The Mission Wall is a large dark presence in Clear Creek Canyon that sits just across the river from the Wall of The '90s. Facing North and East, the crag sees little action, and coupled with the present need to wade the creek is never likely to be very popular. However, the brooding presence of The Mission Wall in the winter takes on a much more alluring character in the heat of the summer when it can be the most inviting place in Clear Creek. The crag hosts some of the more difficult lines in Clear Creek and some of the longest. The rock is not overall the best, but the routes that have gone in are largely on very nice stone. Presently two long three pitch routes exist along with a two pitch line and several single pitch routes. Over the years, some powerful guns have established the major routes. Jimmy Surette, Steve Landin, Greg Purnell have all put up fine routes between 5.12 and middle 5.13. A few easier lines exist as well.
The Mission Wall lies just West of tunnel two in Clear Creek Canyon. Parking can be had in the same spot used for The Wall of The '90s, that although once generous, has been recently reduced by the CDOT. Access to The Mission Wall has always been a problem. In a good year, the Tyrolean traverses remain in place long enough to get in some good climbing days on The Mission Wall. In a bad year, such as last year, they all get chopped. All of the half dozen Tyroleans put in place by Greg Purnell in 2000 have been vandalized or chopped. Presently, we have no good answer for this dilemma.
For the wire tyrolean, a metal pulley is recommended to avoid chewing through your carabiners. Safety glasses or sunglasses will help with the metal shavings, too.
EDIT (8/05): P1 and P2 of Ride the Snake. (Link these pitches) 5.8-5.9.P2. make a short downward traverse (4th class, 2 bolts) left to a set of anchors on the slab. Garrett's Revenge starts from here. (You can actually link with first pitch) P3. chase several bolts up steep 5.9-5.10 to a roof. Pulling over the roof is the crux (11+). Continue on sustained face past another half-dozen clips to anchors on a ramp. This makes for about a 150' pitch total (likely the longest in CCC). You...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
This wall needs action, all y'all tired of climbing the canyon, go here! Bring a brush and help out. This wall is for you. Don't worry about geting wet, you will not have to worry about it, trust me.
By Leo Paik Administrator From: Westminster, Colorado Aug 8, 2002
Questions. There are at least 2 other lines on this crag that start from the ground. There are 4 lines left of the quartzite dike, Challenger, the left 3 of which are bolted. I understand from these descriptions that Billy is right of Gneiss route. The left two do not have anchors in the first 100'. Yet, the third route from the left has anchors about 90-100' up. So I guessing that is the Gneiss route. There is also a line with a pin and a bail sling just left of Challenger. Can anyone help out with what these are and what they are rated?
Also, that wire tyrolean really has tons of friction with biners and chews them up pretty well. So, use a less-prized biner and bring some power if you decide to use it. Wading worked well once the water level dropped.
If you plan on doing this tyrolean (or any other tyroleans on a steel cable) more than once or twice, you should get a pulley. It doesn't chew up as bad as a biner and the friction is minimal.A steel pulley would be best but it is hard to find the right kind (one that splits in the middle so you can get it on the cable). Standard climbing pulleys work well, although some wear will be evident.
The reason a cable was put in here is because everytime someone put up a rope, some joker would cut it down.
The first route to the left of Challenger is a well protected multi-pitch project that I started in the fall of 2001 (drilling on lead). The first pitch goes at 5.9+ and has about eight bolts and an anchor, the crux of the pitch goes over a 3 foot roof corner about half way up, the anchor is exactly 30 meters off the ground. The second pitch is only half complete and goes through a big roof at 5.11c then reaches a ledge. I and friends will complete this pitch very soon. Its a pretty cool move out the roof and on the lip is a nice flake just to the right of the bolt. Be careful with the flake it flexes a bit and is key to the climb. I hope to take this line all the way to the top of Mission Wall. Sorry to all who have had to bail from the top bolt of the unfinished second pitch.
Last weekend, I removed the phallic-looking boulder wedged in the horizontal right above the first belay of Gneiss Route and Billy. it didn't take much more than a few wiggles to send it on its way. hope no one minds. -dm
New route, Ride the Snake, provides quick and easy access to the Ashtray Belay and the following routes: Gneiss Roof, Billy the Kid, and Garrett's Revenge. (2 pitches of 5.9 starting left of Gneiss Route) Also new route, Rocket Man, provides clean and airy rap alternative from Surette Ledge (2 rappels: single rope, then double rope to the ground). The chains at the top of RM are obvious. Hell, they probably could even be seen from Golden.
