Type: Trad, 3 pitches
FA: Mike Caldwell and Charlie Gray, 1988
Page Views: 5,410 total · 26/month
Shared By: slevin on Sep 28, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

15 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick
Access Issue: Season raptor closures Details


One of the very finest climbs of the grade at Lumpy. Steep, strenuous, and solid. Climb the first pitch of Howling at the Wind, or do El Camino Real and belay at the coldshuts. Now climb straight up (5.10a) to a bulge with twin thin cracks (fixed pin, 5.11c), and take the left crack past some strenuous underclinging (5.11a) and easier rock to the belay. Climb either of two left-facing corners above, then exit at the Cave. The gear is good but strenuous to place. Excellent route.


RPs to 3" cam.


An excellent pitch featuring two cruxes, one steep and one slabby. The following is my beta for doing the pitch the from the Howling at the Wind belay (on top of the huge block), a much easier and more common approach than El Camino Real. (Note that this belay can be reached from Perelandra P1, instead of HATW P1, obviating the need for the extra big pieces that the later requires.)

Hand traverse right for two moves into the corner. This traverse is not well protected and though rated 10a in guidebooks, felt distinctly harder to me than Perelandra P1, also rated 10a. There is a no-hands rest at the base of the corner from which you can back clean any pro you put in the traverse, improving rope flow. A few feet up the corner there is a fixed pin which protects the lower crux and which is easily backed up. Crank the first crux, strenuous but short, reaching a somewhat restful section. Undercling left with slabby feet and good pro until the undercling ends and you step up onto a slab, the second crux.; the transition from strenuous to slabby can catch you by surprise. I belayed at a stance about 20' up the slab by a slot which takes a 2.5 Friend; belaying here, the pitch is about 50' long.As of this writing, 20' above this belay was an anchor consisting of a couple of fixed slings, from which a 60 meter rappel could reach the ground. (Note that two 30M rappels would almost certainly reach the ground via the bolts at the end of Fat City P1.) Alternatively continue to the top, perhaps via Cheap Date or Final Chapter or Outlander making for a very high quality multi-pitch outing.

The guidebooks call the 1st crux 11c, the second 11a; this seemed about right to me. My partner who is much longer than I found the first crux easy and the second somewhat desperate. Mentally, the second crux is the business: the first is very well protected by the pin, while at the second a plummet off the slab is possible (and was demonstrated by me on my first go at this route) w/out some mid-crux RP dicking. Aug 3, 2003
Is there a fixed stopper before the last crux or has it been removed? Aug 7, 2003
There is a fixed nut in the middle of the undercling/traverse, a couple of feet below and several feet to the side of the 2nd crux. Small cams can be easily be placed after the nut and before C2. For the highly motivated/craven, an RP can be placed in the middle of C2. Aug 10, 2003
I found the 2nd crux to be the true business on this route. For most people I would recommend not going into it thinking you can sew it up with RPs. The stance sucks and the rps would be very fiddly, better to just go for it and risk the safe ~15 footer on the bomber cam. This is an amazing pitch, maybe the best 5.11 on the Ridge? Jul 16, 2005
It has been a few years (5-6), but this is one of my [all time] favorites. Powerful and delicate all at the same time. Jul 16, 2005
Rob Kepley
Rob Kepley   Westminster,CO
Wow, I had no idea what I was in for on this one. This is one scrappy pitch. I think it requires some good strategy for a successful send. One needs to place the gear quick and keep moving because the "pump-o-meter" is redlining. I'll agree that the second crux requires your utmost attention. Excellent movement and position. Sep 4, 2006
Bob Rotert
Bob Rotert  
Awesome route!! Fine movement. Excellent exposure. Makes you want to say Oh Momma! and Oh Momma!!! again, Maybe 11c maybe more than 11c... Since this route was originally tagged as 11c I'm thinking maybe Anonymous Coward and others are reluctant to say this one is harder than 11c. I could maybe see 11c if the upper crux had some fixed pro, or if you don't flash it and have the benefit or a rest mid pitch.

