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Routes in 05: Pedestal Buttress

All The Way T 5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Angle of the Dangle T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Assume the Position T,TR 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Beginning, The T,TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Birch Tree Crack T,TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Blow-up T,TR 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Chimney's End T,TR 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Condolences T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Congratulations T,TR 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Creation Crack T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
D.L.F.A T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Dog, The TR 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Dyslexia TR 5.13b/c 8a+ 29 X- 30 E7 6c
End Of The End, The TR 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
End, The T,TR 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R
Evelyn Bites The Crust TR 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
F4 Ledges T,TR 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Flake Route T,TR 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13
Golden Ledges T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Hourglass T,TR 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Hourglass Direct TR 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Ironmongers T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Ironmongers Super Direct T,TR 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Lethe T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Lower Diagonal T,TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Modern Art TR 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
Pedestal, The T,TR 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Pete's Lament TR 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Pine Box T 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Rich and Famous TR 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Sometime Crack T,TR 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Sometime Direct T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R
Sometimes Left Side TR 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Sometime’s Right T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
Stretcher, The TR 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Sweatshop T,TR 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Upper Diagonal T,TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Welfare Line TR 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Unsorted Routes:
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Type: Trad, TR, 60 ft
FA: John Gill (reportedly onsight solo in the late 50's)
Page Views: 14,234 total · 71/month
Shared By: James Schroeder on Apr 3, 2002
Admins: Burton Lindquist, Doug Hemken, James Schroeder, Chris treggE

You & This Route


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Description

Congrats is a classic among classics. A striking 5.10 finger crack positioned at the crossroads of climbing on The East - it is the 5.10 to climb at The Lake. Congrats is considered by many to be the bar for 5.10 at Devil's Lake - climb it on TR and you are a 5.10 top-roper, lead it and you are a 5.10 leader. You might get lucky on the likes of Mouse's Misery or Callipigeanous Crack, but Congrats earns every bit of its 5.10 rating and so do you...if you send. It's also a great place to see and be seen, since just about every climber on the The East will walk past it (probably at least twice) during the day. Time your send right, and you might draw a hearty "Congrats!" and the offer of a beer from some grizzled local in the overflow lot at the base of the CCC later. But that sword cuts the other way as well - your wobbler-filled flail sesh will not escape the eyes of the masses either. In the end, Congrats should not be missed by anyone.

Location

Just to the left of where the CCC trail runs into the point of 05: Pedestal Buttress.

Protection

With a hard-to-protect low crux, and only an average landing, Congrats is a heads up lead. Probably not quite PG13, but approaching it. Small stoppers, TCUs and small cams should see you through the crux, higher-up, many choices are available up to a #3 C4.
Definitely wathc out for this one on a hot and humid day. The crux is hard & low, so if leading, be solid, but lead it! Apr 24, 2002
Steve Sangdahl
eldo sprngs,co
Steve Sangdahl   eldo sprngs,co
the F.A. was in 1958-59 Feb 16, 2003
Steve Sangdahl
eldo sprngs,co
Steve Sangdahl   eldo sprngs,co
this is the one where pete was telling us that nuts leave scars in the cracks and that the climb was much easier now due to the passage of many climbers.that all the climbs were much easier then when he did them...elmer fudd like.

the pic is of myself soloing a much easier congrats in barefeet and all crazed on..... Apr 3, 2005
BIATHLON
Duluth Mn
  5.10c
BIATHLON   Duluth Mn
  5.10c
Not sure whether it was that it was humid or I am just weak but the crux felt much harder then any any other 10a I've ever done. Aug 23, 2008
John W. Knoernschild
Wisconsin
  5.10c/d
John W. Knoernschild   Wisconsin
  5.10c/d
I was watching a climber lead this yesterday, he was looking shaky in the crux, then he fell and decked. He took a short break, shook it off, and got right back on the sharp end to finish it up. Nice work dude! Jun 29, 2009
Tradiban
  5.10a
Tradiban  
  5.10a
This is the scene of many deckings, crux is low and feet are sketchy. Jul 13, 2009
John W. Knoernschild
Wisconsin
  5.10c/d
John W. Knoernschild   Wisconsin
  5.10c/d
BIATHLON, don't worry. This thing is much harder than 5.10a Jan 27, 2010
BIATHLON
Duluth Mn
  5.10c
BIATHLON   Duluth Mn
  5.10c
Thanks for the ego boost. Jan 28, 2010
Josh Olson
Durango, CO
 
Josh Olson   Durango, CO
 
Holy bejeezus, such a good route. Fell a bunch, but eventually got up the route. Good lead, even if it isn't 10a. Sep 6, 2011
James Schroeder
Sauk County, WI
  5.10a
James Schroeder   Sauk County, WI  
  5.10a
I'd say Congrats deserves a split rating based on the humidity level. On a cool, crisp fall day this route feels easier than other 5.10a routes in the park. On a hot, humid, mid-summer day...well...it's just better for the ego to go somewhere else.

