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Routes in Bighorn Mating Grotto

Caught Inside on a Big Set T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Dangling Woo Li Master T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Euphrates T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a PG13
Morning Thunder T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Sanctuary (aka Book of Changes) T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Take Two, They're Small T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
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Type: Trad, 120 ft
FA: Craig Fry, Dave Evans, Charles Cole, Todd Gordon, Marge Floyd and Kelly Carignan, March 1985
Page Views: 2,969 total · 16/month
Shared By: Josh Beck on Dec 13, 2002
Admins: C Miller, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Interesting face climbing (a traverse in from the right or a 10d direct start) lead to fun, varied climbing up cracks and a dihedral, with some slab moves thrown in. This is an excellent route with awesome moves. The direct start isn't too bad, go for it!

Recently a block pulled off the route (obvious triangular rock scar in the dihedral). It's not at a crux section and doesn't seem to have changed the route much, but there will a little dirt and cruft in that one spot for a while until it cleans up so use caution.


One bolt and a selection of gear to 1.5" perhaps. Bolted belay.


Josh Beck  
Which bolt was the original? I assume one of the bolts near the rampy section up high, but do not know. I agree there would be adequate protection but it would probably get a PG rating as it had in the guides... The block that pulled may have offered pro placements (though probably sketchy if it was loose)? I don't recall if there were other / better options near it, I didn't pay a lot of attention. Like I said I don't know who added the bolts, but the top three are like a bad joke. There's one maybe 2-3 feet below the ramp, one on the ramp, and one that's clippable while standing on the ramp. I'm not in any way defending the bolts, just stating what I found when I climbed the route. Dec 17, 2002
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
I'll be there next week. Are the bolts gone yet? Dec 19, 2002
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
From the ASCA website: "the only 1/4" bolt (2nd prot. bolt; a spinner 1/4" bolt with blue-colored Leeper hanger) replaced 1/2002 by Greg Barnes/ASCA. Note that this route currently has 5 protection bolts; some were apparently added in the past few years." Jan 11, 2003
I was climbing this route a couple of months ago and a large detached block came off in my hands. The block was about 2 foot by 2 foot and came loose from about 2/3 way up the route just after the bolted crux. I managed to hold on to the block long enough for my partner to take cover. The crux may be somewhat easier with this change. Jan 23, 2003
Josh Beck  
I climbed the route after this incident and found the crux to be the start... There was still alot of cruft and dirt where the block had obviously been so I did some brushing off to the best of my ability to clean it up some. Jan 24, 2003
Craig Fry and I did the FA of this route (I lead it) with one bolt and a couple of pins. Who bolted it up? I know that neither of us did. I wanted to call it "Sanctuary" but somehow that other name stuck. Jan 24, 2003
Josh Beck  
I don't know who added them, but from what I've heard they've been there since last spring at least. There was a thread on rec.climbing regarding this a few months back as well with a title of "Book of Changes" or very similar, I'm sure you can find it via Google groups. Jan 24, 2003
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
Here's the link if you have some time to kill. Jan 24, 2003
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
1 bolt remains (replaced 1/2002). The fixed pins indicated in the 92 Vogel guide are gone. Bolted rap anchor (single 60m just barely makes it to the ground).

I was somewhat dissappointed by this route. It has a lot of loose rock and is tricky to protect. Oct 23, 2003
C Miller
C Miller   CA  
The direct start, as opposed to starting to the right, is 5.10c and recommended; aka the Book of Dirt.
Dec 8, 2003
John Wilder
Las Vegas, NV
  5.10b R
John Wilder   Las Vegas, NV
  5.10b R
note- protection is intricate and difficult and a big fall is possible at the crux. i declined to lead it after rapping down it and noticing the distance between the only bolt and gear both below and above it. maybe in the future when i'm a little bolder!

