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La Esfinge
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Original Route, The 

The Original Route 

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

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, 15 pitches, 2000', Grade IV
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ British: E3 5b [details]
FA: Antonio Gomez Bohorquez and Onofre Garcia
Season: Winter (North American Summer)
Page Views: 2,838
Submitted By: Karsten on Aug 29, 2010
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You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (7)
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Andrew on the upper pitches. Torres de Paron in t...

Description 

By far the most popular route on the formation, this route offers generally good rock in a spectacular setting. There are some dirty sections and climbers should think of this as more of an alpine route than a Yosemite style free route. It also has several pitches where protection is sparse and poor but this is generally on easier terrain.

Traditionally the route receives a rating of 5.11c however many climbers including this poster believe the grade to be much lower.

Pitch 1: 30m 5.8
Climb up broken and somewhat vegetated rock.

Pitch 2: 30m 5.8
Continue up the crack system and out right underneath a rotten black lichen encrusted roof.

Pitch 3: 30m 5.9
Move up and left arching up under a bulge clipping a few old bolts. Belay at bolts on a large ledge.

Pitch 4: 40m 5.9+
Climb a crack back left to a ledge. Either climb a chimney with wedged blocks inside or an overhanging hand-fist crack to a steep section. Pull over an overhang on good holds and mantle onto a ledge with 3 bolts.

Pitch 5: 50m 5.9
Move up a chimney with face holds inside. At top of the short chimney move out left on face holds and climb on face features between two cracks. At the top of this pitch pull the 'Blob Mantle' of grass and dirt onto a ledge and belay.

Pitch 6: 50m 5.10d
This crux pitch is much easier than once touted. Continue up 5.9 cracks to under a large roof. Move right out the handcrack in the roof, turn the lip and continue up a well protected fingercrack. Belay at a good ledge.

Pitch 7: 30m 5.10+
Move up a corner to a massive roof. Again move right underclinging a widening crack. Turn the corner of the crack and continue up a slab to a bolted anchor.

Pitch 8: 45m 5.10+
Climb up to a wide ear type feature with bolts. Move right around the ear on slick rock (several old bolts). Continue up and traverse back left to bolts on a good ledge.

Pitch 9: 25m Easy 5th class
Move the belay horizontally left and slightly up to a the base of a 5.9+ corner.

Pitch 10: 20m 5.9+
Climb a vegetated but nice crack to a bolted anchor on a ledge.

Pitch 11-14: 5.9R
From the belay traverse left and access a lower angle groove. Continue up this groove system for about 500ft to where the wall becomes steeper. Much of the climbing through these pitches is run-out!

Pitch 15-17: 5.9
There are several options here with the easiest being to generally traverse up and rightward.


Location 

Begin at an obvious weakness in the center of the east face leading up to an obvious rotten black rock roof.

Follow same descent as other Esfinge routes.


Protection 

A typical rack of doubles to 3 inches with optional singles to 5 inches. Most anchors are bolted but there are some natural anchors required. Many slings and a few double length slings are required.



Photos of The Original Route Slideshow Add Photo
Andrew climbs through grassy cracks on the blob pitch.  The "blob" is seen at the bottom left hand corner of this photo.
Andrew climbs through grassy cracks on the blob pi...
The Original (1985) Route
BETA PHOTO: The Original (1985) Route
Andrew leads the "big overhang" pitch.  This is the second 5.11 pitch listed on many topos.
Andrew leads the "big overhang" pitch. This is th...
Clipping old bolts on the third pitch.  The 4th and 5th pitch chimneys can be seen above.
Clipping old bolts on the third pitch. The 4th an...
Comments on The Original Route Add Comment
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By David Trippett
From: Squamish, BC
Jun 17, 2011
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b

The climbing can be very run out after the Repisa de las Flores

Lots of bottoming, flared cracks above pitch 10. The climbing is easier, but can get hard quickly if you find yourself off route. There are pitons and fixed gear everywhere, so really try and focus on following the fastest and easiest terrain as opposed to getting suckered up some pitch because of fixed gear.

Rack-
a selection of medium/small stoppers and single cams from green alien to #4 Camalot will get you through fine. Small to medium offset aliens would be awesome for the upper bit, though not mandatory ( I'll never climb the Sphinx again without them). 8-10 runners and double 60m ropes are best, the route, and the pitches, tend to wander quite a bit.

Descent is very easy...scramble down to the lowest point in the saddle to the north. Look for a bunch of white cairns. The second station is a bit over 60m....but its there. We searched for it for 15 min. It's down and skiers left ~10m and sort of hidden...you'll do some down scrambling to get to it.

Amazing Rock. Amazing Route!

By Dmitriy Litvak
From: Pacifica, CA
Jul 31, 2011

We carried/hauled our sleeping bags to the bivy ledge. Unless you are a sado-masochist, I do not recommend this option. Most slower parties fix the lower pitches on the first day and climb the rest of the route the next day.

Nonetheless, I must say that it was fun to sleep on the ledge.
The next day, we threw our stuff down the wall. Totally illegal! And I was sorry I opted for this scenario as there were people below us.
Did a lot of damage to our gear. Tie your bag opening real well and make sure there is NOONE below. Better, DO NOT do it!

Descent was very tricky for us at night. We rapped down from the summit a short distance and walked just below the ridge till we had to straddle the ridge, a.k.a tail of Sphinx. We found cairns afterwards. Unfortunately we never found the 2nd set of anchors and had to rap from a boulder. We found a 3rd set of anchors which led us to dangerous slabs, somewhat. We rapped off a boulder again. The descent is loose!

Going skierīs left above the slabs sounds good, though we did not test it at night.

By bag
Oct 15, 2011

We hauled a super light kit, maybe 20 lbs, with one sleeping bag and emerg blanket to share. The hauling was mellow with a skinny static line. Fixed 2 pitches one afternoon, then went to the big ledge the next day and fixed all our rope above the ledge, then jugged and finished the next day. Off and back to camp with daylight to spare. As others have mentioned, plenty of runout flared groove climbing up high. Hybrids would have been nice as the second set of small cams, but we managed without. We had the entire basecamp and wall to ourselves from taxi to taxi, in June of 2009. Great adventure.

By JaredVagy
From: Santa Monica, Ca
Aug 19, 2012

Climbed this route 8/7 to 8/8 2012.

I would reccomend that if is your first time climbing the route that two days is a little brutal day one carrying the pack but it allows you to top out in sunshine and not have to rush the climb. We did it in two days and I have a very detailed report on my blog. A number 4,5 or 6 is completely unnecessary.

jspencerv.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-road-to-la-esfinge-august>>>

By mike sheridan
From: Golden
May 6, 2013

A great climb! One day to hike up the approach, possibly a full day if the gate is closed and the farmers are not around to open it for a taxi. Excelent boulder to bivi under at the base of the rout that saves about 15 min of approaching from the flat camp area. One big cam is nice for the roof sections 4.5'' cam. Easy to finish in a day, the hard stuff is the first half.