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Swept Away

5.11a, Trad, 170 ft, 2 pitches,  Avg: 3.8 from 55 votes
FA: Dave Evans and Randy Vogel, November 1977
California > Joshua Tree NP > Echo Rock Area > Echo Rock > Echo Rock - S Face

Description

P1) Start at the toe of the slabby buttress (right skyline as seen from the parking area) and climb up towards a roof (this first bit is the same as T.S. Special. At the roof turn the corner to the left and climb improbable face past 3 bolts to a bolted hanging belay.

P2) Steep smears lead off the belay to a bolt, after which comes the crux- a balance move to a right facing flake. Continue up the flake past a fixed pin and some gear placements to a bolted anchor/rap.

Although possible to do in a single pitch if mindful of rope drag, this is best done in two. A hanging belay midway allows one to enjoy the desert from a unique perspective and contemplate the wild-looking crux pitch above. A single rope rap (100') from the top with a 60 meter rope will get you back to terra firma.

Location

Swept Away takes a striking line up the prominent buttress that defines the south end of Echo Rock. Two great pitches mark this climb that goes at a much easier grade than appearances might suggest.

Protection

Bolts, gear to 2", bolted belays/raps (all bolts are 3/8")

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Climber topping out on Swept Away.<br>
<br>
photo by bob gaines
[Hide Photo] Climber topping out on Swept Away. photo by bob gaines
This was the second time RV and I did Swept Away (with Mike and Mari) but still in EBs.<br>
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Photo Dave Evans
[Hide Photo] This was the second time RV and I did Swept Away (with Mike and Mari) but still in EBs. Photo Dave Evans
Mat Stein leading Swept Away in 1984
[Hide Photo] Mat Stein leading Swept Away in 1984
The stance from which you can place a (very) small nut at the base of the crack.  You then pull into a layback and gun for the big rest halfway up the crack.
[Hide Photo] The stance from which you can place a (very) small nut at the base of the crack. You then pull into a layback and gun for the big rest halfway up the crack.
Sunset accent.
[Hide Photo] Sunset accent.
Quinn Miller starting the crux pitch on a hot January 2nd. Photo by David Gawalt.
[Hide Photo] Quinn Miller starting the crux pitch on a hot January 2nd. Photo by David Gawalt.
John and Diana on pitch 2.<br>
<br>
photo by bob gaines
[Hide Photo] John and Diana on pitch 2. photo by bob gaines
Randy Vogel placing a bolt on the FA.
[Hide Photo] Randy Vogel placing a bolt on the FA.
Vern at the crux of the route. You can also see [[106623020]] (5.12a; joins in from below left); [[106703074]] (5.12d; takes the horizontal dike ending where Swept Away does); Sole Fusion (5.12b/c; the upper diagonal dike); and yes, [[105722638]] (5.10d/11a, the straight, left-hand crack down and left). Copyright 2003, by Randy V.
[Hide Photo] Vern at the crux of the route. You can also see Street Sweeper (5.12a; joins in from below left); My Idea of Fun (5.12d; takes the horizontal dike ending where Swept Away does); Sole Fusion (5.12b/…
John and Diana on the finish to Swept Away.<br>
<br>
photo by bob gaines
[Hide Photo] John and Diana on the finish to Swept Away. photo by bob gaines
Mike Lechlinsky following the first pitch.
[Hide Photo] Mike Lechlinsky following the first pitch.
Mid 80s. Photo: M. Stewart
[Hide Photo] Mid 80s. Photo: M. Stewart

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] Rope drag is hell if done in one pitch. Definitely split it into two. A manky old bolt proects the very delicate slab moves to gain the crack on the second pitch. So it's as much a psycological challenge as a physical one. Rap from the top on a single rope. Oct 31, 2002
C Miller
CA
  5.11a
[Hide Comment] The bolt is solid and 3/8" but is paired with an older hanger which should probably be replaced. Oct 31, 2002
[Hide Comment] Did this route yesterday.. the bolt before the crux (and it seems all the rest of them) have been replaced (thanks to whoever!!). For the descent you can make it to the ground with one 60m rope from the top out anchors. We did it in one pitch and it is great at the end of the day since the rock is much warmer than the air! Dec 20, 2002
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
  5.11a
[Hide Comment] Another gift from Evans/Vogel.

A route which seems to just hang there, in full view of everyone, yet I have hardly ever seen anyone climbing it.

I found the crux to be just after leaving the hanging belay, a tricky face move. Being tall the flake above went okay, with small pro if I remember well. very exposed at this position.

Killer!!

Has position, intimidation and quality.

5.11a Jan 5, 2003
Adam Stackhouse

  5.11a
[Hide Comment] I went out to shoot this route (photo) and to hopefully find some folks on it (or even TS Special) but never did see anyone on it. Now that I think about it, over the last 14 years, I can only rememeber a half dozens sightings of climbers on this route. Maybe we'll sandbag it as a 10c, and it would see more traffic.Very nice route (and view). Nov 6, 2004
Steven Powers
  5.10d
[Hide Comment] i dont know if calling it 5.10c is really sand bagging it, its really the truth the most gimme 5.11 ive done in the park. Nov 10, 2004
Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
  5.11a
[Hide Comment] This climb ROCKS!

Both pitches are quality, and the position is superb.

I found the crux moving slightly left and up after clipping the bolt on the 2nd pitch (but before reaching the flake).

I fiddled with gear at the extreme base of the flake (from a stance just left of the bolt) for about 10 minutes, only to get rewarded with a small RP that promptly fell out as I made one move upwards. Bonus excitement.

There may be better gear at the base of the flake, but with my height of 5'9 I couldn't reach a much better looking spot to protect about 6 inches higher.

The first few flake moves are strenuous but not technically difficult - though I wasn't interested in stopping to place gear and instead just motored to a great rest 4-5 feet higher.

From the flake rest, just place a bomber cam and then enjoy the moderate but exposed climbing to the top!

One of the best imo. Apr 8, 2006
Mar' Himmerich
Santa Fe, NM
[Hide Comment] Lead on a blistering, HOT day in June (we covered ourselves in chalk for sunblock). Nobody was in the Park. Malcolm did the crux after an interminable delay. I had to remind him that he hadn't fallen yet so he should "Go 'till you blow"! So he sent it, and we scurried off into a cave. He was beside himself for HOURS. Very high quality crux section! Aug 26, 2008
Randy
Lassitude 33
  5.11a
[Hide Comment] On Friday, January 11, 2013, Italian actress Mariangela Melato who starred with Giancarlo Giannini in the 1974 film Swept Away -- which inspired this route name -- passed away. She also appeared in several other films directed by the renown Lina Wertmuller, including "The Seduction of Mimi" and "Love and Anarchy." The full title of the film is "Swept Away...by an unusual destiny in the blue sea of August." Jan 12, 2013
[Hide Comment] One of my favorite all time leads! Back in the day, there were bolts w/o hangers. Had to bolo tie wires and hope for the best. Nov 9, 2014
[Hide Comment] Nobody said anything about that little solo to the first gear! .1 or .2 X4 was helpful at the 2nd pitch crux. From the bolted belay I climbed up to clip the bolt then back down for the traverse. Jan 7, 2015