Either way, it's a stellar route, and worthy of every climbers attention. Whether you're a beginner trying to top rope your first 5.10, a bona fide hardman trying to do Astro Boy, or anywhere in between; you will enjoy this thing. Jun 27, 2014
Benjamin Chapman
Small Town, USA
Benjamin Chapman   Small Town, USA
John Gill was rad. Light years ahead of his time. Jun 26, 2015
Joel Allen
La Crosse, WI
  5.10a
Joel Allen   La Crosse, WI
  5.10a
Don't try to lieback the crux. If you find the good finger locks it's really solid and much less straining. Oct 26, 2015
Sean Glendon
  5.10a
Sean Glendon  
  5.10a
No one should really care what a routes listed rating is on this site, however anyone viewing this page should understand that this route is 5.10a. It has long been considered a benchmark for the 5.10a grade at the lake. May 23, 2018
Doug Hemken
Madison, WI
 
Doug Hemken   Madison, WI  
 
One could also click through to the stats on this one and see the range of opinions ... definitely more challenging if you do not have long arms, getting to the finger locks can be a real head-scratcher, on sight.

Considering the number of people I know who have broken bones decking from the low crux (at least three) I'm surprised there aren't more people giving this a PG, although tiny cams have done a lot to tame this. May 24, 2018
Chris treggE
Madison, Beersconsin
  5.10a
Chris treggE   Madison, Beersconsin  
  5.10a
But Doug, if you say something is PG13 (in your own opinion) you'll most likely get called out by someone else who climbed it 20-30 years ago and disagrees (with your opinion). May 24, 2018
Doug Hemken
Madison, WI
 
Doug Hemken   Madison, WI  
 
My point is that opinions on gymnastic difficulty vary ... and that opinions on safety vary less than I would have expected.


The first time I climbed this would have been 29 years ago. It has gotten easier with practice, but some days I disagree with myself. May 24, 2018
Sean Glendon
  5.10a
Sean Glendon  
  5.10a
The exact grade is surely arbitrary, we can agree that congrats is a beautiful 5.10. I agree that humidity, wingspan, and wetness at the starting ledge all often make this climb feel quite stiff. I thought it should just be noted for historical purposes that the route has traditionally been called 5.10a. It is however interesting that more people actually rated this 5.10b or higher than called it 5.10a. I think PG is a fair safety rating May 24, 2018
Ian CB
 
Ian CB  
 
Probably PG with a big Boulder pad haha. Otherwise probably not? May 24, 2018
Steve Sangdahl
eldo sprngs,co
Steve Sangdahl   eldo sprngs,co
Folks still use a rope on this thing ? :) May 25, 2018
James Schroeder
Sauk County, WI
  5.10a
James Schroeder   Sauk County, WI  
  5.10a
We're all light these days Steve.

For the rest of you (us):

I think it's entry-level PG13, and it really depends on the height and reach of an individual climber. There's a Blue TCU placement that can be made before fully-committing to the crux, and a good #4 stopper that can protect the reach to the first good finger lock. It's pretty-easy to climb up to each of these, place them, then reverse down to the "start ledge" and recover (if need be) before pulling the crux move. Once one hits the second lock it's G to the top.

I think the "sandbagginess" (from a physical standpoint) of this route is combination of reachiness, general Midwestern/gym-climber unfamiliarity with crack climbing, and often humidity. Any one of these things, or any combination of them , can, on any given day, conspire to make a climber who is unfamiliar with the route spend more than 10a effort on it. That said, I think this thing is pretty-easy to get wired for folks who care to spend the time doing so, and then it's definitely 10a (I mean heck, I think it's easier than Upper Diagonal).

So how about this rating scheme?
Congrats OSL: 10b PG13
Congrats Headpoint: 10a PG+
Add a letter grade if it's humid.

And to bring it full-circle back to Steve, "...ultimately who gives a f... anyway." May 25, 2018
JJ Schlick
Flagstaff, AZ
 
JJ Schlick   Flagstaff, AZ  
 
In a place known for hard to protect routes and spicy leads, Congrats is pretty mild. Any seasoned Gunkie might look at you funny for calling this thing PG-13, but they take their risk assessment seriously. It’s not a joke or something to be scoffed at. Like a lot of folks in the Midwest, Congrats was my first 5.10 gear lead precisely because it was protectable. If you were to compare this line with some of the 5.10 PG-13 routes on the Mac Wall in the Gunks, a Sister Crag, there would really be no comparison. If someone lead Congrats and suddenly thought they could handle .10- PG-13 terrain in general, they might be in for a rude awakening.

I think Jay does a good job of giving a heads up about the nature of leading this route in the protection section. You should be prepared and be climbing above the given grade. And let’s face it, this was (still is?) a popular solo because it is so locker. If it were to be blessed with a PG-13 rating it would have to come with the caveat that it is only the first 10’ of the route.

