Devils Lake - moderate gearless toprope


Original Post
Patrick T · · Oxford, OH · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 0

Hello DL experts, I'm heading to the lake around Labor Day (ugh) and would like to set some moderate topropes for myself and my wife. Problem is I'm devoid of gear outside of webbing, slings, and static rope. Anyone have some suggestions on some good 5.4-5.8 routes that don't require gear (I.e. I can just sling some boulders/trees)? Thanks!

Brian James · · Appleton, WI · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 85

If you have a lot of webbing and static rope most of the routes will be accessible to you via boulders and trees, just do not cross any trails with your setup.The only areas off the top of my head that you might want to steer clear of for lack of boulders/trees are parts of Cleos Amphitheater and a few areas on the East Rampart, but if you are going Labor Day weekend you are going to want to steer clear of those areas anyway. I'd recommend https://www.mountainproject.com/v/721---birthday-rocks/105730056 for ease of setups and not being a total clusterf*ck on those days.

ottothecow · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 0

Just next to Birthday Rocks is Railroad Amphitheater which has some pretty fun routes in the 5.4-5.8 range.

I know you can very easily do Pine Tree Step Across by slinging a large horn and tying to a tree.  You should also be able to do both the inside and outside routes up the pillar (The Pillar and Tang Schwang) which are fun 5.6/5.8 routes that can both be done from teh same anchor...You might need a bit of length to get to the trees, but there is currently a deeply stuck nut on the ledge above the finish that you can use as an additional point.

Oh, and you can swim in the lake just across the tracks from the climbs in that area...  There's a nice diving board rock with maybe 20+ foot depth underneath that is maybe 25-50 feet north of the end of railroad ampitheater.

Dylan B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 613

I assume you have some caribiners and a dynamic rope too.

Gear apart from webbing and 'biners is not necessary, but a basic rack of wired stoppers is immensely helpful for simplifying a lot of anchors and minimizing clusterf--k. Ninety bucks isn't chump-change for many folks, but if you can scrape it together, it's worth the investment.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45

Old Sandstone is a good option.  Easy approach, lots of trees at the top, and Sandstone tends to be much more forgiving than quartzite.  There aren't a ton of super easy climbs, but a fair amount in the 5.6-5.8 range.

Dylan B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 613
Ted Pinson wrote:

Old Sandstone is a good option.  Easy approach, lots of trees at the top, and Sandstone tends to be much more forgiving than quartzite.  There aren't a ton of super easy climbs, but a fair amount in the 5.6-5.8 range.

I assume someone's already bootied my .5 C4 off Chez Chimney. A friend got it stuck there back in 2014 on one of her first leads. 

If not, the OP should try.

Patrick T · · Oxford, OH · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 0

This is all very helpful. Thanks! If anyone is around that weekend and wants to climb let me know!

Logan Vilas · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 0
Dylan B. wrote:

I assume someone's already bootied my .5 C4 off Chez Chimney. A friend got it stuck there back in 2014 on one of her first leads. 

If not, the OP should try.

I didn't see it in the chimney yesterday but I found an omega cam deep in American Beauty.

Karl Gregory · · Unknown Hometown · Joined 27 days ago · Points: 0

Hey there! There really shouldn't be much that you can't setup out there. Top access is pretty easy with the hiking trails. I would say go for the East Ramparts because it's the main stage and there are plenty of classics but it will be busy. You're going to be mostly slinging boulders there because the trees along the bluffs are dead, too small, or too far back in my experience. We were recently at Brinton's Buttress and I know for a fact there are some solid boulders there and it's worth setting up just for Brinton's Crack (5.6), a super classic route. If you're going for trees please do not use anything where your rope or sling crosses the mega-obvious hiking trail. Old Sandstone is more forgiving rock and has plenty of trees and might/might not be less busy

Maayan L · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 0

On the East Rampart the bedroom amphitheater area has 3 trees and is an easy top-rope setup for 3-4 cool easy to moderate routes (Second coming and Orgasm are super fun 5.7-5.8, DL gradings. There's also a 5.5 named Foreplay). Also on the East Rampart and very close to the bedroom amphitheater, Pseudo Hawk's nest has 3 huge boulders on the top, directly above two 5.7-5.8 routes (Chicken delight and Chicken tonight). 

We were recently at Brinton's Buttress and I know for a fact there are some solid boulders there and it's worth setting up just for Brinton's Crack (5.6), a super classic route.

I respectfully disagree. IMO Brinton's buttress is a fairly complex top-rope setup (for the lake) and most people (including myself) would use cams and hexes in the cracks. Some of the boulders around are actually detached flakes and from other boulders webbing can easily slide off. 

On the West side of the lake, as others mentioned, Cleo's amphitheater has easy access and boulders to sling. Pork-chop buttress is also an easy setup with trees and boulders, with cool 5.5 to 5.6 routes (The famous "Bone" and Jacob's ladder), but the approach is less straightforward.

Jack Servedio · · Raleigh,NC · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 20

Birch Tree Crack 5.8 and the Stretcher 5.9+ on Pedestal can be done with only static on the same anchor. There is a thread climbers left and a some very large boulders climbers right you can wrap.

Alex Zucca · · University Heights · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 45

Horse rampart has trees at the top for routes between Roger's Roof and Mung. Birthday Crack also has some big trees at the top.

Dylan B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 613
Logan Vilas wrote:

I didn't see it in the chimney yesterday but I found an omega cam deep in American Beauty.

Good. I hope it made it onto someone´s rack, and didn´t end up in a dustbin or littering the woods.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply

Log In to Reply