Dillon on-sight leads Watermarks on crisp clear No...
Watermarks is considered by many to be the ultimate moderate climb at the park. This may or may not be your opinion. The route has some nice moves and fun sequences, and it sure is easy to get to. It's also not very long, often crowded, etc. To be sure, if you can't get on the route due to its popularity it's not something to get your undies twisted up over.
Now to the route... Watermarks is easily located by finding the water stains on the southeast end of the Balanced Rock Wall. Climb easily up to a small ledge. Traverse right carefully on this ledge until you reach the two triangular pockets. Use the two triangular pockets to make your way up to a slight bulge in the rock. Use the crack and small face holds to surmount the bulge (crux). Continue up crack to the top.
Watermarks is a fun climb, plain and simple. It requires a nice variety of movement and, though it does have an identifiable crux, is consistently challenging throughout. I consider this a "must climb" route.
By Steve Sangdahl From: eldo sprngs,co Mar 28, 2005 rating: 5.8+5b16VI-15HVS 4c
watermarks is one of the best at dl.especially fun to climb on a full moon during the "beer ban"(does the dnr still do the beer ban thing?")bring plenty o swill and no flashlights or i.d.
By Stephen Marsh From: Thornton, CO Jul 6, 2005 rating: 5.85b16VI-15HVS 4c
If this climb was anywhere else it would not be considered a classic. That's not to say it's a bad climb, I had fun leading it. The hardest climbing is on the first half and that's also the hardest part to protect. To lead it you better be comfortable at placing really small gear and trusting it. That, or use a crash pad and spotter for the start.
Stephen:If you don't mind me asking. What do you mean by your comment "if this climb (watermaraks)was anywhere else it would not be considered a classic"? Are Devils Lake "Classic's" any less a "Classic" by virtue of their location at Devils Lake? Please clarify.
By Stephen Marsh From: Thornton, CO Jul 9, 2005 rating: 5.85b16VI-15HVS 4c
I meant just what I wrote, and nothing more! I haven't done enough climbing at Devils Lake to be able to form an opinion as to whether or not Watermarks is one of the great moderates in the area. I knew the climb was popular before doing it, and for me, it didn't hold up to all the hype. As I wrote, I still think it's a good climb worth doing. If it sounded like I was degrading the climbing at the Lake, that was not my intention.
Set anchors for top roping on the ledge at the top of the climb, not up alongside Balanced Rock. From the base of Watermarks, go to the right and up to find the Box Canyon which is behind the wall. Go into the far SW corner of this, and boulder up about eight feet to get to the ledge.
Not a fan of this one and it definitely isn't a climb for a new 5.8 climber. Be careful to protect the middle section, there's a notch where I placed a nut but I didn't have confidence in it. Thankfully there's a good cam placement a bit higher up.