing skills. The 13a rating reflects the endurance and onsight skills required to lead this sustained pitch that seems significantly harder than any of the 12+ or 13a routes in the Estes Valley, including El Camino Real
, Renaissance Wall
, Heavenly Daze
or The Wasp
. A bolted anchor at the top with quick links makes for an easy lower or TR.
By Eli Helmuth
From: Estes Park, CO
Aug 31, 2004
rating: 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c C0
Roy Leggett free climbed this route pinkpoint style (all gear pre-placed) on August 11th of 2004. Tommy Caldwell apparently flashed this pitch some time in 2008?
By Roy Leggett
Sep 7, 2004
rating: 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b C2 PG13
I'm not very good at the rating game, but after talking with some folk who have tried it and after doing the route...I'm thinking mid/hard 12. I'm psyched to try it placing the gear and for other folks to get on it and see what they think. [It's] a great route.
By Timmy! Tormey
From: Fakeville, USA
Feb 8, 2005
On the start of the second pitch, you can get a good hook move in before the first bolt. I faintly remember it being a reach from the hook to the bolt. Even with the reach it is probably quicker and easier than trying to swing a hook at the hanger. Either way, she is a beauty!!! Enjoy!!!!