Ecstasy of the People
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Ecstasy of the People.
This beautiful arete hangs proudly over the trail to Upper Security Risk, yet few people bother to look at it, and even fewer try it. However, those willing to step off the beaten path will be rewarded with great rock, unique movement, and a formidable mental challenge.
Start up a dirty corner to the left of the first bolt (stick clip recommended). Once level with the first bolt, traverse right into the first crux along sidepulls with high, awkward feet past three bolts to decent holds at the base of the arete. Using the seam on the right side of the arete and small features on the left, hug your way past a difficult arete crux to a semi-restful stance below the last crux. With smeary feet, squeeze between the arete and a disappointingly slopey feature to delicately gain the slab. The final 25 feet of the route is 5.8 and can be protected with finger-sized cams.
In general, expect technical, off-balance climbing with slightly difficult clips. The route missed four star status, because it's a bit dirty and the rock isn't perfect at the first bolt. Despite its shortcomings, this is one of the best arete climbs in the canyon.
Also, beware of a very large, loose block just below the anchors.
Bolts and a two bolt anchor. I recommend a stick clip for the first bolt and some finger-sized gear for the top.
By Taylor Roy
From: Knoxville, TN
Nov 9, 2012
Spent an hour scrubbing lichen and removing loose rock today. This thing is ready to go!
By Mark Rolofson
Apr 12, 2015
This is a very odd comment by Taylor Roy. I established the route on March 9, 1995. I redpointed it twice that month. I also cleaned a lot of lichen. It is hard to believe you could spend a hour more, but I guess it is possible. I also don't remember leaving a loose block below the anchor. I am curious now if the block is really loose or just a hollow flake. Perhaps it is too big to want to trundle. As for placing gear, it didn't seem necessary if you can climb this route.
It is interesting that you don't bother to list the first ascent. I originally tried to establish this route via its direct start, Agony Of The People, but was unsuccessful. So I finally bolted the indirect start that the line takes. The route is quite sustained, but I thought the crux was around 4th & 5th bolts using the edge of the vertical seam on the right side of the arête to lieback on while palming with my left hand & pasting my left foot flat on the left side. Pillar climbing technique used on buildings. A memorable route that I have not revisited in 20 years.