This is a stupendous face route in an amazingly beautiful wilderness setting. Follow Hill's description for approaching Wigwam Dome. If you are lucky, you will find the trail that leads right to the base of the cliff. From the base looking up, you have the broad expanse of slab with the huge arch in it to you right and to the left the impressive Tee Pee (or TB??) Buttress a 400+ tower that forms the left side of Wigwam Dome. Walk up around and left past the base of the arete and look for the bolts.
P1. 11a. Climb directly up to the first bolt on the west side of the arete (crux). After pulling around the arete onto the south-facing slab the fun begins. 80 or 90 feet of sustained face climbing on impeccable feldspar crystals with another 10c crux at about 75 feet. This pitch is very sustained at the 10a level. Belay on a nice flat ledge with two bolts.
P2. 10b. Up to the first bolt past a couple of ledges (I used gear here) to the base of the arete. Up the arete (crux) on amazing crystal pinching and arete hugging. The climbing eases of after a bit and climbs past several more bolts to another nice ledge with a two bolt belay.
P3. 10b. I found this to be the phsycological crux of the route. This is the old pitch 3 of TB Buttress. I have vivid memories of the scariness of this thing (maybe I was just off that day ;-) Up the face on more typical very thin lower angle face climb with multiple runouts to the top of the tower. Wheeww.
Walk back to the norh to locate the rappels down the west side of Wigwam.
Classic rock, classic moves, classic position!!
What more can I say ? ;)
This is mainly bolt protected, but there are a couple of places getting off ledges etc. where a piece of gear might come in handy. I personally always carry a small selection of gear (small amount of gear but a wide variety) on routes like this. I agree with Hubbel's comment in the guide that even though these climbs are bolted, they don't have the feel of sport climbs.
By Simon Hatfield
From: Oakland, CA
Aug 29, 2011
If you aren't up to the .11a low crux, you can start on the adjacent route (5.9) and meet up at the P1 anchors. All bolts are shiny 3/8" stainless. You can get down from the top of P2 with a single 60m, we didn't try P3 due to weather.
I found this climb to be aesthetic, on excellent rock, and VERY hard for the grade.
You'll probably just want ~10 QDs and a 2" cam for a horizontal on P2.
By Don Ferris
From: Eldorado Springs
Oct 18, 2015
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13
I think the description might be a bit misleading.
The first pitch is 11a off the ground and only 10a with a spot of 10c near the top. Not a very hard pitch if your calves can take it.
Pitch 2 is what I would call the psychological crux with sustained 10b/c climbing in between well-spaced bolts. To me, this was the most difficult and taxing pitch.
Pitch 3 was similar in difficulty to pitch 1 without the off the ground crux. Pretty cruiser with much closer spaced bolts.
Overall, I would not say VERY hard for the grade. To me, 11a seemed right on the money. Don't be scared.