Type: Sport
FA: Tod Anderson, Tom Hanson, 1996
Page Views: 3,197 total · 15/month
Shared By: Richard M. Wright on Oct 18, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures Details


Tom Hanson placed The Sub at the left end of the Wendell Spire area, in 1997. Subsequent to publishing his guide, close to a dozen new routes were established to the left, so the limit to this site is a little vague. From the top of the boulder pile at the left side of the area, you can see a neat little formation that looks like the Beatles Yellow Submarine.

Climbing on The Sub begins on the sub's left tail fin, a crack. Swim up through some interesting and intricate climbing with a couple of long reaches. Traverse left on great moves to catch a rest just before stepping back right for the crux. The goal of the crux is a large cobble on the right which is followed by several, still difficult, moves for a net worth of 5.12c in the finish. Tod Anderson snatched the FFA of this powerful line. Even with his gear in place, I found myself stretching for the crux cobble with nothing but six inches of air to latch on to. This may be a reach problem, or maybe I just haven't sucked the lock-off deep enough. However, after returning from six weeks of climbing in Spain, I jumped on The Sub again thinking it finally would fall. I still couldn't reach the cobble statically. More of a hard turn or a short dyno might work, but in TA's ascent it went with a smooth static reach.

Anyway you cut it, The Sub is one of the best routes in the sector and well worth solving.


Eight draws and a rope.
Yep, one of the better routes at Castlewood but more like 12c. Dec 11, 2001
Loads of fun!!! Worth the time, and it's steeper than it looks!! Mar 26, 2011
Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
Richard M. Wright   Lakewood, CO
Grade: it is always tricky to regrade a route retrospectively. However, getting it right is a useful exercise. For The Sub, the following considerations would line up with the 12c rating (1) consensus seems to lean more to c than d; (2) is The Sub as hard as Anarchitect or Genesis? (hard sell); is it one letter grade easier than Chaos or The Rainbow Wall? (another hard sell); is it a letter grade harder than Movement of Fear or Sucking My Will to Live? (unlikely). The Sub is never harder than 11b right up to the crux cobble pulls and slips back to 11+ below the anchor, and the crux is fairly short. In defense of the FFA team, there was probably nothing of similar difficulty at CC by way of comparison, and it remains one of the better CC testpieces. Mar 11, 2013