Type: Trad
FA: First TR Pete Cleveland ? First Lead: Tommy Deutchler
Page Views: 5,104 total · 20/month
Shared By: Jay Knower on Mar 23, 2003
Admins: Ian Cotter-Brown, Doug Hemken, James Schroeder, chris tregge, Ben Strobel, Kyle Harding

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Description Suggest change

Do you want to lead a 5.12 at the Lake? I'm talking about a "real" 5.12--not some obscure short climb at Horse Rampart or some corner over at Sandstone. I'm talking about hard moves, tricky pro and mandatory runouts in groundfall territory. I'm talking about a 5.12 that is a hair's breadth away from the mythical routes like Bagatelle whose leads only live in the memory of a few crazed souls. Yeah, you guessed it, I'm talking about going All the Way.

As with all 5.12 leads at DL, the stories about All the Way abound. Of course there was Deutchler's first ascent, which I didn't witness (I was two years old), but which I imagine taking place with a bunch of DLFAers sitting around, saying "Whoa man, that was groovy." Tommy's ascent did pave the way for other groundbreaking ascents of the era, Bagatelle included. Then there's the time that Zschiesche headed up the climb with no gear, and asked bystanders to throw him up the needed pieces. This technique never seemed to catch on, as the hassle I'm sure outweighed any weight savings. And finally, there was the time when I punted off the start crux moves, crashed into the arms of my spotters and may have broken, or seriously sprained, the finger of one willing spotter.

To start the climb, locate the funky corner to the right of Congratulations. Climbing from the ground to the obvious hourglass hold presents the crux of the route. I thought it felt about V6, but I used spotters and crashpads, so feel free to judge me as not a true trad climber. There is no real pro until you stick the hourglass hold. Once you stick the hold, however, you must steel yourself for some heady climbing to reach the belay ledge of The Pedestal. This section feels 5.11ish, and you pass a welcome horizontal that offers a good rest and some nice pro. Above the horizontal, a small stopper protects the final hard move, which is just tenuous enough to keep your attention as you reach The Pedestal ledge.

I'm not sure how the original route finished, but I like to think that Deutchler forged straight up the wall above The Pedestal ledge. On my lead, I tried to stay true to the line and I headed up steep rock above the ledge up to the long-forgotten mini-route called The Trick. This 5.8 wall is a harder ending to Lower Diagonal, and in my eyes, is the natural ending to All the Way. Climbing on that upper wall, I think I felt the "real" Devil's Lake 5.12 lead experience--moving up beautiful 5.8 high above your gear, but feeling solid and psyched because you've already passed the crux below. You did it, going All the Way to the top.

Protection Suggest change

If you're planning on leading it, for the love of God, rap down to check out the gear yourself. Don't trust the ramblings of a climber who hasn't been on the route since 2009 and has a tendency toward hyperbole.