The Reckoning, I've waited a long time to log this route in at cb.com. Mark had scoped this route several years before we went up to put it in. For now, I'll avoid a lot of commentary on the personal significance of The Reckoning to Mark except to say that The Reckoning hit Mark in much the same way that Battle's End hit me, and for a similar reason. It's a bit strange, perhaps, but when you have enough love of climbing it becomes hard to separate climbing from all of the other things that compose one's life. As a result many of us put a lot of personal stuff into our climbs, and so it is with The Reckoning, and how can we not?
The Reckoning begins by climbing the first two pitches of Handcracker Direct. At the top of the second pitch, step right to the tree and set up a belay.
The third pitch is the first variation pitch for The Reckoning and this entails a thin crack (5.12a) protected on small wires. After the crack, chase the arete on the left to a ramp system below the obvious headwall.
P4 fires up the headwall and constitutes the crux pitch. Take some gear for the start and the finish. Three bolts and a pin will get you to the diagonal crack above which is chased out left on small to mid sized camalots. The crux comes in the middle of the face on thin edges and corners; very fingery, very powerful. Finish way out on the left of the crack and belay after a short face at the tree. The easiest descent is to walk off East via the slab. The continuity, position, and complex climbing on The Reckoning add up to as good a line as you will find in Eldo.
Regarding the last pitch, there is now a two bolt anchor before the left angling crack, and two bolts were added lower down under the original first bolt. All the bolts were replaced a couple of years ago (with Park approval), with big, fat, new ones. So, 5 bolts, 1 pin, and a 2-bolt anchor, about 65 feet.
I've looked at the last pitch of Reckoning a few times while climbing the last pitch of HD...while clipping bolts is not my passion or forte (maybe it's not my passion because it's not my forte) REGARDLESS!!! THIS PITCH IS SPECTACULAR CLIMBING!!! I am also surprised it does not see much action. It is a really nice pitch...Thank you Richard, thank you Mark....
Could the last pitch of the Reckoning be approached by scrambling up the east side of the West Ridge from the Redgarden Trail? Or, is there an expedient way to reach the Reckoning without climbing Handcracker?
Josh, There is a down climb from the top of the Handcracker pinnacle that comes down a ramp above Positively 4th St. If you walk uphill just past P 4TH St you can scramble onto the bottom of the descent which moves up and right. You could 3rd class to the top of the pinnacle and then rap into the anchor on top of The Reckoning and hang draws on your way down. Or once you reach the top of the ridge you can scramble around the back side and then onto the terrace at the base of the routes. You could probably reach the same place from the West Redgarden trail, but I haven't done it myself.
Josh, by the time you horse around with getting to it from the east side, it would probably be just as quick to do all of HC in one pitch. Particularly if you can cross the creek at the Milton Boulder.
Has anyone out there done the first pitch 12a? First half is obvious enough, but after the small roof, a bit confusing, guides say to step left and chase the arete. The arete looks doable, but contrived. Could be a classic pitch with some cleaning, friable foot holds right of crack. Great position. Awesome second pitch, my new project.
We did do that first pitch, which seemed hideous-hard for 12a if you stay with the crack/seam till it ends and you have to step left around the arete (on sharp-ass crimpers). Truth be told, we got mauled on it on lead, got up it somehow, set up a TR, and figured it out. You need lots of RPs and very small TCUs. I just remember staying in the crack until there wasn't much of it left, then slapping left to the arete and getting bunched up there to make a pretty tenuous step-around. From there, it was a few 5.11-ish face moves and then it eased way off.
You could probably step left earlier, too. Might be worth investigating. The sequence on this "12a" pitch the way we did it didn't feel much easier than any of the cruxes on the 12d pitch!
It was enjoyable stepping left right after the small roof, enjoyable meaning not that hard. Going straight up the crack looked hard and heady. Some TRing migh be in order.
By EDJ From: Eldorado Springs, Colorado Jul 19, 2012
The crux pitch is super for the grade..No stopper move, easy on the fingers and just great fun. The best approach cuts off the end of the big switchback just past darkness till dawn and contours over to a notch then follows an easy 3rd class ledge (careful one big lose block)to the base.
By Ol' Toby From: WA May 30, 2014 rating: 5.12d7c28IX28E6 6b
Another vote for the crux pitch as one of the best in Eldo. Thoughtful and powerful moves crescendo to an OK shake before the final crux sequence. A green and/or yellow Alien protects the opening moves before the first bolt. Working this route while hanging out on the terrace is part of the fun, sitting on top of the West Ridge and taking in the view. Awesome.