You & This Route
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The first pitch of this climb is excellent; the rest is so-so. It has a rather wild feel and makes for a good mountaineering, practice climb. The Rossiter guide describes this as a two-pitch climb, with the second pitch as an 5.6 "open book", but we didn't find this to be accurate.
P1: Pull over a small bush, and climb the high-quality, right-facing dihedral. A sturdy-looking cable provides a rap station at the top of the pitch. 5.7, ~90-100 feet.
P2: Ease right around the corner above the belay, then up a steep, well-featured face. After a few moves, traverse right on a lichenous slab to gain a shallow, left-facing corner. Pull over a modest bulge (5.8), and continue up the steep face and corner for another 50 feet or so. Set a cramped but very scenic belay under a roof.
P3: Tiptoe out onto an airy face and pass the roof to the left (5.7+). Continue up the face (5.6-5.7), traversing left as necessary to stay on easy gound. The rock here is somewhat crumbly. Climb an easy right-facing corner and belay on the summit. 100 feet. Beware of loose rock. Take in the truly awesome view of RMNP: everything from Mt. Meeker to Signal Mountain.
Possible Variations: The wide crack above the first belay looks possible. It would take big gear and would probably go at about 5.9. The roof above the second belay can be done directly on the left via a hand crack (about 5.9) or on the right by a difficult-looking offwidth (5.10?). There is also an old fixed pin above the first belay, but the terrain above is not known.
The start is about 100 feet northeast of Enos Mills' Last Erection. A small bush at the bottom of the prominent dihedral indicates the start.
Descent is per Grey Slab description.
Standard rack is sufficient; an extra #3 Camalot is helpful but not strictly necessary. Protection is adequate on the first two pitches but becomes a bit sparse in the easy ground near the top. Caution: be sure to test all holds on the upper pitches before weighting them; the rock is weathered and fragile in places.
By John Korfmacher
From: Fort Collins, CO
May 30, 2007
Climbed 5/28/07. The upper two pitches of the climb do not really resemble the sparse description that I read in the guidebook. I suppose it's possible that we were not even on the established route--if anyone's done this route or has any other beta, it would be appreciated.
Props to S. Costello for quality work as second.