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Ixtlan (aka Ixtalan, Journey to Ixtlan) is a unique climb that every person who has ever walked into Black Velvet has ogled. It tops out on Whiskey Peak, but almost everybody (including me) stops at the top of the three short initial pitches, each memorable.
P1) climb thin steep face past several fat bolts to a stance, then traverse right to a station. short pitch. 70'? 5.11c. no trad gear necessary.
P2) up the flake system. really fun climbing for another short pitch. 90'? easy 5.10. pro is finicky and technical. i appreciated big nuts and small/med hexes.
P3) move past a short section of easy wide crack into a few yards of full-value offwidth (5.10) with bolts on the face. pull up to juggy rails at the overhang and it's all over. if you dont have huge cams, dont bother bringing gear on this pitch. there is nothing above the roof except 5.easy face to a comfy station.
Find Triassic Sands, and walk climber's left a dozen yards to a face with lots of bolts arching up and right to a flake. Seriously, though.. You can't miss this route.
Rap each pitch. A 70m will get you from P2 to the ground on stretch.
A single rack to #3 camalot is probably fine for most folks. One might consider tossing in some small to hand size hexes which can make up some of the best pro you'll get on parts of the second pitch. Finally, for the wide crack at the top, you could bring a 4, 5, and 6 and probably climb the thing with pro over your head the whole way. however, the bolts are quite reasonable up there so cams are not necessary.
the first two stations are not my all-time favorites. the first station's bolts are about four inches apart, which is annoying for the short period where both of you are hanging. the second station has one bolt in an almost-detached block, although you could put a #3.5 or #4 in to beef it up a little.
Ixtlan. Pitch 1. Crux.
Ixtlan. Pitch 2. The pitch is run-out without big ...
Ixtlan. Pitch 3 off-width. Next time I'd bring a @...
Photo by Brian Cooper
|By Anthony Stout|
From: Albuquerque, NM
Dec 7, 2006
To avoid the hanging belay on the first pitch(I hate hanging belays!):
Lead through the first pitch on draws (not taking gear through the 5.11 section). Clip into the anchor and lower the end of the rope down and have your partner attach your rack. Continue through the 5.10 crack and belay your partner through the first two pitches from the second pitch.
The offwidth kicked my ass! Certainly not my specialty as I have not had a lot of practice with offwidth technique. Also, a #5 will not do it, the damn thing opened right up. Use a number 6 if you want to protect it. I chickened out (even though the pro was quite reasonable), and stepped into a sling, aiding through the wide part.
|By Jer Collins|
Mar 18, 2007
FWIW, the three pitches on this line can be lead as one.
|By Josh Audrey|
From: LAS VEGAS
May 14, 2007
there is also a direct line for the first pitch, that the Brock/Mcmillen book lists as 12a. my partner and i did this first pitch the other day and it seemed a little harder than 12a, but far be it from the Brock/Mcmillen book to be wrong. the first bolt is pretty high with crux like moves below it, we threw in a .5 camalot and glad we did cause i popped right below the bolt.
|By John Wilder|
From: Las Vegas, NV
May 15, 2007
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- E4 6a
Really good- bring a 70m and do this as one pitch, but rack up at the bottom- dont hang at the first belay and tag up the rack....
I'd say the .11c is right on for the first pitch, i'd call the second and third pitch .10ish- not as bad as they could have been.
those bolts, btw, are no good. the 3/8" bolt is a urioste- just as bad as the 1/4" ones. bring some pro for the upper part- a #6 should do it.
From: Boise, ID
Oct 29, 2008
The first pitch is a good sport route to round out your day if time is short .The 12a sport route to the right is really good too.
From: Petaluma California
Apr 3, 2010
I did the whole route and found it mostly enjoyable. The bolts higher are mostly old. I needed to do 9 pitches rather than 8, with the last two being each about 150 ft with short sections of 10A. There are no fixed belays for the last two pitches. Second pitch protects poorly with cams or nuts. Hexes would hel--or it is a hand sized crack--run it out.
Apr 25, 2013
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- E4 5c
camalot #6 fits perfectly for the third pitch to back the bolts.
|By Jordan Moore|
Dec 1, 2013
I agree, #6 šamalot is perfect for backing up the bolts. There is a very short section before the first bolt where a #4 would fit but is on easy climbing, then you're on #6 chicken wing terrain. I thought it was very well protected. Enjoy!