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Orange Clonus 

YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b

   
Type:  Trad, 4 pitches, 600'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: 
Season: Early or Late Red Rocks Season
Page Views: 4,581
Submitted By: Darshan Ahluwalia on Jan 23, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (34)
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BETA PHOTO: As requested, here's the line of Orange Clonus.

Description 

Orange Clonus is a wonderful traditional multipitch climb. It has a good variety of face and crack climbing with excellent position and exposure. Also a plus, all belays are on huge ledges if done in 4 pitches. The heart of the route is a huge 200 foot widening splitter which may be done in as little as 1 pitch or in as many as 3 which is what the guidebook suggests. The nature of the climbing and the non-trivial descent make for a fun adventure.

P1 (100ft, 10d): The first pitch is the technical crux of the route. Climb the clean varnished dihedral past 5 bolts to a small ledge (10d). Continue up the corner on more fragile rock to a big ledge with a tree (5.7).

P2 (150 ft, 5.5R): Carefully climb the very delicate and runout face for 20 feet until you reach a wide crack which you can chimney inside. Continue until you reach an enormous ledge at the base of a chimney. Belay with a great view.

P3 (80ft, 5.8): Avoid the ugly chimney by going straight up the steep face (5.8) to a ledge system. Walk rightwards across the ledge, battling trees and other desert flora (2nd class). Belay underneath the obvious crack system.

P4 (200ft, 10d): The heart of the route. Climb the widening splitter crack for 200 feet. The pitch ends when the crack ends, at a huge ledge. (Alternatively, this pitch may be broken into three pitches as the guidebook suggests: 60ft of 5.8 fingers to a piton belay in a slot; 60 feet of 10d thin hands to a belay in an alcove below a roof; 80 feet up the 10a hands and fist crack to the big ledge.)

Descent: Three rappels and downclimbing into The Beer and Ice Gully.
Rap 1: Walk across the ledge and rap off a tree.
Rap 2: Downclimb to the right (towards the gully) to another ledge and rap station at a tree.
Rap 3: A short rappel off of another tree will get you to the ground. (This last rap is very cool!)

Location 

The first pitch begins in a very clean left-facing corner on the rounded buttress to the right of the entrance of The Beer and Ice Gully and to the left of the Straight Shooter Wall.

From the Straight Shooter area, walk leftwards contouring the wall. The clean left-facing corner with bolts marks the first pitch.

Protection 

Standard traditional rack to 3.5 inches, doubles or triples of 1.5 to 2.5 inches, and many long slings.

Crux pitches beta:
P1: 5 bolts, single set of .5 to 2 inches
P4: If done in a single pitch, I recommend taking 2 purple, 3-4 green, 2 red, 2 gold, 2 blue, and 1 gray Camalot (and no more).


Photos of Orange Clonus Slideshow Add Photo
A view of the entire last splitter crack pitch
A view of the entire last splitter crack pitch
Me and Nicolas on top of Orange Clonus
Me and Nicolas on top of Orange Clonus
"Orange Clonus", from "Community Pi...
"Orange Clonus", from "Community Pi...
The Heart of the Route.  200 foot splitter.
The Heart of the Route. 200 foot splitter.
looking back at the pitch 2 finish
looking back at the pitch 2 finish
Josh topping out with a smile!  January 2010
Josh topping out with a smile! January 2010
A little beta for the upper crux 5.10d pitch - no ...
A little beta for the upper crux 5.10d pitch - no ...
Pitch 2 Orange Clonus
Pitch 2 Orange Clonus
The first rappel on descent.
BETA PHOTO: The first rappel on descent.
Pitch 1 just past the crux
Pitch 1 just past the crux
from top of pitch 1
from top of pitch 1
Pitch 1 high up
Pitch 1 high up
Looking up at the last (awesome) pitches
Looking up at the last (awesome) pitches
Upper portion of the first pitch
Upper portion of the first pitch
The Magnificent Last Pitch!
The Magnificent Last Pitch!

