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Deep Space 

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

Type:  Trad, 8 pitches, 800', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Joe Herbst and Larry Hamilton, May 1975
Page Views: 3,009
Submitted By: L. Hamilton on Mar 4, 2004

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (8)
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Joe Herbst starts the wide stemming section on Pit...

Climbing in Red Rocks after heavy rain can permanently damage the rock! MORE INFO >>>


Air temperatures rose well past 100 degrees on the day of the first ascent, but the chimney stayed cool -- hence the route's name. Offbeat and varied, moderate climbing. See Urioste guide for a photo showing the approximate location.

Begin in a deep chimney on the NE side of Mescalito. After two pitches of easy climbing, the chimney widens.Pitch 3 -- Stem the wide chimney to reach a jam crack on the right wall, pass a small roof and belay (5.9).Pitch 4 -- Face climbing leads up and left to a shelf. Belay below an offwidth crack (5.9). An old piton, predating the first ascent, used to exist on this pitch.Pitch 5 -- The offwidth crack.Easier climbing continues for hundreds of feet, eventually moving left into a long hand-sized crack. One final pitch achieves the summit of Mescalito.


No fixed anchors. The FA party took one set each of hexes and stoppers.

Photos of Deep Space Slideshow Add Photo
Larry Hamilton on the first ascent of Deep Space. ...
Larry Hamilton on the first ascent of Deep Space. ...
Routes on east face of Mescalito.
BETA PHOTO: Routes on east face of Mescalito.
Don't slip. Deep Space March 2014.   Photo: Kyle W...
Don't slip. Deep Space March 2014. Photo: Kyle W...

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By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Dec 7, 2004
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

This is a really great route. Larry D'Angelo and I did this route a month or so ago and I have to hand it to Joe and Larry H. for the first ascent. This route is 'bold' in a great way. The piton is still there, looking rather mangy, but luckily, there's a nice cam placement next to it. Again, great route!
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Mar 6, 2005
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

This is a neat and challenging route for those looking for a more challenging way to the summit of Mescalito. The 5.9 stemming chimney is very serious and the runout is a long one.

Bring gear to a #4 camalot, as I recall, and a couple of small to medium tricams for the odd pocket.
By Tricamus
From: Culver City, CA
Apr 24, 2012

We did the chimney pitch differently. Deeper in the chimney there is a great (although sandy and somewhat brittle) hand crack in the back left. Jamming and stemming will take you to the roof where you can transfer sides to work your way out of the long horizontal roof. Pro is pretty good, so it skips the "R" rating of the conventional route but adds technical difficulty (5.10+). However, a heady PG13 traverse out of the chimney is dependent on small gear and added rope drag.

Overall, really fun pitch for the chimney lovers out there. Sorry, no photos to add. I was too busy catching my breath.
By Josh Janes
5 days ago

"An old piton, predating the first ascent, used to exist on this pitch."

An old piton, predating the first complete ascent?
An old piton, predating the first free ascent?
Was there other evidence of passage or of a bail anchor? If not, would it be safe to assume the first ascent had already happened (certainly the first four pitches had already been done)?
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
5 days ago
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Regarding the old piton-as memory serves, there are actually several fixed pins on the route- the one in question is above the crux chimney, but below more hard climbing (also 5.9), and it's certainly likely that if whomever placed it got that far, they could have quite possibly summited as the spooky climbing is behind you at that point, although the real route finding begins not far above that piton.

Below the piton there are, if i recall correctly, enough drilled angles to get down from the base of the crux chimney to the top of that hill with a single 60m line- can't remember if it's 2 or 3 anchors worth. This could mean a path of retreat for the party that first explored it- the pitons location is such that its also likely the party could have lowered off that pin back to the base of the chimney, then drilled enough angles to get back down safely. Or those angles could have been placed later after Larry and Joe's completed ascent.

It's a good question as to whether Deep Space had been done in its entirety before Larry and Joe got to it. Honestly, after having done the route, I'd be curious if any one of the very few parties to have repeated it followed the exact line that they did- perhaps there are more pins above, just placed left or right far enough that they haven't been spotted?
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