[I am looking for any information on those hard routes. I most likely will not get on the either. I recently watched a new route get put in about 50 ft to the right of the thirteen project. This wall looks amazing and I would be willing to work with other climbers to get this wall established. There are many good lines that could be put up on this wall.]
I suggest that rapping Rocketman is the best option compared to Gneiss Route. 1) The first chain anchors of RM are very safe to access. (getting to the rap on GR is a tad more commiting) 2) 2 raps: one 70' rap, then one full 200' rap (two ropes!) 3) pulling ropes is very easy. (pulling ropes on GR is very strenuous). 4)anchors on RM are newer.
Even though it's possible to rap GR with one 70m rope, the amount of extra effort involved is not worth your weight savings by not bringing an extra tag line to rap RM.
Thanks for the responses re: rapping from Surette. Lazily, I was thinking we could just bring 1 cord up any of the routes, then do the first 70' rap on RM, then rap single line 200' to the ground, attach another cord for the second, etc. thereby avoiding the need to bring a trail line?
The only webbing on bolts I know of are on the anchors of P1 of Gneiss Route, anchors of P1 of Billy, and on the last bolt of Billy. I installed these over 4 years ago. the anchors could use chains. feel free to replace them, I never got around to doing it. The "cheater" sling on the last bolt of Billy is indeed pretty chewed up, but is nice to be able to clip before committing to the final jug. The jug is good, but if you blow it, would be a nasty fall. Feel free to replace that one, too.
Haven't been in the canyon lately. What other webbing on hardware is up there on Mission?
Re: Kevin's question on the tyrol: the steel tyrol is fixed and accepted by JCOS, and has been in place for almost 10 years.
Fun wall to climb on, long routes. Adventure sport climbing if you will. People climbing it should really consider wearing a helmet. There is a lot of loose rock on the wall. My partner's foothold pulled out and almost hit me. It was big enough to ruin the day in a bad way. Would not climb underneath anyone. No problem getting across the river (steel cable, bring pulley). Looking forward to going back.
Climbed this again 8/24/08; wicked fun, I like the previous analogy to "adventure sport climbing." A fun CCC classic. The exposure making the mantle move to the crux over the roof is fantastic. fun link-up would be the last pitch on Wild Child to the true top of Mission Wall, but we weren't quite sure how to get over there from where "Gneiss Ride" ect.. ends on the Surette Ledge. -Phil.
By Leo Paik Administrator From: Westminster, Colorado Sep 2, 2011
A rattlesnake was sitting at the base of the parking side of the tyrolean today. Watch your step!
Would a Petzl Fixe pulley be appropriate for the steel tyrol? I believe the wheel is aluminum, but the pulley should minimize scraping across the cable.
By Leo Paik Administrator From: Westminster, Colorado Apr 18, 2012
From what I've seen, I'd expect some serious wear and tear using aluminum pulley on that steel cable. The pulley may wind up just sliding like a biner at times.
Also, as of 7 days ago, you could easily wade along the base of the River Wall at the east side of Tunnel 2 going less than knee deep for maybe 30 feet and a short hop across water at a side canyon to get there. Also, some non-climbing visitors waded near the cable up to maybe groin deep that same day.
Here is what happens using the Fixe pulley on that steel cable:
Not a big deal, but the braids cause the pulley to not track straight. I have had the best luck with BD's pulley. The nylon actually doesn't wear that badly and runs straight and smooth, and is cheap enough to replace if you drop it or you really spend that much time on Mission's tyrol (I am on my second pulley). Do not try the Petzl wheel... my buddy tried that and on one trip down the tyrol it turned into a doughy doughnut.
I use hardware store steel pulleys ($5 - 10 Ace Hardware, etc.) & grind out the flange that holds the 2 halves together where you clip in. That way you don't have to remove the clevis pin and can split the pulley just like a climbing pulley. Wear sunglasses to protect the eyes & backup the whole rig with an unweighted old biner on a long sling.