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Routes in 1. Old Sandstone

"The Nipple" V1-2 5
Africa Crack T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Alligator Wall T,TR 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
American Beauty Crack T,TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Baker Street TR 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Broken Foot T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Chez's Chimney T,TR 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Chez's Chimney variation T,TR 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Climber's Arrogance T,TR 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13
Curving Crack T,TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Dancing Madly Backwards T,TR 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
Deceptive T,TR 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13
Dirty Little Secret T,TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Everleigh Club Crack T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Freaky Face T,TR 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Gargantua T,TR 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Girls Named Sue T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Half Crack T,TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Has Been T,TR 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13
High Life, The TR 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Mammalary Magic T,TR 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R
One-Upper T,TR V2+ 5+ R
Out There TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
Pacific Ocean Wall TR 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Ptooey T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Sepsen Wall T,TR 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
Seven Seas TR 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Sherlocked T,TR 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Swillbillies T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Tarantula T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Team Arturo T,TR 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Uberschmidt TR 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Wave Mechanics TR 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Wobbly Dihedral T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
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Type: Trad, TR
FA: unknown
Page Views: 4,941 total · 24/month
Shared By: Tom Anderson-Brown on Oct 10, 2001
Admins: Burton Lindquist, Doug Hemken, James Schroeder, Chris treggE

You & This Route

73 Opinions

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Gargantua is a fun climb with an interesting start and finish. Start out under the right side of a sizeable roof (this roof is shared by Sepsen Wall, Uberschmitt, and Tarantula). Work your way up and out on the overhang, palming a rounded point on the edge of the roof. Swing your right foot above the roof and power over in one move to the dihedral above. Proceed up the fairly easy dihedral until hitting the "summit" block. Use fine face holds to surmount the block and top out with a mantel.


Standard Rack
one can also finish by going left or right at the break on top Feb 26, 2002
this route is by far the funnest lead ive done so far at the lake. a fun roof on the bottom, a crack to sew all the way up, and a few face moves followed by a slopey mantle. cant go wrong with that!! Apr 13, 2004
does anyone think the var. is less than a 5.9? Aug 15, 2005
Ian Schmit  
To whoever said the variation is less than 5.9. Get on the sharp end for a change and do the top out move, then talk. The bottom traverse isn't the crux of the route, the top out is. But on lead the traverse is nice and spicy and feels sufficiently close to 5.9 as you have no gear that would catch you before you dirt. Apr 24, 2007
John W. Knoernschild
John W. Knoernschild   Wisconsin
A great climb. The roof will rip the skin right off your arms and legs when you fall. I took many a fall on the roof before I got through it. Aug 27, 2008
Tom Petraitis
Evanston, IL
Tom Petraitis   Evanston, IL
This is a really fun cruiser route, but the rating seems questionable. When I climbed it a couple years ago I thought the Gargantua roof problem was the start of Sepsen Wall and the roof seemed by far the hardest part of my off-course Sepsen ascent. I was really hurting after I pulled the roof, but I onsighted the route and felt pretty good about it. My roof solution--a right foot heel hook and hard crank over--just like everyone seems to do. I just visited it with 8 climbers and they all did the same thing... and gave it up.

Since I could not believe that this was a 10b and that was a 10b move (it felt like 12c) I looked this time for another solution and found that if I faced the big notch squarely with enough reach to grab some so-so holds above the roof I could "walk" my feet up the underside of the roof and get over. It still did not seem like a 10b solution. There was a ton of pressure on my fingers, but they held. 5.12 pressure!

