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What is your Favorite 12a sport route?


evan h · · Denver, CO · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 320

Genesis, Rifle 

Heretic Wisdom, Wailing Wall

the schmuck · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 115
Jerry432 wrote:

oh for sure Coup is top notch and probably one of my favs but its 12b. that thing pumps me out of my mind when my endurance is lacking!! 

Since we are on southern NM, have you tried Scott and Jump Start at The Tunnel?  Those are brilliant!

Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 1,030
Franck Vee wrote:

Ten Sleep is great, too, if you liked Spearfish. Similar rock (both limestone), but still a bit different - TS tends to be longer routes, and less bouldery/cruxy than what you may find in Spearfish. I found that in Spearfish, well first it's not nearly as chalked, and the rock tends to be somewhat less featured. And often more cruxy. TLOTM is at Indian Wars, which is a great wall for low 12s. One of my favorite walls @ Spearfish for sure. You usually have a larger selection of easier climbs in TS, too and they tend to be fairly well mixed which is nice if you have a party with varying capacities or like to take it slow when you warm up. 

Funny, I love Ten Sleep, but really didn't care for Spearfish. Granted, I only spent 2 days there, and maybe I didn't hit the right crags, both times we were looking for at least some routes in the 10-11 range. But those 2 days didn't make me want to climb in Spearfish at all. Still want to check out the VC. Love You Long Time (12a) has been hyped up by a friend as the greatest route ever, but we were there in late June, and didn't want to deal with the cold wet hike through the creek.

Looking back at my ticks, these are the only 12a's that I had given 4 stars at the time I had climbed them, so apparently my favorite 12a's are:

Starry Night, RRG
Bare Metal Teen, RRG
Kick me in the Jimmie, RRG
Supafly, RRG
Check your Grip, RRG
Narcissus, NRG
Namaste, Colob Canyon
Sand Stoner Reverse, St George
Fear and Loathing, Red Rocks
Boubouki Extension, Leonidio, Greece

Memory plays tricks on you! I can barely remember Sand Stoner Reverse. I mean, it was a fun route, at the time, but it is just not in the same category as Namaste, why did I think it was that great? It might have been just the best route I did that day, and that's about it.
And Check Your Grip? I mean sure, it is good, but it really only got 4 stars because it was my first 12a, looking back, I'm pretty sure that was the reason. :)
And apparently there were no 12a's in TenSleep, or Maple, or Rumney, that I liked well enough to rate at 4 stars, only 12b's and c's? And I climbed no 4-star routes in Spain? Weird, if I didn't have my tick list, I would be telling you that the best climbing ever is in Spain. And yet somehow I haven't done a single 12a there that I thought was worth 4 stars?

stow · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 85

Fave 12a's:

Farley: Hard as an Oosik

Red: Too Many Puppies

Rumney: Silver Surfer

Sundown: Romper Room

Wild Iris: Choke Cherry Eyes

Ten Sleep: Tricks for You (slab)

Mormon Hollow: Priapism (JSiegrist claims best 12a in New England)

Non-US:

Rodellar: Juan y Fran se nos Van

Ceuse: Retour en Afrique

Terradets: Pasta sin Agua


Jerry432 · · odessa texas · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 10
Lena chita wrote:

Funny, I love Ten Sleep, but really didn't care for Spearfish. Granted, I only spent 2 days there, and maybe I didn't hit the right crags, both times we were looking for at least some routes in the 10-11 range. But those 2 days didn't make me want to climb in Spearfish at all. Still want to check out the VC. Love You Long Time (12a) has been hyped up by a friend as the greatest route ever, but we were there in late June, and didn't want to deal with the cold wet hike through the creek.

Looking back at my ticks, these are the only 12a's that I had given 4 stars at the time I had climbed them, so apparently my favorite 12a's are:

Starry Night, RRG
Bare Metal Teen, RRG
Kick me in the Jimmie, RRG
Supafly, RRG
Check your Grip, RRG
Narcissus, NRG
Namaste, Colob Canyon
Sand Stoner Reverse, St George
Fear and Loathing, Red Rocks
Boubouki Extension, Leonidio, Greece

Memory plays tricks on you! I can barely remember Sand Stoner Reverse. I mean, it was a fun route, at the time, but it is just not in the same category as Namaste, why did I think it was that great? It might have been just the best route I did that day, and that's about it.
And Check Your Grip? I mean sure, it is good, but it really only got 4 stars because it was my first 12a, looking back, I'm pretty sure that was the reason. :)
And apparently there were no 12a's in TenSleep, or Maple, or Rumney, that I liked well enough to rate at 4 stars, only 12b's and c's? And I climbed no 4-star routes in Spain? Weird, if I didn't have my tick list, I would be telling you that the best climbing ever is in Spain. And yet somehow I haven't done a single 12a there that I thought was worth 4 stars?

