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West Ridge - part B - Long John to Verschneidung
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Aftershock TR 
Atom Smasher S 
Break on Through T 
Break On Through to Chianti T 
Chianti T 
Clear-a-Sill T 
Cruisin' for Burgers T 
Ein Kluck T,TR 
Ghetto Blaster T,TR 
Gibbet, The T 
Incarnation S 
Long John Wall T 
Next to Nearly T 
Rictus T 
Rock For Climbing Routes To T 
Shock Of the New T,TR 
Strawberry Shortcut T 
Sunshine Wall T,TR 
Toothsheaf Transfusion T,TR 
Unlead, The T,TR 
Unsaid, The T 
Uranus T 
Varieties Of Religious Experience T,TR 
Washington Irving T 
White Rabbit T 

Varieties Of Religious Experience 

YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c R

   
Type:  Trad, TR, 2 pitches, 250'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: C. Archer and C.A. Crysdale, 1987
Fixed Hardware: 3 Lead Bolts [details]
Page Views: 868
Submitted By: Tony B on Jan 26, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (11)
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Moving left at the first bolt. The flakes here are...

Climbing reopened after flood MORE INFO >>>

Description 

Just above the West Ridge Amphitheater (as for Allosaur) and just below the Unsaid area there lies a set of less-often-climbed routes. This is the High Anxiety area. High Anxiety and Varieties Of Religious Experience are two of the better routes here. Most of the routes here are 5.10 to 5.11 and almost all of them are runout at least a little.

To find Varieties Of Religious Experience, first locate the big clean slab 100' down and 30' left of the hanging slab of Verschneidung, where a lone pine tree holds a rap station. A right-facing, right-leaning corner borders the edge of this lower slab, which is Verschneidung Indirect Start. About 40 feet left of this, start climbing.

P1: (5.10d, S) Pick and choose your way up the slab/face climbing a short distance left of an obvious roof which is about 80' overhead. The difficulty will be from 5.9 to 5.10 depending upon your exact line. The protection available will also vary according to your position, but it is never great. As the slab disappears, cut over to the right on an undercling to just below the extreme left-hand side of the roof and go up through a short, right-facing feature (crux). Run it out to a large pine tree from there and belay in a stance below the tree.

P2: (5.11b) The good pitch! Move out and left from the pine tree on jams and underclings below a roof, which is rising up and left. There are a few loose holds in the area, but they can easily be avoided. After 10' of climbing (5.10) you will tackle the roof at a small crack and continue up the face for the first bolt. If this runout is not to your liking, you can place a few pieces including a hand-sized cam in the cracks below the roof before pulling over it. From the first bolt climb up and left to a second bolt. From there, climb straight up (thin crux) to the top of a ledge at a 3rd bolt. Continue up another 35 feet on thin cracks with slightly sharp rock to the top of the buttress (5.8).

I toyed with the idea of giving this route 3 stars, as it is a very good route, but it just can't compete with the 'true Eldo classics.'

To descend, scramble NW up the back side of the West Ridge and descend as for Verschneidung.

Protection 

P1 is runout on so-so gear. Take a set of RP's and small Stoppers with a set of cams to 3". No doubles are really needed. P2 is bolted but there is quite some distance to the first bolt. A [hand-sized] cam (2.5") can be placed to fill the void. The top-out over P2 requires a few medium to large nuts or small cams.


