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Sheep Rock
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Virgin Wool 

Virgin Wool 

YDS: 5.10- French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ British: E1 5a C2+

   
Type:  Trad, Aid, 5 pitches, 400', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9- French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: HVS 4c A2 [details]
FA: Jim Bodenhamer and Sandy Fleming, 11/86
Page Views: 3,548
Submitted By: Sam Lightner, Jr. on Mar 3, 2007
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Enjoying the ambiance on the exsposed second pitch...
Read about Anchor Replacement and Restrictions in Arches National Park MORE INFO >>>

Description 

Virgin Wool ascends the south flank of the tower to the bedding seam, then traverses to a corner system that is followed to the top. To truly summit you have to traverse across the summit ridge and then back for the rappels.
P1 = Climb the slab using friction and climber-made moki steps. These steps are the result of years of banging pins into drilled holes and then extracting them on that ascent... not a good idea for the rock. It has now been bolted so that this is no longer needed. It is very soft. At the bulge there are a couple of sketchy C1 moves that might also go a 5.11. A fall would not be far, but would leave a nasty mark as you would slab-out. Continue on to the ledge. This is a 55 meter pitch
P2 = traverse in a hand size crack (C1) around to the east face of the tower and a nice ledge.... a 20 meter pitch.
P3 = the Ewetopian Crack. Follow a beautiful thin crack up the face just left of the corner. I found good placements the whole way, but I often top-stepped to get them. This is one of the finest aid pitches in Arches. Its C2 and about 45 meters in length.
P4 = Follow a finger and hand size crack to the bulge, then move through the bulge on a pin and some thin wires. This is strenuous and the rock deteriorates a bit. A fall would be ugly because of the slab. If you have a wide, piece, it will help you transition into a few free moves. At the top use a pin, and edge, and maybe some manky gear, to pull onto the summit ridge. THis pitch is 20 meters long and C2+/5.10-.
P5 = walk across the ridge to the summit knob. You can feed a cordolette through the holes to protect you on the 5.4 move onto the summit. Reverse it to the rappel anchors. This pitch is 30 meters.
Rap the route on 1/2 bolts and brown chain placed by the Arches Task Force in March of 2007. Please try not to add webbing to the route as it is visible from the highway.


Protection 

Quick draws, slings for bolts. Three sets of friends up to 3.5, then 1 each of 4 and 5. A few micro pieces are handy. The Ewtopian Crack gobbles up lots of small to mid size offsets... bring lots.
A cordolette is needed at the top for slinging the huecos.



Photos of Virgin Wool Slideshow Add Photo
Jeff on the beautiful third pitch.  <br /> <br />Sam is right, this is one of the best aid pitches in all of Arches.
Jeff on the beautiful third pitch.

Sam is right,...
Summit picture of Dave Evans;   Photo by Todd Gordon
Summit picture of Dave Evans; Photo by...
Ewetopian Crack
Ewetopian Crack
Virgin Wool, 5.10-/C2+ <br />Photo: Mini-me
Virgin Wool, 5.10-/C2+
Photo: Mini-me
The funky low angle pitch one.  I understand this pitch now has bolts.  Photo;  Todd Gordon
The funky low angle pitch one. I understand this ...
Cyndie Bransford. <br />Photo by Todd Gordon.
Cyndie Bransford.
Photo by Todd Gordon.
Looking up at the roof on pitch 4. <br /> <br />Wheeeee.........
Looking up at the roof on pitch 4.

Wheeeee..........
Matt starting pitch 2 and glad that he has his warm coat on.
Matt starting pitch 2 and glad that he has his war...
Sheep Rock, Courthouse Wash
Sheep Rock, Courthouse Wash
Dave Evans high on the Ewetopian Crack.  Pitch 3.  Photo: Todd Gordon
Dave Evans high on the Ewetopian Crack. Pitch 3. ...
Some loser in running shoes using a stick clip on pitch one.
Some loser in running shoes using a stick clip on ...
At the Summit, Cyndie Bransford, Dave and Margie Evans. <br />Photo by Todd Gordon.
At the Summit, Cyndie Bransford, Dave and Margie E...
Starting pitch 3. Lassoing the second pin and wishing that Matt would have let me bring the stick clip along.  Oh  wait... upon further inspection it appears that I did have the stick clip with me and that is how I clipped the pin that I am on.
Starting pitch 3. Lassoing the second pin and wish...
Looking down at Jeff Widen and his shadow on the first pitch of Virgin Wool.
Looking down at Jeff Widen and his shadow on the f...
Comments on Virgin Wool Add Comment
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By toddgordon
From: Joshua Tree, California
Apr 25, 2007

I am glad to hear that the first pitch has been "fixed" up.....we ( Dave Evans, Cyndie Bransford , Margy Floyd and I ) did this climb in March of 1991, and I lead the first pitch , and it was soft and funky;....I remember placing a few pins and such;... Dave followed and did NOT bother with a hammer, as he could remove ALL the pins easily with his hands. This climb is really all about pitch 3, which (rats!) Dave got;...it's a wonderful long pitch of fairly good rock and good placements;...fast, fun, and fairly easy. The rest of the climb aint' no big thing. The summit, as you can image, is fantastic. What a great formation!

By Ben Kiessel
Dec 28, 2007

Matt and I climbed this on dec. 23rd and found a metolius nut tool at the base. I will mail it if you claim it.

By Bill Bones
Oct 21, 2009

4 pitches is all it is. 2 long pitches and 2 short. make sure to bring lots of small offset nuts and yellow and blue TCUS and/or green Aliens. 3 to 4 for the utopian pitch upper part. Rad route.

By A. Roberts
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 22, 2010
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c C2

Besides the offsets for the first half of the third pitch, 3 of each metolius #0-#2 are nice for the upper half of pitch 3. We also appreciated a blue tri-cam for a hole next to the last bolt on pitch 1. And a #5 camalot between the roof and the anchors on pitch 4. These pieces aren't mandatory but made things easier. Great climb, pitch 3 was by far my "pitch of the year". I wonder what "don't stand on the piton guy" would have thought about my shoulder stand to start pitch 3?