that said- the route is alot of fun to climb! Oct 22, 2006
Bishop, CA
  5.10b PG13
outdooreric   Bishop, CA
  5.10b PG13
Didn't notice any loose rock, but some of the softest rock I've seen at Josh exists on this route. The crux comes before you can clip the bolt and is protected by marginal gear. Without the fixed pins (gone now) it is runout after the bolt, too. A fun TR, but a semi-serious lead. Mar 25, 2007
San Diego, CA
keli   San Diego, CA
There is definitely loose rock on this route. Protection is tricky the entire way and the rock turns to crumbly, creaky, flakes and edges after the bolt. The runnout after the bolt along with the poor rock quality at that spot makes for a serious lead. I lead it and once I pulled on a few of the holds above the bolt...i decided to stop there. Cool thing is you can bail at the bolt or enjoy a toprope from the anchors above. Cool moves down below.. Nov 1, 2007
I just led this route the other day and there is currently one bolt just below the freshly broken rock. What I didn't know until now is that you're suppose to go right after the bolt and into the crack above. I went left up the bulge and pulled onto the sketchy/grainy slab which eventually met back up with the crack to the right. Does anyone do this as a variation? It didn't seem right at the time seeing as how it felt harder than 10b. Would be a pretty bad fall to blow it on the slab... Fun route. Jan 21, 2008
Bryan G
Bryan G   Yosemite
Climbed this on 4/12/09 and didn't encounter any loose rock. The direct start felt more like 5.9 than 10d, but it's slabby and insecure. The traverse start mentioned in the route description looked much more difficult. After the bold start, the rest of the route is surprisingly protectable - lots of bomber nut placements to be had. The crux is encountered above gear, but the route is steep and I feel like whipping here (which I almost did) wouldn't necessarily be dangerous.

The start could be protected by throwing the rope over the large horn that's about 18 feet up, essentially setting up a mini toprope. It's not a bad idea if you value your ankles. I didn't think of it until we pulled the rope and it snagged the horn on the way down. Apr 14, 2009
D. Evans
Tustin, California
D. Evans   Tustin, California
I led the crux on the FA. The route is called "Sanctuary." This name error may be corrected in a guide of the future. Nov 1, 2009
Sherman oaks, ca
BrendanC   Sherman oaks, ca
Question for Dave or those in the know: After the bolt (as of now the only one on the route) which is at the base of the slabby section that leads into the mini-dihedral towards the top, does the original line take the dihedral around right, or does it climb the steep to slightly overhanging bulge out left? On TR I went left and felt it harder than 10b. This was the crux for me. This line seems like it would be PG13 at least on lead as it is run out after pulling the bulge and the crack in the bulge seems suspect for gear. Beta anyone? May 14, 2011
roman d
Pasadena, CA
roman d   Pasadena, CA
kind of a serious lead, better have your head screwed on tight. Jan 21, 2013
D. Evans
Tustin, California
D. Evans   Tustin, California
I led the crux of this route on the FA and we named it “Sanctuary.” I thought this a much more poetic and prosaic name and fitting of the Grotto theme. Somehow Craig foisted the name BoC onto it since he was looking to plug in reggae names here and there to anything that came along, this was a great injustice indeed, especially from a person so outspoken on the great injustices in his life. He led on “Morning Thunder” so….whatever.

To Brendan: I'm going to make a point of doing this route in the next couple of years since I have gotten back to the point where I can, i.e. not as old and fat, at least not as fat! Thanks for giving me new objectives.

Thanks Bryan, I'll remember the horn. May 30, 2015
Andrew Megas-Russell   Tucson, AZ
Heads up to the next people heading out to Big Horn: The rap anchor at the top of this climb could get updated for sure. It may be alright, but could be much better. Currently there are two bolts about 18-20inches apart so that when you actually rap you are only weighting one of the bolts. The bolt you are actually weighting seemed to be hand drilled poorly because the bolt sticks out at an angle and the nut doesn't sit flat against the hanger. Also, the hardware included on the bolts were old, single, rolled aluminum rap rings. (don't those things only hold 450 lbs?). I'm just trying to let people know because if I had known about this, I would have at least brought out some longer sections of chain link or even 4 new stainless quick links or malions or whatever people are calling them these days.

In an ideal world the crappy/crooked bolt would be removed and placed closer/inline with the other bolt as to load both when rappelling. I'm only saying this because it is the main rap for most of the routes there and the Big Horn Mating Grotto has always been given lots of hype and if it is that good of a crag it deserves to have a quality rap anchor.
Dec 25, 2015
Oak Park, CA
Sean   Oak Park, CA
bolted rap anchor still sporting flimsy rolled aluminum rings. the bolts are just too far apart. measured with hand and arm, for future parties who might want to help upgrade and need the info. the left higher bolt could use a chain extension of approx 14 inches, and approx 5 inches for the right one. beefier rap rings or quicklinks would also be better May 28, 2017

More About Sanctuary (aka Book of Changes)