Fiddler on the Roof
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Good page? (2 likes)
|Type: ||Trad, Sport, 7 pitches, 500 feet, Grade III|
|Consensus: ||5.10c/d [details]|
|FA: ||Dave and Jennifer Wonderly 1990|
|Submitted By: ||AJ on Jan 1, 2005|
Anthony fiddles above the crux moves on the 4th pi...
This fine route climbs up and along the lip of a huge roof on the right side of Black Velvet wall. Sustained climbing on excellent varnish. Every pitch is classic.
P1) 5.9. Start at some scoopy dishes 50' right of Prince of Darkness. Climb up past 3 bolts, then traverse right along horizontal features past 2 more bolts. Very nice rock and moves. A couple cams can be used in an easy crack at the top of the pitch. Bolted rap anchor.
P2) 5.9. Climb a low angle crack into a chimney. Good rock, bolted rap anchor. This pitch is 60' or so and ends on a small but flat ledge. (These first two pitches are shared with The Gobbler.)
P3) 5.10- PG. Climb up to a bolt, then traverse right around a small right facing dihedral. Clip another bolt and continue right. There may be another bolt on this pitch (memory lapse), but at any rate, there are good gear placements. You basically traverse right along the lip of the huge roof on positive holds. It is exciting for both leader and follower, but not dangerous. If you fell though, you could go over the roof and would need to climb the rope to get back on. This pitch is 120' or so and ends at a bolted anchor. Sweet.
P4) 5.10+. The crux pitch climbs straight up on immaculate varnish. There are two bolts low on the pitch, which can be supplemented by wires and TCUs. The first crux is a little further on and is protected by thin gear. There is also a tricky move up higher at the third and final bolt. Another classic pitch. 150' to hanging belay with rap anchor.
P5) 5.10. This pitch climbs straight up past bolts. No gear placements to speak of, so the bolts are a little closer together. 150' to rap anchors.
P6) More face climbing, more bolts.
P7) a shorter bolted pitch ends on Turkey Ledge.
Rappel the route with 2 ropes. Make sure to stay left of the huge roof on pitch 3.
mostly thin, to 2". Quickdraws.
Andrew squeezes up easy chimney on the second pitc...
Andrew about to step out over the massive roof on ...
Brian finishing up on the P3 traverse
Dane Olsen enjoying himself on the 4th pitch
Thor following pitch 1
Thor contemplates the scary traverse!
Traverse pitch (3rd) of Fiddler on the Roof
Fiddler on the roof pitch 5
|Comments on Fiddler on the Roof
From: Sacramento, CA
Feb 18, 2004
3 bolts were replaced by the ASCA in October 2001, one at each of the first three anchors above the roof.
|By david goldstein|
Feb 27, 2004
Most people will probably find this a sandbag at 10+ with one pitch of PG. We felt that all subsequent pitches were about as hairy as P3. In at least one of his guides, Swain rates FOTR 10+ PG/R. Think Prince of Darkness with at best half as many bolts. That said, I found FOTR far more engrossing and satisfying than POD.
|By Max Schon|
Mar 16, 2004
Did this route on 3/12/04. Without a doubt, the best route on Black Velvet Wall, though I haven't done Rock Warrior. Anyways, compared to the other routes on the Black Velvet Wall, this one is very solid for the grade. While its not dangerous, I do think it warrants a "R" rating, if only for the fact that you're looking a factor two fall off of the third and fourth belay. Granted, the climbing isn't very hard getting to the first bolt on the third pitch nor the first bolt on the fourth pitch, but nonetheless, if you blew it, you'd take a factor two fall. Having said that, the route is awesome! I saw some topos that made it seem like one should got up to a bolt on the traverse pitch. I don't think the line goes up to the bolt, but rather directly to the right out to a lone bolt near the lip of the roof. It looks a little improbable and scary, but I think that is the proper line. The fourth pitch has some 15 foot runouts between small stoppers, but the climbing is easy 5.10. The crux is definitely .10+, but there is a bolt about seven feet below, so its not scary.
|By Bill Gibbs|
From: Andover, Ks.