Comments on Orange Clonus Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 25, 2014
By Karsten
From: Sacramento, CA
Jan 24, 2008

Great Route Info, looks like a good one.
By Brad G
From: Yosemite and else where
Feb 6, 2008

Good Job on all that beta. Looks like a sick route, Hopefuly I'll get on it this weekend!
By Scotty Nelson
From: Boulder
Feb 12, 2008

Nice page! Finally something off the beaten path!
By Josh Audrey
From: LAS VEGAS
May 29, 2008
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

get out and climb this rig.
By Aaron S
May 30, 2008

I canít believe this climb doesnít get more traffic given the short approach and rad climbing. Here are some comments after climbing this the other day.

--- The Handren guide lists the 4th pitch as 50í 5.6. Itís more like 300í of third class. When you get to the ledge atop p.3 un-rope and scramble up a gully to the right. This will lead you to a wide open brushy area where you can walk to the base of the splitter.

At the bottom of a small chimney you stem across for the scramble there is currently a large skeleton. I donít know what it is but itís bigger than any bighorn Iíve ever seen. Do mountain lions ever venture that far out? It kind of gave an ominous feel going into the business pitch.

--- I highly recommend doing the splitter in two pitches. First is about 80í of 5.8+ to a decent stance with a fixed pin and some small alien placements. Next pitch starts with the 10d section then eases off towards the top. Doing it this way allows you to bring a lighter rack and avoid rope drag for the upper part.

--- The rack, doing it the above way, would be doubles to #2 with a single #3 and #4.

--- The descent is pretty easy to find but the raps kinda suck. About 40í below the first rap station is a rope eating crack. Itís not really visible from the station but try to cast your rope out far. A section of ours completely stuck itself way down out of sight in the crack. Not fun.
It would also be a good idea to bring some webbing and another rap ring or two.

The hard sections are all on great rock. There are a couple easy run out spots with marginal rock but overall better than expected for an obscure RR route. The last pitch is one of the best Iíve done in RR. The others range from decent to quite fun. Hopefully this route will get more traffic now that itís up on MP.
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Dec 12, 2008
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

really fun, demanding route. i thought the first pitch was a bit of a sandbag at the grade- definitely harder than the last pitch, but maybe i'm a wimp at face climbing.

we did the last pitch in two, but we belayed on top of the pillar at the actual start of the splitter- done this way, the last pitch is about 150', with a single purple, 3/4 greens, and doubles of 2/3 working nicely. the #4 is also handy.

the descent is a challenge- we added a rap station where we felt that the downclimb, while doable, is steep enough with enough exposure that another short rappel made more sense. i think, though, that some more exploring, a southern rappel route would be better and faster.

oh, we lost about 2' of rope in that crack- we filled it with some small rocks to hopefully prevent it happening to future parties, but be aware that losing rope is a distinct possibility.
By Luke to Zuke
From: Anchorage
Feb 12, 2009
rating: 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a

I think this is a total sand bag... I say its a 11b or +...10d my ass
By Josh Audrey
From: LAS VEGAS
Feb 25, 2009
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

i could see that on the first pitch.
By Michael Ybarra
From: on the road
Mar 3, 2009

While I placed the #4 I don't think it was really necessary. Wish I could remember which of my ropes we had to cut. A stellar route.
By Aerili
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jan 19, 2010

To make the entire second pitch into one long stretch from the top of p1 to the giant brushy ledge creates horrendous rope drag regardless of how little pro you place. We broke it up into two parts and it still went super fast.

One #4 (new style) comes in handy. We used triples of #2 and #3 and doubles of #1; this was useful because we broke the 10d and 10a into 2 pitches (vs one longer pitch), and the extras are needed for belays. Take some really small cams and really small nuts to finish protecting the exfoliating top corner of p1 as well.

