Type: Trad, 14 pitches, Grade VI
FA: Achey and Levin, 1996
Page Views: 7,653 total · 36/month
Shared By: slevin on Oct 16, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures Details


The Free Nose is a spectacular long free route. The climb attacks the steep and dramatic central prow of North Chasm View Wall in roughly 14 pitches of sustained, technical, and sometimes devious climbing. There is unprotected 5.10, mandatory 5.11, and four sections of well-protected low-end 5.12. It is possible to retreat with 2 ropes from as high as the top of the 5.12 corner pitch, but above that retreat would be very difficult, although not impossible.

P1 and P2 (5.8 or 5.9). Start at the Scenic Cruise corner, and climb this to the large terrace. Walk left and belay.

P3 (5.7). At the left edge of the terrace climb a bushy crack to a small ledge.

P4 (5.9). Step left and climb the left corner of the large flake to a good ledge (rap anchors, good bivy site).

P5 (5.11c R). Now climb the clean corner past a flake, and continue past the hanging belay on the Goss-Logan free route (the G-L free route traverses out right just below the obvious roof). Climb through the roof at stiff 5.11 with thin gear, a bit necky, to a nice stance at bolts.

P6 (5.12a with 5.10b R). Climb the obscenely beautiful corner above past 3 bolts to a runout 5.10 section. Step left at a #2 Friend placement to a hidden stance at 2 bolts and belay. This is one of the finest pitches of climbing in the Black, very thin and technical stemming.

P7 (5.12a with 5.11a R). Climb up past a tenuous, frightening flake (the Ghost) clipping some ancient bolts if you choose. These bolts were added after Goss and Logan's first aid ascent. Now ascend a steep bulge past 2 bolts, doing some difficult moves on sloping holds, while hand traversing a bit right and into a corner with poor rock and marginal gear, 5.10+. (This is where Goss and Logan pendulumed right and escaped onto the Kor-Dalke i.e. Cruise on their first ascent.) Move left out of the corner past a hidden bolt, then climb tricky face up and left on dark rock past 2 more bolts, 5.11c. Belay at 3 bolts (the third bolt is pro for the next pitch). A butt bag is nice for this hanging belay. A hard lead.

P8 (5.11c with 5.10b R, 5.8 X for second). Step down and then traverse straight left, each move easier than the last, following a tiny ledge past a rotten corner. Continue left to a rotten 5.10- section leading into a 5.10+ hand and fist crack, bad rock, scary. Unfortunately x does not equal x, as this pitch is dangerous to follow, at least on the moves after unclipping the protection bolt at the start of the lead-there is no gear from the bolt to the 5.10- section, about 40 feet, although most of the traverse is easy. Belay at a perfect ledge (Pigeon Ledge).

P9: (5.11d with 5.11b R). Climb unprotected, awkward 5.9 up a sharp flake, then clip four bolts through a 5.11d section (some fragile holds). Climb up with no gear (5.10) to a good .5 TCU placement, then punch it further on runout 5.11 following a weird crack that eventually has good pro. Belay at 2 bolts (hanging). This is a difficult, heady lead and is very exposed.

P10 (5.12b with 5.10c R). Climb up and right with RPs to protect 5.11d climbing. Now climb into the corner (you are now on the original Nose route) and do a difficult boulder problem past a fixed wire or two. Smaller fingers may help with this section- you may be able to just lie it back. This is very technical, powerful, 5.12b, and the technical crux of the route. Continue past a ramp and up a short step of 5.9 through some pegmatite. Belay on a sloping ledge (Pewter Ledge) at some bolts.

P11 (5.10d with 5.10c R). Climb unprotected 5.10c for 15 feet up a clean wall, then stretch right for a #0.75 Camalot placement. Move up and right past a bolt, then hand traverse right (5.10+) and up to a nice stance. Do not continue straight up after the unprotected start of this pitch - it will lead you through the Death Blocks roof on the aid Nose route.

P12 (5.10c). Climb the peg wall above past some fixed pins (5.10), then round the corner right and climb a clean, sharp 5.8 beauty of a hand crack.

P13. Step left to a 5.9 crack system leading to a large ledge.

P14 (5.11d with 5.10c R). Climb the 20 foot ceiling above at the obvious crack (5.11d, fixed wire), then turn the lip and climb a short stretch of unprotected 5.10 to the guard rail. It is also possible to climb up and left and rim out at 5.8.


2 sets TCUs, 2 sets 0.5 to 3 inch cams, 1 4 inch cam, 2 sets RPs, 2 sets wires, 10 quickdraws, 8 long slings, & a tag line.


Michael Komarnitsky
Seattle, WA
Michael Komarnitsky   Seattle, WA  
How about a nice pat on the back and a hearty thank you?

I continue to be impressed by the routes that you add, both for their rigor and your write ups. Let's see, what could we throw your way? some trango gear? BRC passes? coffee? Oh yeah, we've got some really sweet gps world supply mouse pads and stickers, just give me an address and I'll send those right over. Oct 18, 2001
There was a fixed wire at the overhang on the first 5.11 pitch left by the FA party which was since been removed. Now that section is borderline x-rated and quite heady, if not outright dangerous. May 16, 2002
chris righter
  5.12 R
chris righter  
  5.12 R
I thought it might be helpful to have some updated rack beta. We didn't bring Lowe Balls and didn't really see anywhere they would be needed. We had a grey #4 BD and used it, but you could definitely get by without it. Simulclimbing the first 4 pitches saves a ton of time and gets you into the 5.12- stemming dihedral with plenty of shade. The route goes into the sun around 10am. At the first 11+ pitch, there is a perfect placement for a purple/blue offset Mastercam that takes the sting out of the spicy crux move.

1 x grey/purple and purple/blue offset Mastercams,
1 x c3 grey to red,
1 x blue and yellow mastercams,
1 x 0.3 to # 3 BD,
1 x red and yellow Linkcams,
1 set RPs,
1 set med wires,
10 slings,
5 QDs. May 3, 2015
Jay 1975
  5.12c PG13
Jay 1975   Bonedale,CO
  5.12c PG13
Climbed this rig on 5/30/15 and the first 12- pitch, the pin 10' above the belay fell out and needs to be replaced, a LA, otherwise it's 20' to first piece and you'd hammer the belay if you fell. The nut is back in on the first 5.11 roof.

Hardest, sustained, and headiest 12 I've tried in the canyon compared to Lost Cities, Hotlanta , Tague Your Time, Cheap Hooker, Twisted, Eighth Voyage of Sinbad, Air Voyage, The Diagonal, but maybe I was just out of shape for wall climbing antics, I'll know next time. Jun 1, 2015
Noah McKelvin
Colorado Springs
  5.12c R
Noah McKelvin   Colorado Springs
  5.12c R
Amazing route and adventure! A couple things to add:

I don't know why the first 11c R pitch needs a fixed nut. If it's not there, it's a good stance to place it. This pitch seems to scare many away. More should give it a go. There is a great offset cams placement right by the nut.

On the first 12 pitch, I didn't replace the pin, though Jay1975 gave it to me. It's no harder than 10+ to your first piece and 15 ft up. There is a great slider nut in that pin scar now.

Some of the pins need replacing eventually on that upper 5.10 pitch.

More people should do this route. One of the coolest positions and topouts I've done in the canyon. Oh ya, beg your partner to let you lead the steep pitch after the traverse and right before the crux. I didn't beg and should have! Mega!

Offset cams were nice to have down to small. Simul the start, and it goes fast.

Thank to the FA team for piecing this one together! Apr 23, 2017