Mar 27, 2004
Did this route April 2003, and loved it even though I took a 30+ foot whipper on the 6th pitch lead when a huge hold broke. My partner and I both agreed that the scary pitch wasn't the 3rd pitch traverse, (which by the way protected just fine), but rather the upper part of the 6th pitch where it is run out over bad gear and out of sight from the belayer after traversing left from the third bolt...all over solid .10 climbing. I also felt the crux fouth pitch was a little hairy over marginal gear to the first bolt, but after that it protected just fine with the crux moves being right after the third bolt. The first two pitches can be run together easily with a 60m rope. Awesome route!!! Better than POD by far. PG for sure but not R. Double/Half ropes are a good choice if you have them.
|By Scott Nelson|
Apr 1, 2004
Awesome route! 3rd pitch is not that scary, the crux is probably halfway across as you toe across the very lip of the roof. P4 is sustained and difficult. You are climbing up on these thin horizontal breaks on polished varnish. P5 & P6 are easier, but still sporty. We simul rapped the wall and got down in maybe 30 mins. A very satisfying day.
May 27, 2004
I attempted this route on May 16th, and have a question, and a comment...
First the question: There looks to be three lines/routes leading up from the Gobbler's 2nd pitch belay, the left line of bolts being the Gobbler's 3rd pitch, the lone bolt way out right (horizontally) being the Fiddler, so what's the middle line of bolts? You can see a line of up to 5 bolts leading up, in a rightward trend, from the belay. One could certainly clip the first bolt, in this line, to help protect the traverse over to the Fiddler's 1st bolt, but I would agree with one of the previous posts that the "inspirational" way to start the Fiddler would be to ignore these (I'm assuming) "technically" off-route (i.e., non-original) bolts. Regardless, I'm curious... said route doesn't seem to be mentioned in any of the guides? Does anyone have any name/pitch count/beta for this line/route? It would seem that ultimately it would have to run into the Fiddler higher up?
Thanks in advance for any beta.
Second the comment: I say I "attempted" this route because my partner drew the 3rd pitch traverse, and took a fall from around 50ft out, one move before getting to some big chalked holds? A green Alien held the approximate 12 footer. While one/we would assume that a fall from the traverse would be clean, being over a roof and all, his definitely was not... he ended up slamming into the edge of the roof, and hurting his ass/hip pretty good in the process... contrary to "reputation", he COULD get back on, and didn't need prussiks, although he had some, as conventional wisdom/local beta had suggested. I guess it depends from where at in the traverse you fall? Anyway, thought some might find this anecdote amusing, and was wondering if anyone else had any "fall stories" from off of the arch?
As for my partner, he appreciates a good "fall story", even at his own expense... I won't brag on him, because that WOULD piss him off, but suffice to say that he's had some seriously outrageous days on the Velvet Wall! Pitching off of a 5.9 traverse was simply Mother Nature's way of collecting her due.
While my partner field checked his injury, I led up the 3rd pitch of the Gobbler, rendered aid to a team rapping Turkeys who had got their ropes infinitely stuck in the 4th pitch crack (a knife sometimes comes in handy), then rapped down and cleaned our gear from off of the traverse... I guess in a way, we all rapped down somewhat defeated... can't wait for a rematch.
|By Max Schon|
Oct 15, 2004
Other people have told me the bolt line that goes straight up from the Gobbler belay is an 5.10+/.11- variation that connects back with DOWT.
|By chad umbel|
Jan 1, 2006
My brother and I climbed the pitch directly above the gobbler belay and also thought it was at least 5.10+. Very sustained climbing on small holds.
From: Sacramento, CA
May 14, 2006
rating: 5.10c/d PG13
This is a great route with an appropriate number of bolts. Definately not a Urioste route.
