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Wheels on Fire Direct 

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

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 120'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Smith, Ellison, Noble '80
Page Views: 2,331
Submitted By: Peter Gram on Jul 2, 2004

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (40)
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BETA PHOTO: Wheels on Fire climbs the crack until the obvious ...

Description 

Wheels on Fire Direct is a very good variation high up on the Wheels of Fire route. The start is the same as for Wheels on Fire. Scramble up a really slick section to gain a higher ledge. Either approach the crack directly for a little more challenge, or traverse in from the left up higher. Jam and lieback up to the big flake (crux right below the flake).

Instead of the leftward hand traverse at the flake, continue straight up the steep dihedral with a few small bulges. This climbing is quite juggy and has great jams, but is a lieback so a lead is much harder than a TR. The face smears are also quite ricey in spots.

Protection 

Standard Rack. Small cams up to a #3 Camalot. The upper section is mostly small-hand-sized.

Descent 

One 60m rope rap gets you all the way down past the slick scrambling. This is a rope stretcher, but it is very safe, and is not the 130' mentioned in the guidebook. Make sure to watch out for the rock eating cracks near the anchor.


Photos of Wheels on Fire Direct Slideshow Add Photo
Liebacking at the crux.
Liebacking at the crux.
Another view with lines <br />1) Wheels on Fire <br />2) Wheels on Fire Direct
BETA PHOTO: Another view with lines 1) Wheels on Fire 2) Wheel...
Another shot of a great route.
Another shot of a great route.
Setting my red Metolius, to protect the last strenuous sequence.
Setting my red Metolius, to protect the last stren...
Grabbing a rest.
Grabbing a rest.

Comments on Wheels on Fire Direct Add Comment
Show which comments
By Nathan Fisher
May 24, 2006
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

If I had to choose this one or the original line, and I could only do one. I would have a hard time choosing one. This one is better for the fact that it is pumpier and more sustained. Original has the exciting traverse. Again though, great stances for great gear. I used the 3 chickenheads as my stances for gear. Run it out between.
By Stymingersfink
Apr 15, 2008

The top end had some kitty litter on it when I did it in '04. I don't think this thing gets nearly as much traffic as it deserves.
By Boissal
From: Small Lake, UT
Jun 16, 2008
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Not much harder than the indirect version and at least as good.
Watch for the horn of doom near the top that will catch your rope and shred it to pieces or stop you when you try to lower.
By Greg G
From: SLC, UT
Nov 8, 2009

50 feet of lie backing should be inspiration enough to get up there and do this one!
By Landon McBrayer
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 28, 2010

I found this to be easier than Wheels on Fire, mostly because gear was easier to place.
By Jason Eichhorst
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 28, 2012

Good sustained layback section at the top. Real fun. Doesn't get the stars it deserves.
By Charlie S
From: Ogden, UT
Nov 3, 2013

Sure, you can layback, but creative jamming and footwork can go a long way too.

The gear at the crux is awesome. Go for it! The bottom half is standard LCC flaring butt crack. But there are a few sections which take nuts very well.
By Stan Pitcher
From: SLC, UT
Nov 4, 2013

From the top you can get to the last pitch of Fallen Arches which is a pretty nice 5.9 finger crack.
By Sam Cannon
From: Holladay, Utah
Mar 26, 2014

It seems to be rare where you have a classic line with a classic variation, each within half of a grade of each other. I love, love, love Wheels. Both lines are superb, but I do like the direct finish better. You get the crux of Wheels standard, and while Wheels (at least in my opinion) gets easier once you hit the traverse, the direct finish is sustained with amazing jamming and great gear. I think liebacking is the more strenuous and insecure way to climb it.

Honestly, second only to "Mexican Crack," this is my favorite/the best 10a in LCC and feels true to the grade (not inflated/sandbagged).