Starry night looks pretty pretty rad. I still haven't made my voyage to the red but one day I will. Last year I elected to go to Rumney but was a dead of summer trip so that factored in my choice. 

MorganH · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 170
Jerry432 wrote:

Just wanted to know what some of yall's favorite 12a sport routes are out there in the country. I always look for the classics in the areas I'm fortunate to go to and maybe this will spark some interest in an area I have never thought about trying out. 

Also please don't bother with disputes about grades. I get that crap is subjective but if your guidebook or the proj classifies it as 12a then that's a good enough gauge for me.  

Some of mine are: 

  1. Swept Away -  Last Chance Canyon 
  2. Social Outcast - Rumney 
  3. Wind and rattlesnakes - Wild iris 


Social Outcast was my first 12a. I think the Fifth Force has to be the best though. 

Jerry432 · · odessa texas · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 10
the schmuck wrote:

Since we are on southern NM, have you tried Scott and Jump Start at The Tunnel?  Those are brilliant!

Scott is super good!! dude that's funny I tried jump start 2 weekends ago but I was very tired and didn't send (not even close). The tunnel is 5 hours from us and LCC and SBF are like 2.5-3 so that's where I frequent. The tunnel is definitely an acquired taste and difficult climbing. I climb so scared there for some reason it gets in my head. makes you strong though. 

Xan Calonne · · Joshua Tree, Ca · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 35

Heretic Wisdom at the Wailing Wall is amazing. 

the schmuck · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 115
Jerry432 wrote:

Scott is super good!! dude that's funny I tried jump start 2 weekends ago but I was very tired and didn't send (not even close). The tunnel is 5 hours from us and LCC and SBF are like 2.5-3 so that's where I frequent. The tunnel is definitely an acquired taste and difficult climbing. I climb so scared there for some reason it gets in my head. makes you strong though. 

You should try Heat Stroke Straight Up, aka Deep Stroke. That route is fantastic, but a bit bagged at 12-  

J W · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,545

Steep Thrills, Red Rock

Save the Heart to Eat Later, Red Rock

Namaste, Zion

The Spell, Skaha (probably one of my all time favorite sport pitches)

49, Maple Canyon

Jerry432 · · odessa texas · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 10
John Wilder wrote:

Steep Thrills, Red Rock

Save the Heart to Eat Later, Red Rock

Namaste, Zion

The Spell, Skaha (probably one of my all time favorite sport pitches)

49, Maple Canyon

Sunny and Steep area has been my favorite place in the Vegas area thus far. 

Franck Vee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 70
Lena chita wrote:

Funny, I love Ten Sleep, but really didn't care for Spearfish. Granted, I only spent 2 days there, and maybe I didn't hit the right crags, both times we were looking for at least some routes in the 10-11 range. But those 2 days didn't make me want to climb in Spearfish at all. Still want to check out the VC. Love You Long Time (12a) has been hyped up by a friend as the greatest route ever, but we were there in late June, and didn't want to deal with the cold wet hike through the creek.

Looking back at my ticks, these are the only 12a's that I had given 4 stars at the time I had climbed them, so apparently my favorite 12a's are:

Starry Night, RRG
Bare Metal Teen, RRG
Kick me in the Jimmie, RRG
Supafly, RRG
Check your Grip, RRG
Narcissus, NRG
Namaste, Colob Canyon
Sand Stoner Reverse, St George
Fear and Loathing, Red Rocks
Boubouki Extension, Leonidio, Greece

Memory plays tricks on you! I can barely remember Sand Stoner Reverse. I mean, it was a fun route, at the time, but it is just not in the same category as Namaste, why did I think it was that great? It might have been just the best route I did that day, and that's about it.
And Check Your Grip? I mean sure, it is good, but it really only got 4 stars because it was my first 12a, looking back, I'm pretty sure that was the reason. :)
And apparently there were no 12a's in TenSleep, or Maple, or Rumney, that I liked well enough to rate at 4 stars, only 12b's and c's? And I climbed no 4-star routes in Spain? Weird, if I didn't have my tick list, I would be telling you that the best climbing ever is in Spain. And yet somehow I haven't done a single 12a there that I thought was worth 4 stars?

