Wilson Regular Route
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BETA PHOTO: "Wilson Regular Route".
Photo by Blitzo.
Every data base needs some climbs you should NOT! do. This is one! Seems like every time we have been to the Freeway Wall we've seen someone having an epic adventure on this one. Usually involving trundling large blocks on the crowd below. It's an easy, (5.5) long, (3 pitch) climb and suckers in a crowd consistent with those atributes. There is however an inobvious and improbable looking left turn near the start of the second pitch. Most parties miss this and end up on the Wilson Irregular Route, 5.9?, bad pro, bad rock and in trouble. It took over 30 years for someone to con me into doing this one. I thought it looked worthless from the ground and doing it only confirmed that, but if you are a true masochist, here goes.
Pitch 1, Go up the easy and fairly obvious ramp on the left side of the large recess about 100ft or so left of The Swift. Belay at a big ledge. DO NOT CONTINUE UP THE RAMP!
Pitch 2, Step left and go up the plates on the right edge of the steep dark face. If you are a budding 5.5-5.6 leader this will look totaly wrong, but it goes! Belay on the large right trending ramp system. Short pitch.
Pitch 3, Continue up the easy ramp to the top. Be careful to avoid trundling loose crap on those below!
Standard J Tree Trad Rack
BETA PHOTO: Starting up pitch one.
BETA PHOTO: Starting to cross left towards the big flake on pi...
BETA PHOTO: Heading right to the nice belay ledge after pullin...
BETA PHOTO: Heading up pitch 2 (we combined the first two with...
|Comments on Wilson Regular Route
|By Adam Kimmerly|
Feb 28, 2005
Well, it's definitely not a bomb. Yah, sure if you're _ a 5.7 leader, it's NOT a good route for you. It is loose... very loose in places, but I climbed this in a party of three, leading all pitches with two less experienced climbers following, and there we caused no rockfall as we climbed the route. Route finding was not easy, but not impossible. The traverse left onto the plates on the short second pitch was apparent from the ground, but a little less while on the climb. 2nd pitch beta: GO LEFT. Go 20 ft up from the P1 belay, then head straight left to a ledge with a bush. There are good spots for pro if you avoid the rotten rock. from the ledge, go straight up the steep plates on gym-style holds. Belay just above the steep plates. 3rd pitch will traverse way right on the lower ramp then follow cracks and flakes to the top.
This climb is a lot like an alpine climb. It's lose. Route finding is not straightforward. Climbing is mostly easy with a few cruxy sections. All in all, I enjoyed the route. It's not your typical JTree style, but it's what I'd expect for a "... Regular Route."
|By Richard Beller|
Mar 23, 2005
I've done variations on this route a few times, but am not sure I've ever done it the way described above. Here's my somewhat faded recollection of my variations, which I've always enjoyed: Pitch 1 -- up the easy ramp to a sling belay around a pillar, or continue up and left to a ledge with a tree. Pitch 2: Slightly left and up a somewhat loose, but easy 5.5 chimney with large patina holds. Alternately, continue straight up a short but clean right-arching 5.9 dihedral with a finger crack. I remember this being a little tricky to protect, but nothing R rated.
|By Carl A|
From: brooklyn, ny
Jan 24, 2008
Hey This was one of my first trad leads. I've followed a bit and have my head on straight. I linked P1 and P2 together and basically walked up that ramp, in the dark.
The route wanders a bit but I thought it was straight forward and a fine 5.5 lead... I'd say there were some loose pebbles but not anything big. R rated my ass... not half as bad as a JTree sport climb.
From: Broomfield, CO
Oct 27, 2008
Speaking from a point of learning to lead trad, route find and being terribly afraid of heights, this is a great learning route. One thing to be sure to do ahead of time - study the route picture, so that you know where to go. Better yet, print one out and bring it with you! Fortunately, there are many places for pro and not too many "blank" areas to get stuck on. I didn't find much chossy rock at all, and I don't think that this route deserves an R rating since, being a beginner, I would never attempt an R climb in the first place. There was really only one more difficult move, which was pulling over the edge of the flake, but that was totally protectable. I even ran it out in a few sections, which if you have ever climbed with me you know would generally terrify me, but I felt fine to trust the rock here. I enjoyed it, and although I would not say it was spectacular, it was a good confidence builder!
