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West Ridge - part B - Long John to Verschneidung
Routes Sorted
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Aftershock TR 
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Break on Through T 
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Chianti T 
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Ein Kluck T,TR 
Ghetto Blaster T,TR 
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Next to Nearly T 
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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 

Washington Irving 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 130'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: Jim Erickson, Jim Walsh, Ed Wright, 1969
Fixed Hardware: 2 Belay Bolts [details]
Page Views: 7,926
Submitted By: Andrew Wellman on Jan 1, 2001

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Nick Thompson chilling on the top of Washington Ir...

Climbing reopened after flood MORE INFO >>>

Description 

This is a one pitch route that climbs a good crack in the back of a low-angle dihedral. It is just to the left of The Unsaid and is a great warm-up for any climbs in the area. The climbing is fun on positive holds and is always well protected.

There is a second pitch. Per Dave Holliday: Steve Levin describes a second pitch to this route (5.2). After getting to the anchor atop the first pitch, clamber over some choss to access a low-angle slab. Climb it with periodic gear placements in the corner to a cable anchor with rappel rings.

Protection 

Standard trad rack. Bolt anchors at the top allow for top-roping subsequent ascents.

Warning 

Eds. The anchor may be a rope stretcher to rappel with a short downclimb with a 50m rope to the ledge 30 ft up. Consider 2 ropes or a 60m rope. Also, if you belay from the ground, do not lower with a single rope!


Photos of Washington Irving Slideshow Add Photo
Eds.  Note, this rappel may be a rope stretcher wi...
BETA PHOTO: Eds. Note, this rappel may be a rope stretcher wi...
Gary Schmidt having fun onsighting the pitch of Wa...
Gary Schmidt having fun onsighting the pitch of Wa...
Marga Powell getting pro at the start of the steep...
Marga Powell getting pro at the start of the steep...
Getting into the dihedral.
Getting into the dihedral.
Moving over the crux move on the route.
Moving over the crux move on the route.
Nick Thompson stemming out 1/2 way up.
Nick Thompson stemming out 1/2 way up.
The final high stepping move.
The final high stepping move.
Eric makes his way up Washington Irving.
Eric makes his way up Washington Irving.

Comments on Washington Irving Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 27, 2014
By Holly Barnard
Mar 12, 2002

This a great route for its grade. I would give it 3 stars. The route eats a standard rack, so its good for a beginning [Eldo] leader. You often have the option of shoving in a cam or using more creative nut placements from good stances. Bring some longer runners for lower placements and for the option of tying yourself in at the anchors. You can do a short 5.4ish pitch down and right of the climb in order to reach the belay ledge if you feel like doing something only slightly more interesting than scrambling up.
By tobias
From: CO
Jul 10, 2002

anybody know what the bolted route is that goes on above washington? I jumped on it and definitely hit my ceiling for the day. Must go at 5.12 something? Thanks
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 10, 2002

The 3 bolt line above Washington Irving is listed as "Atom Smasher 12c" in the latest edition of Rossiter.
By James Balasalle
Sep 23, 2002

I agree. A great climb for the beginning Eldo leader. It was my first Eldo lead. Protecting the first bulge is a tad tricky, but definitely doable. There are two sets of [bolts] at the top that you can used to rap off, or top rope [The Unsaid].
By Peter Spindloe
From: North Vancouver, BC
Dec 10, 2002

This route was the subject of an amusing episode in John Long's book "Close Calls : Climbing Mishaps & Near-Death Experiences." If the pseudonym-protected subjects of the story peruse this site, would they care to reveal themselves?
By Mike Epke
From: Denver, CO
Jul 21, 2003

Super fun route with some committing moves for a 5.6, but as said before the route eats the pro up and is a touch harder than Calypso for the same grade.

deserves three stars
By James Garnett
From: Bellingham, WA
May 8, 2004

Don't need anything bigger than a #2 Camalot here; a full set of nuts and a few tricams would probably suffice.
By Gary Schmidt
From: Boulder, CO
May 15, 2005

Easier than Duh Dihedral but still requires a couple of thoughtful moves, though the cruxes are easy to protect. Definitely worth doing if in the area.
By Lee Smith
Aug 12, 2007

Great route for new trad leaders but one suggestion: be very aware of what you are placing gear into. There is a section approximately half way up that has some very loose blocks and hollow flakes. It is easy to place gear in this section but just as easy to pull it out!

