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Penitente - Inner Canyon
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How The West Was Won 
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Unsorted Routes:

How The West Was Won 

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

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Jay Fredinburg, 1992
Page Views: 4,787
Submitted By: Richard M. Wright on Nov 26, 2001
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You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (91)
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ABS strings it up.


Follow the main drainage that enters the canyon from the right at Captain America. As the drainage narrows down, head for the huecoed wall at the end - this may entail scrambling around the streamlet that can run a bit of water in the spring. Excellent hueco climbing to a thin slab await. This line comes well recommended as a rationally bolted moderate on solid rock that provides a good a good introduction to pocket climbing.


A handful of draws and a rope.

Photos of How The West Was Won Slideshow Add Photo
Brice W. cruising How the West Was Won.
Brice W. cruising How the West Was Won.
How The West Was Won 5/21/2005.
BETA PHOTO: How The West Was Won 5/21/2005.
You can see the first bolt here.  The start is still a good 6' or so out of the photo.
BETA PHOTO: You can see the first bolt here. The start is sti...
Adam checks out the huecos.
Adam checks out the huecos.
Jonny about to rap.
Jonny about to rap.
Adam back to crimping just below the anchor.
Adam back to crimping just below the anchor.
The main arete.
The main arete.
G milbourne toping out.
G milbourne toping out.
Climber on How The West Was Won as viewed from the main canyon.
Climber on How The West Was Won as viewed from the...
Tristan Hechtel flashes How the West Was Won. Photo by Sibylle
Tristan Hechtel flashes How the West Was Won. Phot...
How the West Was Won.
How the West Was Won.
At the start.
At the start.
April belaying Ty on How the West Was Won.
April belaying Ty on How the West Was Won.
Comments on How The West Was Won Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 15, 2012
By Larry Earley
From: Los Alamos, NM
Jul 3, 2003

Nice climb but short. One of the few easier climbs at Penitente. Start is crux. Good warmup climb.

By Ryan Olson
Nov 20, 2003

I thought this was a great route and it was my first lead out side. The big incut huecos make it a great beginner climb.

By tim naylor
Mar 22, 2004

A bit sporty at the start without a stick clip.

By tim naylor
Mar 25, 2004

Does anyone know route name & grade of route 10' to the south. .11a?ish.

By Anonymous Coward
May 25, 2004

Funny coincidence, I was just there this past weekend and we noticed an excellent bolted line on a cliff just behind the belay stance for HTWWW. It felt 11a-ish to me as well, with some nice powerful (relatively for penitente, at least) moves up two short steep faces, and a thin-feet diagonal rightward traverse connecting them. Recommended, but perhaps do two warmup laps on HTWWW before bearing down on this one's crimpers. Oh, and by the way, I thought HTWWW was an excellent warmup or easy-moderate lead (with stick clip for beginning leaders). Beautiful location, too, in a little winding side canyon with a porthole arch in the cliff above.

By courtney.vogt
From: Denver, Colorado
Sep 18, 2006

"Heads up" - I thought the first bolt was WAY up there. Still, a fun climb all the way up.

By Mike Anderson
From: Dayton, OH
Oct 26, 2006

Some pencil-dik stole one of the chains off this route. If you find this person, be sure to slash his tires for me!

By Chris Wenker
From: Santa Fe
May 18, 2008

I got a good black Powercam placement in a left-hand hueco from an easy low stance. That should CYA to nearly the first bolt. (but Camalots are too wide for those pockets).

By Jesse Morehouse
From: CO
May 25, 2008
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a

One of the better 5.9 climbs in the canyon that, like most of them, was not bolted for a 5.9 leader. I guess it is incentive to step up to higher grades because 5.12 climbers on 5.12 climbs are apparently at greater risk than 5.9 climbers on 5.9 routes!

By Gary Schmidt
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 14, 2009

Maybe a little soft for 5.9 (actually rated 5.8+ in the Colorado guidebook). But that first bolt is a very long ways up there and it is not a gimmee to get there. Very fun climb.

By Ben Cassedy
From: Denver, CO
Sep 6, 2010
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI HVS 4c

Super fun route, each hold better than the last. I didn't find the upper slab 'thin' either - positive holds up there, too.

I followed the guidebook's suggestion of belaying from up top. The anchors are plenty beefy - it was just a fun walkoff in a cool setting.

By Mike Smyth
From: Spartanburg, SC
May 29, 2012

That first bolt is still a ways up. I showed it some stick clip love. I would guess it's about 15-17' up to the first. It's doable on the lead, but stick clipping that first one sure does make you feel better about it.

By Hiro
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 15, 2012

Fun climb, surprisingly pumpy, although you have plenty of places to rest. I agree, what's up with the super high first bolt? The holds are decent for the start, except deciding which to use, climb purposefully until you get that bolt!