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BETA PHOTO: Royal Arch on a foggy morning
A fun, short route on the west buttress of Royal Arch (the photo shows the west buttress, but from the southeast). Start on the west side of this buttress, which is quite steep at the bottom. The first 20' is the crux and is difficult to protect. Fortunately as you get higher it gets much easier and soon you are on the top. This pitch is less than 100' long.
To descend, downclimb the east face route until you can escape to the south.
Light rack, mostly small stuff.
the first in a free soloing sequence
Pulling through the gear-less crux
Up and up
no tripod, just propped on a rock and a stick
Nearing the short summit
Descend down the easy east face
|By George Bell|
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 5, 2002
I've added an "R" rating to this route. The first 10' of this route is the crux, up a blank corner with no pro. A fall from here would not be pretty. This is not a good beginner lead (however, it IS only ~5.6, I know people who routinely free solo it).
You can approach this climb from either side of the arch, although both involve a move or two of 4th class. You may want to belay below the ledge where the crux starts. There is a rusty bolt on top with no hangar, but you can find places for gear.
From the top, you can toprope a cool knobby face to the right of this route, the far left side of the south face (5.8?). This face is visible in the photo above.
|By Brad Schildt|
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 10, 2002
Alternate descent: simul-rappel the arch. One 50-meter rope is sufficient. The tourists will think you're totally cool.
|By Warren Teissier|
Dec 16, 2002
I did this route last Saturday and to George's point:
I found it was impossible to protect the crux moves. Your only hope for protection is to have your belayer come up to the boulder from which you start the climb and hope that if you come off, he will be able to hold you before you deck on the talus below the large boulder from which you started.
That being said, there are two positive footholds and a couple of nice handholds (not huge but good) that make the moves rather secure. Once you make the first two moves, the climb becomes class 4, with lots of exposure...
|By shad O'Neel|
May 1, 2003
i would only [recommend] this climb to people who feel comfortable soloing it. there is no place for gear throught the crux, as others have mentioned, and then it is easy. A fall in the crux would leave you in rough shape. As a solo though, its great, you can come down from the ameboid and sneak up on the tourists from the top of the arch- they cant see you until you are done descending and are hanging with them by the caged tree.