Yeah that would be, I think, one of the main downsides of Spearfish - it's harder to find a lot of 10s. 11s well in my memory you would find good ones at most crags, however it's true that being more bouldery/cruxy, even low 11s may not be such a great warmup. I didn't go to VC (though we stayed in SP for 3 weeks almost). Reason being that the real classical routes there seemed to be mostly the steep, steep 12+/13s and that was out of my league. So if you would like more diversity in the grades offered, I'm not sure VC will necessarily meet that expectation.

Spearfish tends to a stiff moves for the grades. Nonetheless, I'm pretty sure that sport climbers who enjoyed TS and are in the mood to push themselves on hard moves on lead can find more than enough stuff to be happy campers. Only caveats perhaps being if you need enough 10s to last all day at a single crag.. there are some but not as much as in TS for sure.

I need to try Check Your Grip next March, since I think it's close to Hakuna which I also want to hit. OH and Starry Night as well for sure (though its not in that sector)

Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 1,030
Jerry432 wrote:

Sunny and Steep area has been my favorite place in the Vegas area thus far. 

Agreed! I really liked that crag. That's what made me wonder about the memory tricks, because the first 12a route I thought of in Red Rocks wasn't Fear and Loathing, it was Sunny and Steep, and Steep Thrills. But when I look at my tick/star list, apparently I really loved Fear and Loathing. And thought Sunny and Steep was only worth 3 stars... But a few years later, that's not how I remember it. Actually, the way I remember it, Running Man was the best single pitch route in Red Rocks. But it isn't 12a...

Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 1,030
Franck Vee wrote:

Yeah that would be, I think, one of the main downsides of Spearfish - it's harder to find a lot of 10s. 11s well in my memory you would find good ones at most crags, however it's true that being more bouldery/cruxy, even low 11s may not be such a great warmup. I didn't go to VC (though we stayed in SP for 3 weeks almost). Reason being that the real classical routes there seemed to be mostly the steep, steep 12+/13s and that was out of my league. So if you would like more diversity in the grades offered, I'm not sure VC will necessarily meet that expectation.

Spearfish tends to a stiff moves for the grades. Nonetheless, I'm pretty sure that sport climbers who enjoyed TS and are in the mood to push themselves on hard moves on lead can find more than enough stuff to be happy campers. Only caveats perhaps being if you need enough 10s to last all day at a single crag.. there are some but not as much as in TS for sure.

I need to try Check Your Grip next March, since I think it's close to Hakuna which I also want to hit. OH and Starry Night as well for sure (though its not in that sector)

I'll keep that in mind. Spearfish did seem to have "stoper" height-dependent moves on a lot of routes, regardless of the grade, the way I remember it. But trying to climb after doing a 20 hr drive in one push probably didn't help the matters. Steep routes in the VC sound really enticing though...

I need to get back on Hakuna Matata. That one spanked me pretty badly the one time I tried it, but a lot of people really like it. Maybe I'll con someone else in hanging the draws. :)

Blackmore · · Cedar City, Utah · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 20

Mt Lemmon, TIME THE AVENGER 5.12-, and Knights Wall Knights of the Wrong Tissue 5.12-, Gneiss Boys 5.12-. 

· · Unknown Hometown · Joined unknown · Points: 0
Jonathan Lagoe · · Boulder · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 5

Some Front Range ones I loved:

Earth Voyage - Upper Dream Canyon

Sargasso Sea  - Upper Dream 

Wet Dream - Clear Creek

Crimpfest - Devils Head


Tyler Metheney · · St Louis · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 27

"Everybody needs friends" in Jackson falls. Still gotta get the redpoint though. 

Julius Grisette · · Carbondale · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 5

"Love you Long time" in the VC

Ken Noyce · · Layton, UT · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 2,415
Lena chita wrote:

Funny, I love Ten Sleep, but really didn't care for Spearfish. Granted...

I feel the exact same way.  Ten Sleep is tons of fun, Spearfish was very meh in my opinion.  


Edited to add:  Just thinking some more about this, I typically really like limestone and have climbed limestone all over the world, but I think that Spearfish may be my least favorite limestone area that I've ever climbed at.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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