A few details. I found the route engaging but safe and of high quality. I beleive the correct rack would include a set of nuts and a double set of cams up to .75 camalot with one #1 and one #2 camalots. No brass nuts are necessary. The traversing 3rd pitch only has one section where there is a danger of falling off the The 6th and 7th pitches require only long draws but no traditional pro. Expect longer runnouts on easier ground but bolts protecting the harder sections and cruxes of the route. Watch for the rope snagging on the second pitch of the gobbler.
|By Anthony Anagnostou|
May 15, 2006
ha! i will be the anti-karsten. i climbed as a second party right behind him, and as the token pansy of the team, have these comments to make:
i got in several decent trad pieces on the upper pitches which made things a bit less hairy. a bit. there are big runouts off many belays, and many big-swing fall potentials. the third (roof traverse) pitch is scarier for the second. i would not consider the route 'safe', but then- if you aren't up to the climbing on the upper scary stuff, you'll probably get shut down early and figure things out. if you felt ok on the traverse, you'll be fine for the rest of the climb. i think the lead on p6 is the scariest, uh, i mean, 'engaging'. stuff a sling into the pinching crack on p2 and save yourself an epic on lead (ive seen it!).
|By Tony B|
From: Around Boulder, CO
May 15, 2006
A little over a decade ago, I caught a partner who pealed of on the roof traverse. After the 60+ foot fall, a small (#1?) DMM wallnut caught him, though he had a good tricam right below that too. This ended in a broken wrist, a mini-rescue (We did it ourselves) and then surgery and physical rehab.
John had just lead Yakk Crack a few days before and also followed Ixtalan the day before- he had 'confidence' in sending this. But faced with the mental challenges of the route, melted down, then melted off.
Moral of the story is to get your head straight or get hurt. This route is not 'casual.'
From: Sacramento, CA
Jun 25, 2006
rating: 5.10c/d PG13
Yes, there is potential for injury on this route as with almost any route. Tony, I never like hearing about accidents. While I am glad your friend is ok I believe his "confidence" was ill-placed. TRing a 5.11 and leading a 40ft notoriously soft sport climb are not adequate preparation for a route like this. I would recommend leading several single pitch 5.10 trad and mixed routes before climbing a route like this. While the cruxes of Fiddler are not too bad the overall climbing stays consistent until the top. It is not a beginner route or even a route to push your grades. The gear and bolts are enough to keep you from serious injury. That being said you must come in with a competance of climbing and a mastery of gear placing skills.
Too often people these days feel that routes are not "safe" unless you can fall at any point and be assured that absolutely nothing will happen to you. On this route for example if you are able to lead .10d moves you'll have no trouble pulling through the more runnout but easier .8 and .9 sections. The roof has one section of tricky footwork on small slippery holds and up higher on the route there is easier terrain where if you fell at the wrong spot you could take a clean but fairly big 50-60ft ride.
I believe the fun moves, great rock, and spice that this route provides makes it a noteworthy and proud climb. It's not a bolt pulling hangdogfest like the sport routes to its left.
|By Killing In The Name Of|
Mar 27, 2007
There seems to be a lot of confusion put forth on this page as to the origin of the bolt line between P3 of the Gobbler and the traversing pitch on Fiddler. Anyone check the most recent guidebook? It's right there, but I'll save some time: "18 Year MacAllen" is guidebook 5.11d, three pitches, 1st two shared with the Gobbler. Mostly bolts, some small gear, put up by Randy Marsh and Pier Locatelli. I won't comment on the grade as I've only climbed the first half of this one by accident, thinking I was on the Gobbler-the traverse out to the other route made for some serious rope drag.
