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37th Cog in Melvin's Wheel aka Melvin's Wheel, The T 
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Unsorted Routes:

Romulan Territory 

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

   
Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Scott Kimball, Carl Harrison, late 1970s
Page Views: 6,727
Submitted By: Charles Vernon on Jan 1, 2001

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Dean following the intimidating 3rd pitch....

Season raptor closures MORE INFO >>>

Description 

This is a classic, thin corner climb, quite representative of Lumpy Ridge. Hike to the Bookmark, and walk around to the east of a massive, 100 foot high "flatiron" that leans up against it. The route is identified by a very large, right-facing dihedral/roof on the uppper third of the face.

P1 - the goal is to achieve a much smaller dihedral down and slightly right of the larger dihedral. Pick a groove (5.9) or a wide, brushy crack (5.7), both of which are up almost behind the flatiron (right of an impressive wide flake), and which lead into easier flakes that in turn [achieve] the desired location. A better but longer start is to do the first 2 pitches of Backflip to the right.

P2 - starting from a good ledge, lieback a sustained, flared right-facing corner (not to be confused with the corner of Backflip 20 feet to the right) which first jogs right and then back left. Stretch the lead all the way into a ledge in the bottom of the upper dihedral (crux, with enough pro to keep you going--save a medium Friend for the 5.10 bulge halfway up).

P3 - a full ropelength up the very flared crack (tricky pro) in the large dihedral; undercling out to the right at the end, or turn the 5.10 roof and go to the summit (full rope-length either way). Sustained 5.9.

Protection 

Lots of small stuff!


Photos of Romulan Territory Slideshow Add Photo
Near the end of the first pitch.
Near the end of the first pitch.
Romulan Territory.
BETA PHOTO: Romulan Territory.
Luke leads the undercling on second (third from the ground) pitch. The 10a variation is the crack to left of climber.
Luke leads the undercling on second (third from th...
Ivan leads the crux on P1 (the first pitch off Library Ledge, sometimes refered to as the second pitch).
Ivan leads the crux on P1 (the first pitch off Lib...

Comments on Romulan Territory Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 31, 2010
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Nov 6, 2001
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

You know, I just want to add that this is one of the nicest cragging routes I have done in a long time. It's one of the better routes at Lumpy, in my book.
By Anonymous Coward
Apr 14, 2002

If [combined] with the direct start described in Klingon [certainly] in the Lumpy top ten. I did the 1st ascent of this route in the late '70s, then I climbed it last year. I would rerate the crux pitch closer to 5.10c [than] a. The final pitch is 5.10a and a little "ballsy" with small RP pro.
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Apr 15, 2002

Aha! A sandbagger speaks! So, which one are you? ;)
By Joe Huggins
From: Grand Junction
May 1, 2002

He must be Kimball, Carl is very unlikely to read this. I have to agree though, the crux pitch is burly for 10a.
By Joe Collins
Jul 14, 2003

This is a great climb. One of the two or three best for the grade that I've done in the Front Range. I think 10a is pretty much right on as a technical grade, though the gear is tricky and not overly abundant... basically not a climb for someone breaking into 5.10. Be prepared for long sections of sustained 5.9 liebacking where you'll find that it's much easier to run it out than try to dick in marginal gear from poor stances. The direct finish protects, but the pro is not exactly where you might want it... be solid if you try this variation since you'll probably smack the slab below if you fall.

One of the best 10a's in the Front Range (and elsewhere for that matter).
By David Conlin
Oct 9, 2003
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

One of the best climbs I've done!

We were in fact just breaking into 5.10 when we got on this route, thinking 10a. My partner, Mike Flannagan, on-sighted the crux pitch in impeccable style and somehow I managed to clean it without hanging, too! But it was definitely harder than we anticipated and I would agree with a 10c upgrade. Strenuous fingertip liebacks with tricky gear placements (RPs, Aliens) from strenuous stances. I then led P2 and would rate that sustained 5.9+, but I don't think it warrants upgrade to 10a.
By Ivan Rezucha
From: Fort Collins, CO
Jun 6, 2004
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Hard for a Gunks climber used to horizontal holds! No move harder than 10a, but much harder to lead. Good, but small rests on the crux section until the last few moves where you have to go for it, but it eases off quickly. The first of the two crux dihedrals is very well protected. Bring a #2.5 Friend for the one place the crack opens up. Plus brass, microcams, some big nuts. I got the smallest micro Camalot (red) straight up prior to the last hard moves. I also got the yellow micro Camalot higher than that, but that was really dumb and way too much work.