Photos of Varieties Of Religious Experience Slideshow Add Photo
Chuck attempting the crux. Chuck's hands are on a big bucket which seemed like the obvious thing to do, but we both ended up not using the bucket.
Chuck attempting the crux. Chuck's hands are on a ...
Moving to the second bolt. Maybe 10a here?  Fragile holds.
Moving to the second bolt. Maybe 10a here? Fragil...
Through the crux - the first ascent
Through the crux - the first ascent
Starting the crux sequence past the 2nd bolt. <br /> <br />Photo by Ken Heiser.
Starting the crux sequence past the 2nd bolt. Pho...
Starting the 10a undercling on P1. The gear in the undercling is mediocre medium to small brass, perhaps opposed, and maybe a small Ballnut. Gear on the left is pretty good but not bomber, and the next piece is way down. Don't fall.
Starting the 10a undercling on P1. The gear in the...
P1 with Luke on the headwall. We approached the P1 undercling from down and right, but you can climb from directly below with good gear above the small tree at the bottom center of the photo. P2 climbs the right facing face left of the tree at the top center of the photo.
P1 with Luke on the headwall. We approached the P1...
Getting the fingerlock at the end of the undercling. Good gear here.
Getting the fingerlock at the end of the underclin...
Trying to clip the second bolt. This was difficult for me. You have a good layback with the left hand, but feet are bad below the bolt. <br /> <br />Photo by Ken Heiser.
Trying to clip the second bolt. This was difficult...
On the P1 headwall. Climbing this flake may be "Verschneidung Direct Start" 10c according to Rossiter, but felt more like 10a. Religous Experience may go right at this point and up the black streak, but the flake that Luke is climbing is the natural line.
On the P1 headwall. Climbing this flake may be &qu...
Almost done with the crux sequence. From here, step left to a jug, stand and stretch for a small flake, and clip the 3rd bolt. <br /> <br />Photo by Ken Heiser.
Almost done with the crux sequence. From here, ste...

Comments on Varieties Of Religious Experience Add Comment
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By Chris Archer
Nov 12, 2003
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

Pitches 1 and 2 offer a variety of different experiences, hence the name. Bolts on the crux pitch were replaced in October 2003.
By Ivan Rezucha
From: Fort Collins, CO
Jun 26, 2004
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

My opinions difffer a bit from Tony's. I really liked P1. P2, though hard--more in figuring out what to do than in actually doing the moves--was just so so. Good position. Poor rock.

P1: Rossiter is very unclear. He says to move a bit left to the undercling. So we started pretty far right and angled left on easy slabs to a "wallow"--a wide crack/trough that lead about 8 feet further to the base of the undercling. Doing this we missed all the runout 9 and 10s that Tony mentions. Which is the original way? The undercling right is spooky. Make sure the gear at the start is good, because if it blows, there is essentially no backup. I got in a red microcamalot straight up in the thin undercling and some opposed brass nuts further right. Plus a #2.5 and #3 Friend and 2 more pieces in the tiny right facing corner. Above the undercling I didn't find any 10d. After the undercling, the "ceiling" is maybe 9. Straight up from there is 10a at the most. Perhaps 10d if you're shorter? I tried moving right above the overhang on some big holds. This was airy and promising, but I was unable to safely move up onto the slab.

P2: The approach crack/corner is awkward. Probably 9. Place several cams to be safe. Moving from the first to the second bolt is a bit scary. It feels like you could swing and hit the approach corner. You can place a cam at the bottom of the left facing flake before the last move to the 2nd bolt. Moving up from the 2nd bolt is the crux. I ended up hanging a bunch trying out the various options. Tried 4 ways. 1 worked. Too many holds, and not clear which sequence would work. Above the crux face we angled left on easy ground to the Verschneidung anchors rather than up the final wall that Tony says is 5.8. It looked pretty green.
By Ivan Rezucha
From: Fort Collins, CO
Dec 16, 2004
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

Verschneidung Direct Start vs Religous Experience P1:

According to the Rossiter text and topo, the only difference between Verschneidung Direct Start and Varieties of Religous Experience (VORE) P1 is that the Direct Start climbs the headwall directly (the obvious line, see photos), supposedly 10c but felt more like 10a, while VORE moves right and up the black streak to a tiny right facing corner, supposedly 10d. That would be a bit spooky on the lead, since the gear is down and left, although the moves on the right weren't too hard on TR.

If this is true, then VORE doesn't really have an independent first pitch.
By Ivan Rezucha
From: Fort Collins, CO
Dec 16, 2004
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

The large belay tree at the top of P1 has a vertical split in it at about head height. Last weekend on a windy Saturday, the tree was bending, and the split was opening and closing.