|By Danny Inman|
Apr 24, 2008
rating: 5.10d R
Compared to other routes of similar grade on BV, the Fiddler is more solid, more sustained, and more exposed. I thought this climb was outstanding for many reasons. After the first two pitches of the Gobbler, the climbing feels pretty bold, partly due to the position and partey due to the spacing of gear. I gave the route an R for the traverse pitch, the other pitches are PG-pretty safe with some big air potential. There may be some confusion from the guidebooks on the number of bolts on the traverse pitch-two books indicated 4 bolts, one book indicated 2. We found two: one shortly after entering the R-facing corner and one about 20 feet from the belay (after the crux); however, good gear can be had just before the meat of the traverse.
|By Brian Weinstein|
Apr 25, 2008
rating: 5.10d R
Definitely runout at the roof. This route is incredible because it seems so improbable. Pitch 4 is up there as the single best pitch of face climbing I have ever done.
Jun 22, 2008
Best route that I have ever done. BOLD< SCARY< AIRY< AWESOME MOVES< GREAT STONE.
Pitch 3 was my lead and lived up to the name and reputation.
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 29, 2008
One of the best routes in Red Rocks with little yawm potential (ok maybe p.1). I think that pitch 6 was the scariest, the last bolt and the journey from there to the anchor required some mental fortitude. Good warm-up for more serious climbs. I never felt any "cruxes" as I was more focused on getting in gear or to the next bolt. It could have been 5.6 or 5.11
|By Tim Wolfe|
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jan 20, 2010
rating: 5.10+ PG13
Sporty - fair distance between bolts so keeps you very focused. Pitch 4 is the crux. Pitch 6 you can sneak around the blankness to the left and reach right for the clip. Probably the best route on the main Black Velvet wall.
Mar 16, 2010
I've never done this route, but I have a story to add for those thinking about climbing it. Several years ago, a close friend and I were on DOWT, and as we finished the third pitch, a guy on Fiddler's peeled off, whipped around the roof and cracked his head open on the wall. Cracked his head OPEN.
We had to do a tension traverse to get him back to his partner, since he was barely conscious and hanging in open air. Blood everywhere, had to call flight-for-life, the whole nine yards. He wound up with brain damage. (He wasn't wearing a helmet; I bought my first brain bucket the very next day.)
Since I've never climbed the route, I have no idea exactly how safe it is or how unsafe it is. All I know is that he took a 60-footer and split his head open. Moral of the story is be careful to not go off route (if there is good gear) and don't climb it unless you're a solid 5.10 leader.
|By John Wilder|
From: Las Vegas, NV
May 4, 2010
rating: 5.10c/d PG13
One of the best routes in Red Rock, imho- the crux fourth pitch is likely the best pitch of 5.10 face climbing i've done in the park- and its certainly not run-out.
The only significant run-outs on this route are on the traverse pitch and the 6th and 7th pitches as noted above- the traverse protects, but marginally at times. The potential for big falls onto anchor exists on all pitches.
Rock quality is a concern on the 6th and 7th pitches, so be mindful. Also be mindful of the aging bolts on this route. They are all big stud bolts, but are rusting and need to be replaced in the not too distant future.
All in all an outstanding route that is sure to engage the 5.10 leader fully and reward him/her with some of the best climbing in the park.
|By Richard DeCredico|
Mar 21, 2011
One of the more serious climbs this mortal fool has done in this grade, anywhere. Fantastic climbing, but far from a 'safe outing' for the typical fakebadass 5.10 leader like myself....
Oct 29, 2011
This superb route is either run-out or hard, but generally not both at the same time. You want to be solid on 5.11- to do this: while the route maxes at 10+, it is heady, and falling is not an option in a few places, and then there is the insane position on the traverse pitch.
The first time I did it, my second whipped off the roof. It's a safe fall (there is bomber gear in the middle of the traverse). But the second MUST have prussiks/tiblocs etc, cos the only way out is to climb up the rope. And wear a helmet!
Addendum: i climbed this in 2005 and 5 days ago. It's getting harder...there are more broken holds, smoothet edges, etc. Great route tho.
