North Wing Center
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Brian Nearing the end of our third of four pitches...
This route goes up the center of the North Devil's Wing for several hundred feet before joining the Northwest Ridge of the North Wing to the summit. It is a good route with solid stone. The route starts from the point of rock ~20 meters due west (nearest to) of the summit of The Keel and rises up and left on a distinct leaning crack system. After a few hundred feet this system gets clogged with shrubs and dirt, at which point you go just right (North) onto the next face over and continue to climb up and left on that face. This is repeated until you reach the summit ridge- which is followed past some false summits to the true summit, perhaps 800' of climbing in all.
The true summit has a large boulder marking it, just to the West, with a towering and steep North face. To escape, down-climb to a notch and scramble west to this tower. To go back to the trail, go North down to a talus field, E/SE between the Wings and the Rudder, then back up W/SW between the Keel and the Wings, then down from there, South of the Keel toward the Sphinx on its North side, then East to the Mesa Trail.
These directions should not be taken lightly or capriciously unless you wish to end up in the narrow slot to the North, between the Keel and the South Shanahan Rocks... with the company of a mother bear and her cubs.
Note that there is no Eastward path down on the South side of the Wings- They are "cliffed out."
Eds. this appears to be the 5th wing counting from the left.
Start in a left-leaning crack that ascends up the center of the North Wing, just behind the summit of The Keel.
Although we soloed this route, I did make note that it appeared a standard Flatirons rack (cams and nuts with long slings) could protect the route as well as similar east face routes.
May 30, 2010
Warning, the write up above is very misleading. In May 2010 we headed up the "good route with solid stone" and you will need to bring some gardening tools to find the rock under the lichen. I don't know if it was early season and perhaps in mid summer the rock may be cleaner, but the first pitch and half was more green mossy growth than rock. Also, the rock is not that good of quality--what pro we did place didn't build any confidence.
By Jamie Princo
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 18, 2010
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Seems like a seasonal thing to me. We were on the North Wing Friday(7/18), and while there were places with lichen, its presence was never disturbing. Overall, it was cleaner than I hoped. Then again, all the cracks seemed to be leaning left in my eyes, and our three parties could have all been on different lines.
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 31, 2010
Rather than hike back down from the the top of the climb, we scrambled West/Northwest to the ridge-top where we joined the trail to Bear Peak. This allowed us to make an aesthetic circuit of the Keel, North Devil's Wing, and Bear Peak. We hiked out on the Fern Canyon trail.