To try for some "Lumpy" rating comparisons. I did Dead Boy Direct a couple of years ago. I know I'm past the age where my climbing gets better with time but I felt this route was harder than Dead Boy Direct/5.11+. For another comparison, and probably not a good one since I think Living Dead is overrated. But this route & Living Dead/11b, in my humble opinion are not even in the same league or ball park. The the Lumpy rating system seems to me to be pretty inconsistant and full of sandbags.

For me, the upper crux was definitely the business. Although taken by itself, i.e. with a rest on pro, it is not as hard/strenuous as the first lower crux. But this has to be done "without any hanging" to get the full punch of this pitch. Factor in the pump when you get there, pro & how insecure it is & you've got one hell of a second hard section to get thru. I found it very hard after pumping thru the lower moves & very committing and ended up not making it thru clean.

There was no fixed pro turning the roof/upper crux when we did it. It sure would help to know whats coming up on this one. This thing sure would be an awesome on sight send & it would make a huge difference if there was some fixed gear at the upper crux where you turn the roof. Although the fall is totally clean, I sure didn't like the thought of whipping from there. It feels pretty scary if your a craven!! There is a great small stopper or RP placement right as the roof crack turns vertical but you would have to know what size & that it was coming up as it would be an almost blind placement i.e. you can't see it until your in the middle of a very strenuous crux. Placing it on lead would be super strenuous & difficult. I placed it easily after backing down from moving around the corner & hanging from a nice red Alien below.

Best bet to get thru this section, for the less than Superman types, would be to try & fire thru this section and risk the big winger!!

Oh Momma, I'm gonna have to go back & try and get this one without the hang before the last crux on another day. Will be interesting to see if I think it is as hard on the second round. What an awesome pitch! My advice, get on it, be ready for some hard climbing & enjoy!! Oct 28, 2007
Bob Rotert
Bob Rotert  
Okay I just went back an repeated this route this weekend. And I gotta say I still think this route is harder than 11c. Especially if there is no fixed gear on the last section. If you lead this thing clean with no hangs, I think your gonna find the last section as being the crux of this climb. Not the section by the pin. And I'll tell ya I've done many 11+'s I thought were easier. The Lumpy rating system sure needs some honest consensus help.

Definitely one of the best routes I've done at Lumpy. May 18, 2008
Golden, Co
WadeM   Golden, Co
No fixed gear except the knifeblade at the lower crux. 0.4 fits in quite nice just before turning the upper roof crux. Upper crux is more devious and requires good foot voodoo.

There are no longer slings atop the crux pitch to belay from but plenty gear anchors are found above, plan accordingly. May 29, 2016
Charles Gray
Estes Park, Co
Charles Gray   Estes Park, Co
I wish I had some old photos from back in a day, but we were too busy with the climb to be fiddling around with a camera, and there were no smart phones or GoPros back then. I just happen to come across some of these posts while doing some other searches. It's a fun blast from the past, and I would consider myself very happy, if not monstrously fit, if I were ever able to repeat this route. I am not sure it will happen, but who knows?
A point I wanted to make, without further digression, is that I recall this upper crux section, as one person below put it quite well, "powerful and delicate all at the same time." When Mike and I considered the grade, we wanted to be sure it would never fall victim to downgrading. We both felt it was conceivably harder than 11. At first we wondered, could it be easy 12, but then thought, no, it's not that hard. So, we decided that 11c was a very respectable grade and one that would not be altered with time, or if altered, then up rated.

Bottom line: it was easy back then to see this at 11+ in any event; but, there was something still magically delineating with that grade for us older climbers, so we decided 11c was strong and fair. There is not, and never was, a surfeit of gear for the route. There was enough to climb it safely. Ultimately, Mike wanted it to be a climber's pitch. It is one that requires grit, a strong head, and real climbing movement to top out on the pitch. Things are different now, and maybe nowadays we would have put a bolt in that last stretch, but when I read the comments/thread review, I am very happy that we did not install that extra gear, and it delights me that the route provides such great climbing for folks at this level. As a final note, I should go back and review that upper section with Mike, it seems we had a stopper or pin in there, but my gear recall is a little fuzzy a few decades hence. I still remember the adrenaline rush though! Charlie Gray Dec 8, 2016