Also, if you belay from the ground this route is way longer than the 100 feet listed in the description.
By Mark Cushman
From: Cumming, GA
Oct 21, 2007

I agree with James, you don't need anything bigger than large hands for this route. It protects very well with passive gear, too.
By J. Fox
From: Black Hawk, CO
Mar 10, 2008

Definitely a good route for beginning trad leaders (like me) wanting an intro to Eldo. This was/is harder than any .6 I'd done previously. It makes you think. I placed everything from a tiny stopper (#4) all the way up to a #4 Camalot. I'm sure I was over protecting though, since I'm kinda new to leading trad. Fun route though overall.
By Abram Herman
From: Golden, CO
Jun 6, 2009
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Fun climb with good mix of holds. Easily protected, didn't need anything larger than #3 Camalot. Seems much easier to make the short climb up onto the ledge than to belay from the ground; we had about 5 ft. left to the middle marks (w/o stretch) when I led on a 60m, so from the ground I don't think you could lower/TR from it safely.
By Claire Rose
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 1, 2012

This was a great route for my first time climbing and first pitch. Easy to protect from what I understand.
By Dave Holliday
Jan 18, 2014

In the second edition of Steve Levin's excellent guide to the canyon, he describes a second pitch to this route (5.2). After getting to the anchor atop the first pitch, clamber over some choss to access a low-angle slab. Climb it with periodic gear placements in the corner to a cable anchor with rappel rings.

The two pitches are easily linked; clip one of the anchor bolts atop the first pitch to keep the rope from getting sucked into a crack as you continue up the second pitch.
By Andres Fernandez
Oct 27, 2014
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I lead this on a great fall day. I would definitely recommend if you want to lead a good 5.6. The top of pitch one you can practice setting anchors to the left of the tree and disregard using the rap bolts until you actually need to rap off. I'd recommend the 5.2 forty foot 2nd pitch to the top. Great view of all the climbers on Redgarden Wall. There is a wire wrap slings with about 3 or 4 wrap rings to get back to the top of the 1st pitch.
By dvdcmiller
2 days ago

Climbed with Andrew on 2014/10/25.

I will add a general description, route diagram, and a link to my photos at: flickr.com/photos/19047247@N04...

Fantastic weather (even hot for October, above 80 F), so we went climbing in Eldorado Canyon state park. We started with Washington Irving on the West Ridge and then East Slabs on the Whales Tail.

Washington Irving: Cross the stream at the parking lots south of the West Ridge. Follow up the climbers trail to about 1/2 way along the Ridge to near the Long John wall. Washington Irving follows the dihedral to the tree right of the taller routes (Long John, Break on Through, etc). The 1st pitch of the climb might be made from the bottom using a 60 m rope. A shorter 2nd pitch may be made by following the flat low angle rock directly above the 1st pitch. There is a wire with rings to rappel from the top of the 2nd pitch. There are 2 bolts to rappel the first pitch - it will not go all the way to base of the rock with a 60 m rope. So i've marked the end of the rappel with a circle at N39.93134 W105.28788 at 6,316'.

East Slabs: You can get to the top in 2 pitches if you push if and set up a less comfortable station above the big juniper tree 1/3 of the way up the rock. We rappelled off of a tree near top, maybe a 50' rappel. In retrospect, you can walk off if you down climb a little lower on the north end or rappel the bolts at the West Crack at the top (looks like a 60 m rope or two ropes is recommended from there). Photo from the base of the East slabs at N39.93140 W105.28309 at 6,027'.

Posted 2014/10/26.
route diagram
route diagram