We did the route in 2 pitches, which works if you bring a 70m rope. The belay then comes after the pull over the flake, up a bit to the right where there is a small bush and a nice little ledge for an anchor and a rest. For pro, I used a couple nuts, cams between .5 and 3 (as an anchor) and many, many slings to lessen rope drag. So, all in all, a route worth doing to learn trad leading and built your "trad head".
|By Bill Olszewski|
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Feb 27, 2009
rating: 5.5 R
Fun route, highly recommended. R rating for the second pitch for questionable rock and sparse pro.
|By Brian Hench|
From: Costa Mesa, CA
Mar 4, 2009
We're one of the parties that once ended up on the Wilson Irregular Route. You'll know it by the spalding rock and old piton. It's pretty hard finger traverse, but was also kind of fun. If you're a 5.7 leader you wouldn't find it fun.
|By Brian Hench|
From: Costa Mesa, CA
Apr 7, 2009
We went back and did The Regular Route again this weekend, and this time did the second pitch correctly. You have to tip toe left on a horizontal ledge past a broken acacia bush. You have to be careful for rope drag. If you protect the traverse, which is easy, you'll have bad drag.
After climbing up the plates (FUN!) you go up to a ramp and past a bush to an easy gully.
There is an alternate finish that goes more or less straight up from the plates. It's harder than 5.5 though (5.7-5.8?) and it is a little tricky to protect, requiring small wires.
|By Ron Barry|
From: Yorba Linda, CA
Dec 7, 2009
I never bothered to do this route due to all the bad press over the years. However last weekend, I was bestowed the choice of either waiting in the queues for the Swift or Dappled Mare, or go climbing. So I climbed Wilson Reg Route. My impression is that it’s not all that bad. Not a stellar route, but not a dog either (beats waiting in line an hour to do the Swift). Encountered very little loose stuff, so I can only surmise that over the years, climbers have pulled most of it off. Route-finding is critical—stray off route and you’re on territory way harder than 5.5. The key is finding the line for pitch 2, because it definitely is not obvious. Brian Hench has the right-on beta: that little acacia bush. It’s on a tiny ledge that leads around a blind corner. You’ll see it and say “No way!”, but it goes. Exciting exposure. After the traverse, boogie up a vertical, plated wall (5.5) to a belay ledge. You can eliminate rope drag by using long slings. And don’t forget to protect the follower on the traverse! They will take a nasty pendulum if they come off. Pitch 3 is a cake walk ramp, up and right. I would not give this route an “R” rating, unless leader does not protect their partner on P2 traverse. Crux sections are easily protected.
|By Matt Du Puy|
Oct 19, 2010
I also disagree with the "R" rating of this route. This turned out to be a great first-time multipitch route for my follower. The climbing is very easy and obvious thanks to the beta provided here. I'll add that the start has a nice big shady pine tree just to climber's right. The route was very easy to protect with cams, tri cams and a few nuts. Finding more than two solid anchors to belay at the ledge (top of the 1st pitch) was a bit tough but I managed a 3rd as a backup. There is a bomber crack for a #2 link cam though. The ledge traverse was also fun in the wind. Protected with sling on an obvious horn and an another small cam at the vertical transition.
I investigated Brian's suggestion of going straight up from the 2nd belay station. It was difficult to protect as he mentioned and probably 5.7-8. The 2nd belay station also has a great, slightly key-holed crack to stuff all varying sizes of cams in. I put in a .5, 1 and a super cam.
There were some lose pebbles here and there but nothing big enough to do any harm.
We walked off to climber's right over the very top of the obvious rock pile rather than around it to the left.
All in all, this is a really good route to learn multi-pitch trad.
Dec 10, 2011
Climbed this about a year ago. Really enjoyed this route and it provided a nice alternative to the busier stuff on the right side of the wall. We were the only party on this route all day.
No loose rock to my recollection.
I recall splitting the first pitch after the ramp (P1) and setting the first belay in a chimney-like feature. (P2) You turned the top of the chimney and climbed a crack up to a ledge with a big flake. Questionable rock quality and limited pro selection. Crux pitch for me, though nothing above 5.5
(P3) Hang a left at the flake and head up the plates. The plates are fun climbing and easy, but I seriously question any pro in those flakes. Definitely easy to break that stuff off if you're not careful. (P4) Belayed on the massive ledge below the next big ramp. Head up the ramp to the top.
Apr 19, 2012
Did this a few days ago, the swift was queued up, so to kill time we decided to give it a go. I felt it is rated correctly, but it would be very easy to get off route and end up in area of much higher difficulty, or dirty loose conditions. So my advice is to be patient and seek the 5.5. Belay as described, before the traverse. We did not like the look of the “plates” they are easy enough to climb, but they sound very hollow and options for pro were not obvious. We chose to continue to traverse left onto the Red Arête. This was my favorite part of the route. A 2-3inch belly high horizontal crack will take pro before and after the step around. Very exposed, but well protected with big knobs. This will put you above the plates. We chose to go under the roof; it is somewhat dirty and OW but only 6 feet across. Going over the roof might be a better choice. Then follow the easy ramp to the top. The real bonus to this route is a very good look at the swift from top to bottom