The 5.9 variation is a really enjoyable climb and deserves to be THE GARGANTUA and the roof sequence should be known as THE 5.10c/5.11c VARIATION. And while the top of Gargantua is a bit baffling there is a sure 5.9 solution that I was able to easily talk every would-be 5.9 climber in our group thru. The variation is much more evenly sustained, and seems like the it should be The route. May 4, 2009
No way is this 11c, just an awkward 10b. I have never failed in just kneeing it out over the roof, awkwardly. I think Tarantula is the better variation, albeit rated more like 5.9 than 10b. A climber should do themselves a favor and skip this one and do Tarantula instead. Aug 18, 2009
Tom Petraitis
Evanston, IL
Tom Petraitis   Evanston, IL
Maybe we "should" skip it, but no-one I've climbed with has that much sense! The roof presents an impressive and un-ignorable challenge. As for the knee-lever solution, I think everyone tried that after all else had failed, and that doesn't seem to work much better. I'm telling you: EIGHT guys tried hard, guys that do fine on most 10s and some 11s, even crazy bouldery ones. Ratings should reflect consensus. And this route, worthy or unworthy as it may be, doesn't have it. Nov 9, 2009
Doug Hemken
Madison, WI
Doug Hemken   Madison, WI  
Don't read this if you are interested in an on-sight.

If you look at Nathan E's photo sequence, and replace his heel hook with a toe, then rock onto that toe (move your whole body and your hands much further right), then its a tenish move. No way I climb 5.12.

In 1970 this was considered an F9 !

I think the difficulty is that most people do not see this on-sight (at least I didn't), and tackling it straight on is harder by about the degree suggested here.

Tarantula is a much more natural on-sight. All these variations are fun and worth doing Nov 9, 2009
Madison, WI
HTeale   Madison, WI
The rock that the person is pulling on in the photo is LOOSE. We were able to move it with a 165# person trying to pull the roof. Odds are good that it's not going to come down. If you like your belayer make certain they stand in a safe location, just in case.... Oct 3, 2010
Tom Mulholland
#1 Cheese Producing State!
Tom Mulholland   #1 Cheese Producing State!
The leader interested in well-protecting the mantle can place a #1 C4 high in a crack from the handjam at the crux. It's a pretty strenuous placement, but very bomber and much appreciated. May 13, 2011
Tom Petraitis
Evanston, IL
Tom Petraitis   Evanston, IL
Okay. I was wrong. As Doug Hemken suggests, the right foot heel hook beta doesn't work so well. A toe does. 10b

If your interested in doing it a harder way don't do either the toe or the heel! May 30, 2011
Ryan Strong
Golden, CO
Ryan Strong   Golden, CO
Hansen, you should post that photo I took of you last year deadpointing the topout move on this route. Mar 12, 2012
fat cow
St. Paul, MN
fat cow   St. Paul, MN
i thought the top out was the crux... even on toprope May 1, 2012
Henryluedtke   Wisconsin
Just got on the route yesterday and noticed the large flake-jug thing right underneath the roof is loose. Not sure if its always been that way but there were a couple of large white X's on it. I managed to get over the roof without using it and I recommend anyone else do the same because it seemed like something was up with that flake unfortunately. Also, a mourning dove made her nest right in the back of the jugs so expect to be harassed by a couple of angry pigeons. Great climb anyway! May 4, 2014
Terry Kieck
Terry Kieck   Baraboo
The large flake has been loose as long as I can remember. Certainly unnerving to pull on it though... May 5, 2014
Matt Black
Davenport, IA
Matt Black   Davenport, IA
Talking to various locals and reading comments above, I now know the flake sitting under the roof has always been loose. However,whilst a friend tried to lead this climb on Sunday, the flake was very loose, as it was moving back and forth, wobbling in and out as you pulled on the upper right side of it. There was also a Birds nest with eggs far left in the flake. Might be old news, but the locals I spoke with said it has never been "THAT" loose. Apr 22, 2015
I double dare anyone to pop that thing outta there! Apr 24, 2015
Joel Allen
La Crosse, WI
Joel Allen   La Crosse, WI
I thought this was quite a bit harder than Tarantula! The topout moves are no gimme either, I whipped the first time! Good thing the pro is perfect. Sent the second try, just a tricky sequence. I'd say the topout move is 10a. :) Jun 25, 2017

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