That being said, the whole PG-13, R, X system is antiquated at best. These grades and their meanings vary greatly throughout the country, if they are given at all these days. This all creates a lot of ambiguity and confusion in people trying to understand them and accurately assess the risk in their chosen route. It would still go a long way in educating everyone, to add these grades in a place like DL. If a route has been done on lead it should carry the proper risk rating. That way, even people who are top roping can gain a sense of what an R rated pitch is. Or a PG-13 rated pitch. Having every route at DL listed as a toprope does people a disservice unless it truly is, only a top rope. I mean, we get it, everything can be top roped. Ditch the TR and start adding appropriate risk grades and people will learn what’s what before they hurt themselves. It’s just information, which all too often gets lost to a sort of cognitive dissonance of unconscious bravado among climber’s.

Just off the top of my head I think routes like The Flake, Thoroughfare, Cali P Direct, and Sometimes Direct all deserve a solid PG-13. Things could go bad in a heartbeat on those lines. Routes like Alpha Centauri, Vivisection, Happy Hunting Grounds, and Hammer Case all deserve R ratings. The only things I ever lead at the Lake that I thought might approach an X rating were Steak Sauce and Cul de Sac Exit. Had I screwed up too much on those lines, it would have ended my climbing career.

Ultimately I think it is important for climber’s to understand these ratings as best they can. I mean sure, if you only ever TR at the Lake and never travel, then risk ratings are a moot point. But to budding Midwest tradsters with a drive, these ratings could be life savers.

Seems like I’ve ranted about this before and I’m as guilty as the next when repeating routes, but when I establish a new route, if I think it’s PG-13 I let people know about it. My two cents. At least it was cheap. May 25, 2018
James Schroeder
Sauk County, WI
  5.10a
James Schroeder   Sauk County, WI  
  5.10a
JJ-

Who does a good job in the protection section? ;-) May 25, 2018
Steve Sangdahl
eldo sprngs,co
Steve Sangdahl   eldo sprngs,co
James, Nicely played. Weasels Ripped My Flesh? Frank Zappa and the line “who gives a f#*?!” The late great Frank Zappa also (Joe’s Garage) . For some of us, we didn’t really consider this to be a sketchy lead. And the gear we had at the time was primitive to say the least. I mean knotted slings as nuts and no shoes. As noted the serious ratings vary from area to area . In Eldo this this climb wouldn’t warrant any rating except 5.10a. I was joking about the rope comment and don’t recommend anyone try it ...especially barefoot. Cheers. May 25, 2018
James Schroeder
Sauk County, WI
  5.10a
James Schroeder   Sauk County, WI  
  5.10a
Steve ,

Slut For Punishment

I love the parallels between the Lake and Eldo. It makes so much sense to me why all you hardmen went there. It's just like DL, but with friction, 10x taller, and closer to all kinds of other adventurous terrain. May 25, 2018
Steve Sangdahl
eldo sprngs,co
Steve Sangdahl   eldo sprngs,co
James, Remember we were talking about me not remembering...remember! Ahh the”punishment “ another magnificent contrived DL climb. The name isn’t derived from Zappa but might as well be. Having had Eldo in my backyard for years it’s what I compare most ratings to.
Once when Rob Lemon (rip) was leading Congratulations We asked why he was bringing a #10 hex up there...he rigged it to weigh down the stopper he placed and keep it from pulling up and out. I guess you had to be there. Carry on. May 25, 2018
Doug Hemken
Madison, WI
 
Doug Hemken   Madison, WI  
 
I find it interesting that this discussion of safety is so utterly subjective. May 26, 2018
It is subjective but it isn't--if the gear is available and you don't use it or use it poorly that doesn't make the route more dangerous (i.e. soloing something doesn't make it X rated).

Also: blue TCU? I just remember a nut placement in a pod ~6 feet off the ground & then placing a c4 before the fingerlock (which is pretty easy to reach w/ the correct sequence even at 5' 6" though finding or even remembering that sequence is weirdly challenging). May 26, 2018
JJ Schlick
Flagstaff, AZ
 
JJ Schlick   Flagstaff, AZ  
 
The Blue TCU is there, and it’s good from what I remember. The other thing about risk grades is that they should be handed down by people who are solidly onsighting or leading consistently at the grade. It makes no sense whatsoever for a 5.9 climber to asses the risk of a 5.10 route because they lack the fitness for it to feel solid and secure. All that being said, I wouldn’t put anyone on Crongrats for an onsight unless I knew they were able to handle it without question. Doug maybe you need to quit sandbagging your buddies;) Stay safe guys, I miss the Lake. Check the the photo of Joel Allen for the blue TCU beta. May 26, 2018
Tradiban
  5.10a
Tradiban  
  5.10a
Hey dudes, Congrats is reachy (gasp!). Hence the flexible grade. May 27, 2018
Nick, is it tho? Jun 6, 2018

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