I was surprised that there was more hard climbing in another dihedral after the crux bulge. A bit easier, but smoother with no real rest, and the gear is a little further apart and not quite as good as the first dihedral. Once again, I stopped in the wrong place, prior to the last few moves, and expended way too much effort getting a piece in.

For the belay, bring some hand-sized cams to place in the corner to the left. Else the gear would be marginal.

Thought P2 was hard, following that pitch. Some bad rock and runouts. Maybe tired.

We carried and used most of this nuclear arsenal: triple micronuts including Astros, HB offsets, steel red and blue Ballnuts. Single bigger nuts, triple microcams to finger-sized including hybrid Aliens and offset Friends. Doubles above that to hand-sized.
By Ross
From: Pinewood Springs
Oct 6, 2004
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Did the climb 3OCT04 using [Kimball's] guide, so I had the expectation of it being 5.9 and felt like it was 5.9, but the pro was thin. Didn't have the correct size cam for middle of P3 I think a green Camalot would have worked, so I threw in a 1 or 2 HB near by. Nice route.--Ross
By Guy H.
From: Fort Collins CO
Oct 10, 2005
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Another good approach pitch for this climb is a new mixed route just left of Virgin Springs. Following a thin flaring crack until it ends, then step left to 4-5 bolts on some fun slab/face climbing (5.10c). You will need to do some 5.4 down climbing to the right to step up the belay for the second pitch.

Make sure you have a triple set of small nuts for the second pitch. There is a no hands rest right before the crux.
By Brian Weinstein
Jan 16, 2006
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

This route is a three-pitch gem. P3 has a 15-foot flared runout (very nice climbing) with great gear below and above...definitely not an "s" but a little heady nonetheless.
By Eric Goltz
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 12, 2006

A really great way to increase the quality on the first pitch is to do Bellyflop (10c)... you can either clip the bolt anchor and continue to the base of the second pitch (rope drag) or belay from the bolts and move the belay (short 5.easy pitch). Highly recommended, a good way to get 'warmed up' for the runout climbing above!
By tom selleck
Oct 22, 2006

Two words: green Camalot!
By climber73
From: Fort Collins, CO
Mar 29, 2007
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

This route is fantastic!! I dumped half a set of pee-nuts into the crux pitch along with small cams. Well protected, aesthetic, beautiful route.
By Kat A
From: Bart and Lisa Ville, CO
Jul 20, 2008

Phew. I'm glad people agree about the tricky pro on P3. It's a thin, flared crack that has some small nut placements, but it's hard to finagle while in a lieback position, with your feet precariously smearing the rock, and then it starts raining on you.... I wouldn't give it an "R" or "S" by any means, but "tricky pro" is an appropriate description.

This is a great route.
By Danny Suter
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 21, 2008

Excellent climbing. Certainly P2 is a hard 5.9 ... tricky, thin gear ... a little scary for me.
By Meg
From: Moab, UT
Jun 19, 2010

So, in a moment of sheer stupidity, I dropped my shoe off of the second pitch of Romulan Territory today. Much searching for it afterwards today did not turn it up. So, if anyone finds a left, Scarpa Vision shoe, I would LOVE it back! Thanks - Megan 303-842-2910.
By Phil Lauffen
From: The Bubble
Oct 31, 2010
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

This climb is one big lieback. Gear is tough to place in the flared features, as is typical of Lumpy, but overall I never felt scared due to runouts. You will get ten feet above gear, but there is nothing to hit. I found that on the second pitch when you enter the "double lieback" section (you'll know what I'm talking about), there are good C3s in a crack above and behind you to the left.

The key to success on this climb is managing your head. None of the individual moves are difficult! However, when you place gear you have three options (which I usually attempted in this order):
1) Attempt to place gear in lieback position for speed.
2) Attempt to find "rest", usually involving full body scum or tenuous stem and place gear.
3) If the above fail, just go.

If you are able to pull a 5.9 lieback move and are willing to keep on going when the gear just isn't there, you will experience success on this climb.