The 3rd, 4th and easy 5th classing on pitches 2-3 somewhat detracts from this route, but otherwise it's pretty awesome, a quick climb and descent, and a great choice for cold winter days.
By Darren in Vegas
From: Las Vegas, NV
Mar 29, 2011

from wikipedia
Clonus (from the Greek for "violent, confused motion") is a series of involuntary muscular contractions and relaxations...it is associated with certain neurological conditions.
By Jon O'Brien
From: Nevada
Nov 14, 2011
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

ha, rad sniper! i think i experienced a "clonus" during my OS attempt of the 10d crack pitch! LOL... and i get a lil' turtle-head clonus peeking out every time during the walk in to lead that first bolted pitch too!


"turtle-head clonus" = when your anus engages in violent, confused motion due to excess coffee, orange juice, and anxiety mixtures while approaching a climb you know to be difficult for you to send. (this often results in "almost" farts and/ or "almost" shits. an almost shit is highly preferred to an almost fart as almost farts require wet-nap clean-up and a changing of the underwear and/or pants.)

i'm glad we had this talk y'all.


jon
By Stone Nude
Nov 16, 2011

Jon, I'd shake your hand for that comment, if not for...ya know what? Never mind. Air high five, how bout that. Long distance style.

I don't know why the "variation first pitch" has become so popular as a start to this route...OC is known for an amazing splitter, so another pitch of goes-fast splitter at the start seems like a no-brainer. The variation P1 has one bolt hanging out more than 1/2 inch, and the top two are really unnecessary. The rock at the top is pretty crunchy, but there are good placements in solid pods, and you're climbing the face up there, anyway. The anchor tree at the top is dead/dying and could use some modern hardware, before someone pulls the tree out and gets hurt. Needs to be done in the next year or two, for sure. I see the variation first pitch as more of a random single pitch to do while cragging; would not reccommend getting bogged down on this facey slowdown if trying to get the full route done. The jet black splitter around the corner was Herbst's choice and I think it suits the rest of the route better.
By Tim Wolfe
Administrator
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jan 29, 2012
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

The first pitch deserves to be done just for its own sake. Great pitch. As others have commented, I would suggest it is a bit harder than 5.10d as an onsite. Once I flew off and had time to see the holds it went but it was still hard. Bring some tiny cams for the last, easier half of the pitch. Unfortunately you then have a few hundred feet of not such good climbing to the final great pitch, which distracts a bit from a higher star rating. We did the final splitter as two pitches - climb the 5.8 to the belay, do the last section as one pitch since the belay below the roof would be uncomfortable. Double cams from purple through blue. It would have been nice to have 3 red Camalots.
By Burt Lindquist
Administrator
From: Madison, WI
Apr 9, 2012

I agree with Killis above about this so called 1st pitch variation of the route Orange Clonus being treated as a seperate little one pitch mixed gear and bolt climb. The description or line topo doesn't make sense in the latest guide book I have either concerning this first pitch?? And he is also extremely correct about the crappy dead tree anchor at the top. I used it as the rap anchor because there was no other option but did back it up with a cam back behind it to the left when I belayed my second up just to be on the safe side....I made the rappel off first just to be sure the long dead tree rig did hold and gave my second a bit more confidence in that less then desirable anchor. The opening moves are 5.11 a/b I think too and not 5.10d.... really technical and there is strict pattern of foot placements on those skimpy edges on the left.
By Stone Nude
Oct 14, 2012

Finally got out to finish this one after checking out the first pitch variation (.11)a while ago. Hangover day meant the #5 was forgotten at home, which was a major bummer trying to get up the slick offwidth black crack around the corner. Got a wild hair up and hopped left onto a finger and hand splitter that was crunchy enough that it might have been virgin before today, .10- range, techy and pretty fun, minus snapping all those virgin footholds. This and a little creative thinking puts the first pitch options at five by my count:
1 The bolted corner from the ground, .11ish thinness with bolts.
2 Starting just left of this, following pins through rotten and improbable looking choss.
3 Starting around the corner to the left, traversing right across the ledge just above the crux on the bolted corner. This may involve tunneling/a crawl, but puts you above the boulder problem and in position to knock out the 9/10- corner above quickly.
4 #5 (new) splitter to finger crack, starting from the traverse ledge. This is what I believe Herbst originally climbed, it's the best looking option aesthetically, but the wide gear's pretty mandatory. Herbst 9+?
5 Same start as #4 but break left to splitter that goes from tips to hands, traverse right at top to ledge with rap tree.

