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Motherlode Rock - North Face
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Fun Police S 
Grizzly Wizard T 
Nitroglycerine S 
Powder Keg S 
Short Fuse S 
Smackdown S 
Whiptail S 

Powder Keg 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

   
Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 40'
Original:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Chris Miller & Rick Shull, 1989
Page Views: 6,565
Submitted By: C Miller on Mar 13, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (111)
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Wheee!

Description 

Up a slippery slab (harder than it looks) to some good holds under the roof and then power out the somewhat reachy roof with a wild sequence to finish on easy slab to anchors - fun!

One of the first lines on the Motherlode Wall, this was orignally done with two bolts (the second and third) and no anchors but later retrobolted to make a popular and often done climb.

Location 

Left side of the north face and easily identified as a slab to corner capped by a roof. Nitroglycerine is just to the right on the arete.

Protection 

4 bolts, chain anchor (shared with Nitroglycerine)


Photos of Powder Keg Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Jackie Trejo, fully extended on powder keg.
Jackie Trejo, fully extended on powder keg.
Rock Climbing Photo: sequence beta
BETA PHOTO: sequence beta
Rock Climbing Photo: Alison on Powder Keg
Alison on Powder Keg
Rock Climbing Photo: Garrett goes to match on the roof jug
Garrett goes to match on the roof jug
Rock Climbing Photo: Natalie Duran all smiles leading up Powder Keg in ...
Natalie Duran all smiles leading up Powder Keg in ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Tandora starting the roof.
Tandora starting the roof.
Rock Climbing Photo: Getting the 2nd clip
Getting the 2nd clip
Rock Climbing Photo: Undercling sligtly left of the big hole is much mo...
Undercling sligtly left of the big hole is much mo...
Rock Climbing Photo: Powder Keg (5.10a), Holcomb Valley Pinnacles
BETA PHOTO: Powder Keg (5.10a), Holcomb Valley Pinnacles
Rock Climbing Photo:  enjoying  the moves
enjoying the moves
Rock Climbing Photo: Chris topping out on Powder Keg (5.10a), Holcomb V...
Chris topping out on Powder Keg (5.10a), Holcomb V...
Rock Climbing Photo: Elaine looking stylish on Powder Keg (5.10a), Holc...
Elaine looking stylish on Powder Keg (5.10a), Holc...
Rock Climbing Photo: Delicate moves to start.
Delicate moves to start.
Rock Climbing Photo: Charlie pulling the roof on lead while running a m...
Charlie pulling the roof on lead while running a m...
Rock Climbing Photo: Myself on Powder Keg
Myself on Powder Keg
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting the climb a little bit to the right makes...
Starting the climb a little bit to the right makes...
Rock Climbing Photo: Elaine passing the last bolt of Powder Keg (5.10a)...
Elaine passing the last bolt of Powder Keg (5.10a)...
Rock Climbing Photo: Tom D starting the true crux of Powder Keg - the s...
Tom D starting the true crux of Powder Keg - the s...
Rock Climbing Photo: Nice recovery T!
Nice recovery T!
Rock Climbing Photo: Nearing the top of Powder Keg (5.10a), Holcomb Val...
Nearing the top of Powder Keg (5.10a), Holcomb Val...
Rock Climbing Photo: Fun climb!
Fun climb!
Rock Climbing Photo: julie arching and reaching
julie arching and reaching
Rock Climbing Photo: clipping #2 and readying for the one move wonder
clipping #2 and readying for the one move wonder

Comments on Powder Keg Add Comment
Show which comments
By Bill Olszewski
From: Colorado Springs, CO
May 31, 2007

This is a fantastic route! (and great photo op ;-) The crux is really the thin slab to reach the first bolt. The roof is pretty easy on great holds - just watch those feet! A must if you're at the Pinnacles.
By Jason Partin
From: San Diego, CA
Jun 28, 2009
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Fun climb, perhaps an anti-climatic summit... It's worth doing for the combination of footwork at the start, power-reach on the roof, and heel hook to get out from under the roof. My ankles were scratched badly... consider tape if you're like I am, and not experienced with heel hooks. It's nice to have a spotter as you try to clip the second bolt, the first bolt wouldn't stop you from hitting your head or twisting an ankle in the rocks below.
By Chris Owen
Administrator
From: Big Bear Lake
Sep 6, 2010
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

IMHO this felt harder than 5.10a to me, the climbing up to and around the roof felt more technical than some of the steep 5.10a climbs hereabouts.

If you're tall you can clip the first bolt from the right side of the ledge - this really takes the edge off the opening moves.

Agreed that a fall while attempting to clip the second bolt would result in a grounder unless the belayer did a sprint or reeled you in.
By Greg G
From: SLC, UT
Jan 16, 2012

This route is like bouldering with a rope. Very fun, and unique! I have yet to do a route like it anywhere else. The upper half of the route is fun as well.
By susan peplow
From: Joshua Tree
Sep 20, 2013

Start is a bit slick but easily protected by clipping bolt from ledge right if needed. Overlooking edges or thin cracks may make progress more difficult. I personally found the stem to be a bit long to get established, but very solid. Fun route, powerful and was sucking oxygen by the time I got on the headwall heading to the anchors. My opinion... harder than 10a. Maybe even harder than the 10c neighbor to the right but felt like a wuss bumping it two letters.

Another Nice route by Chris & Rick - gracias boys!
By johnnydanger
From: California
Oct 7, 2013
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Clip the first bolt from the right. Beware of the polished lower slab. Fun move over the roof and a easy finish. Harder than 10a. Fun one-move-wonder!

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