Mar 20, 2013
Disclaimer: The following is in regards only to the end of pitch 4. We bailed after that.
- *THE BELOW CONTAINS ONSIGHT BETA SPOILERS. STOP READING NOW IF YOU DON'T WANT THEM!**
After reading the comments here, I expected this route to be much harder / scarier than it actually was.
Pitch #1 is a 5.9 slab climb of Yosemite caliber (minus the runouts).
Pitch #2 has a CRAZY move off a small ledge to gain the chimney (perfectly protected by the bolt). If, like me, you have big fat fingers, and a less than 72" wingspan, it's going to seem a little desperate. Take off any backpack you're wearing, and move that and all your gear to a sling on whatever side you plan to have facing out (neither of which I actually did).
The roof traverse pitch is, IMO totally chill, with the exception of the crux move around the arete under the small roof you encounter before moving up a crack and then traversing over the giant roof. Don't go up too high before starting to move to the right. The bolt under the little roof should be at eye level. If you crane your neck and look around the arete below the small roof, you will see a slab with chalked up solution pockets (and teeny smear ramp and dishes for feet). This is what you are shooting for.
Once you pass that, the movement is, IMO, pretty easy and there is plenty of places for gear. If the second is in danger of falling below the roof lip, then IMO, the leader should be flogged with a cat-o-nine tails with leeper hooks at the ends.
Pitch #4 is pure bliss. There's a long distance to the first bolt, but the climbing is barely 5.9 and there's a good placement in a horizontal well before you get there which will keep you from pasting your belayer.
After that comes crux #1, which is about 5.10b but is well protected by a multitude of small wires / lowe balls in horizontals.
The actual crux (which I whipped off of at the exit) is protected by bolt #3 which is about 8 - 10 feet to your right and down slightly. The key to this crux is to go slightly left of the bolt, then up past a left facing slopey(ish) side pull, into small horizontals, then left some more with the final reach being left and *up* to a good ear, then swing your left foot around the corner. It's a bit of a stretch with your feet on some pretty small edges and your right hand locked off. I am 5'9" and I was at nearly full extension.
^^^ Do *not* reach directly left for the chalked up sloper. This thing is slick as hell. It's what I was trying to use when I fell off. There's a good sidepull / ear about 1-2 feet above it. Use that.
Pitch 4 is one of the best less than vertical faces I have ever been on. This is a pure footwork climb. If your arms are getting tired, but your feet and calves are not, you are doing something very wrong because there are no hands / barely holding on one hand rests everywhere (but your calves WILL be working hard).
Pitch 4 is NOT like any of the other face routes on BV wall in that you cannot just pick any of a dozen hand and footholds at any given time. You must use some very specific sequences to make progress through thin sections, where you will then be rewarded with a good rest and good gear. The good holds are often horizontals that you cannot see until you pull up to them. The rock quality on p4 is absolutely immaculate.
If your edging skills and footwork are up to snuff, you'll have fun pretty much the whole way, and should only feel tense while pulling the one crux on p3 and the 2 cruxes on p4. If you don't trust small gear and are not great at standing on your feet, you might have a stressful time through all of it.
With the exception of the one crux move on pitch 4, good stiff shoes and strong calves mean you can hang out all day on 95% of the route. Again, your arms should not be getting very tired at all.
This route gets 7 thumbs up!
From: Mojave, CA
Mar 25, 2013
rating: 5.10+ PG13
I recommend using half ropes if you have them. The gear is solid, but spaced. Pitch 6 & 7 belays have rap slings, but no rap rings like the other lower belays. Of the two, Pitch 7 slings need the most attention... Or just bring some quick links with you (I should have).
Most importantly, I was consistently amazed and happy with how the first ascentionists followed their line. Gear shows up at the most random times in very sequential places. And the lack of bolts is a nice contrast to the other routes on the wall. A proud line. This one is special.