None of the lower half of the route even scratches the surface of how nice the summit splitters are. The top pitch reminded me a lot of the Classic Crack of Calico's best moments. The 10d was pretty tough for bigger hands but not super sustained, way easier than Our Father and some other 10d sandbags in the area. We brought doubles .5-3 and triples of .75 and #1, single .3+4and #4, used everything.

This route doesn't have a super well-traveled feel, especially on the low 5th pitches. I understand the desire to solo these but didn't feel like the rock quality made doing so very smart, though we did run up the chimney to the huge ledge ropeless. The raps were all in decent shape in Oct 2012, a single 60 worked but a 70 would have eliminated a little downclimbing. The first rappel, 50 feet from the unroping point, looks steep and sketch but is mellow downclimbing and prevents rope snagging issues, there are several pinch spots I can see causing serious problems. We did four raps out of a possible five, nothing was too hard to find. The last rap is from the tree atop 29 Posers, Posby etc and allows TRing these steep routes if there's still daylight. Clonus is a great route, nice onsight on the crux pitch by Shirtless, even weighed down but a shirt AND "the brim"...
By Nelson Day
From: Joshua Tree, CA
Dec 11, 2012
rating: 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

Climbed this on 12/6/2012. The first pitch required a mono hold that tweaked my middle finger pretty hard. Definitely harder than .10d. I think I almost tore my pulley on my middle finger. That aside, good moves and well protected with bolts. The fourth bolt on the pitch was junk, but was easily backed up by a #2 right above it. The second pitch was basically a free solo for me. I slung one big piece of choss, but didn't feel it would really do much in the event of a fall. Easy pitch nonetheless, but I didn't exactly trust the chossy rock. Third pitch is short and leads to a huge ledge where lunch can be had. I did the last three pitches in 2 pitches as recommended here, and had just enough gear. I could have used a couple more 0.75 cams (only took 2), but I managed to climb above some pieces, remove them from below, and replace them above me. The first 5.8 pitch had interesting movement and goes up to a 0.75 crack. If there weren't feet outside of the 0.75 crack, this section would have been very hard. I put in an anchor at the piton belay, but had to leave behind a #2, a #1, and a 0.5 C4. The initial section of .10d above that belay takes 0.5 and 0.75 cams well and is amazing! Made the whole climb worth while. Pulling out of the somewhat roof was strenuous but felt about .10d. The rest of the climb wasn't nearly as hard or sustained. Pulling the second roof to gain the .10a section was a "gun it through some good jams" to a good gear placement situation.

The last three pitches of the climb (which I linked as 2) made the climb worth doing, for sure! Especially the section above the piton belay. Beautiful... Was happy to onsight those pitches.
By Garrett Bales
From: Lake City, CO
Mar 7, 2013
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

We added a new sling rap anchor 3/2/13 to the higher tree at the second rappel so you no longer have to wrap off the scary tree.
By AST
Apr 12, 2013

"Definately the most sand bagged route i've done in RR so far. I think 5.11b/c would be more appropriate"

Not a chance. It might be 11a, but that's it. If you want to see 11b/c thin / technical face climbing, go check out the first pitch of Ixtlan in BVC. P1 of OC is miles easier. It has a single hard move.

All the moves are technical, but only one is strenuous. It *might* be hard for .10d, but there is no way it's anything harder than 11a. Remember, a route's grade is based on doing it right. If you do it wrong, it's going to feel harder. This pitch requires precise and technical footwork. Sloppy clown shoeing it will for sure make it feel like a fingery boulder problem.

I didn't onsight it, and it took me 3 tries to work out exactly how to do it, but it's not that bad. Again, go try P1 of Ixtlan and then come back and report how that felt in comparison.

