Type: Trad, 90 ft (27 m)
FA: First TR Pete Cleveland (mid 60s), First Lead Andy Cairns May 1974, onsight.
Page Views: 4,001 total · 17/month
Shared By: JJ Schlick on Dec 31, 2001
Admins: Ian CB, James Schroeder, chris tregge, Doug Hemken

You & This Route

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The phrase "happy hunting grounds" comes from early interpretations of some Native American concepts of heaven. The place they described was a mirror image of this world and a utopia of sorts; a place of peace and abundance.

At Devils Lake however, Happy Hunting Grounds is a long, stand out classic for the grade which demands a cool head and control of your footwork. Its also a showcase route for the Hawks Nest and starts out on the right side of the wall. This technical face route follows an incipient seam system up a gorgeous swath of stone passing marginal small wire placements and 5.9 climbing. A thoughtful and positive 5.11- crux with a few good pieces of gear awaits at 2/3 height and is followed by more airy climbing on good holds with spacey pro. Aim for the small notched roof before the angle break, and then romp to the top.

This is a fairly serious lead for the grade, and you'll want to make sure you are up for it. The 1979 guide offers this captivating advice if you question your skills: "Leaders who fall on this climb may go to the happy hunting grounds". That said, it is also a gateway route to other more difficult, bold pitches at the Lake. It's an inspiring line, one to remember, and it takes a pretty light rack!


Doug and Chris please change this up if there have been "modern" placements discovered. Otherwise a good selection of small to medium wires and a rack of TCUs should do the trick. It does seem like we always had a few placements before the crux though? Maybe they were only rated for mental weight... I carried both RPs and Loweballs on my rack there back in the day.