Past that, the 10d body bridging--->laybacking bit on P6 is epic, and fairly stout.

Linking it into the 10a pitch above would be heroic.

A great route!
By Stone Nude
Apr 12, 2013

Ixtlan's stout, that doesn't make all other routes easier by some arcane algebra.

A route with a hard move gets rated as its hardest move. A route with a few dozen hard moves can still be that same grade, or, if you're at the Red, 13c.

That first pitch is a finger-wrecking mean mutha. Call it 5.2 if it makes you feel better. I'm not buying it.
By Daryl Allan
From: Sierra Vista, AZ
Jan 14, 2014

P1 is a technical challenge off the deck for two bolts then it's a well-protected 5.7 run to the ledge. Our party broke two holds off the 3rd pitch - I would recommend not soloing anything there or on p2 for that matter.. your choice.

The rest of the route after the vegetated ledge is pure gold. Build anchor at piton belay with #2 (up high) and #3 plus the piton. That frees up all your .5-1" doubles for the last pitch.

As stated before, there's lots of potential for stuck ropes on the rap off. Be cognizant of where your last rapper lays the rope over ledges and you should be ok between that and some dumb luck.

The death block under the boulder at top of last rappel (marked with an 'X') has been removed.
By Kevin Dahlstrom
From: Fort Worth, TX
Feb 9, 2014
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c PG13

In an area with generally soft ratings, this route is a huge exception - perhaps the biggest sandbag I've encountered anywhere. A few comments:

1) Per other comments, the first pitch felt about 11b. Not paticularly strenuous but very technical.

2) The pitches between the first pitch and the splitter on top are absolute junk. Chossy rock, marginal pro (albeit on 5.easy), and uninteresting, discontinuous climbing.

3) I have big hands, so the 10d thin hands corner was off-fingers for me and felt significantly harder than 10d. By comparison, Our Father, which has a very similar feel, felt cruisy with bomber jams and good feet.

4) The upper finger crack, flare, and crux corner gobbles up green (0.75) camalots. I only had 2 and would have liked two more.

Overall, I give this route 1 star. It climbs like two short routes separated by junky approach pitches. With so many routes at Red Rocks, there are better places to spend your time.
By Cimbing Ivy
Feb 24, 2014

glad to see comments from the good people that P1 right off the deck face moves is the biggest sandbag ever! my partner declined to rate the pitch and simply called it "5.something" but it's definitely harder than any 11a i've ever followed or dogged on...

the upper 10d splitter pitch is gorgeous with a non-sustained short crux, but maybe because i have micro hands and fat-fingers folks will get fuller value out of the pitch for sure. superb fun nonetheless!

the rest of the climb (middle pitches) is an "alpine mud climb" with long sections of uninteresting and meandering alpine-in-the-desert traverses and 5th class slogging over highly suspect rock, guarding a few fun moves in between. my partner broke a foothold on the final 10a pitch on lead and miraculously recovered and saved from a 40 footer - sure sign the route needs more traffic :)
By Short Fall Sean
Apr 25, 2014

The tree at the top of the first pitch is getting really bad. I "backed it up" with a red camalot placed as a chock in one of the chossy pods behind the tree and then just tried not to weight it.

I fell once on the first pitch variation. It's tricky, but not that bad. It's probably 5.11, but not the hardest 11b in the universe or anything.

I took three green camalots after reading some of the comments here. I desperately avoided placing them in the lower angle crack beneath the crux section, which meant I didn't place any gear since that part only really takes greens. Then I got up into the crux flaring scoop thing and placed a purple, a red, and clipped a fixed red. I pulled onto the ledge below the roof, looked down, and still had all three greens on my rack. Whoops. I think it would be better to emphasize reds on the rack, especially if you want to belay before the roof, as they seemed to be the best size for that.

Overall this is a pretty cool route, but the rock in the middle section is REALLY bad and kind of detracts from the experience (unless you love choss-wranglin).