Type: Trad
FA: Jeff Lowe & John Baldwin 1978
Page Views: 3,555 total · 16/month
Shared By: David A. Turner on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Bold but not death defying for those comfortable with soloing 10a, this is a coup in your belt for doing this one.

This route is included in Steve Levin's "Spice Tour" description, but because of its quality, this deserves its very own entry.

Get to this climb by either climbing the first pitch of Wide Country, the first two pitches of X-M, or the first pitch and 1/2 of the NW Corner. If starting from X-M, traverse right until you are on top of the NW Corner finger crack. Clip a bolt off the belay ledge, but otherwise there is not much pro until you arrive here.

Head up and left to an undercling flake which you should lace with gear because that is going to be it for a while. Now moving up and slightly right on great edges but zero pro (10a) brings you to a short but welcome crack. Watch out for the loose hold somewhere before you reach this crack. Pulling this off would result in a nasty fall.

Stuff the crack with lots of cams of around 1" size. The crux is a bit runout too, but after the face climbing you just did, it feels pretty close. A short, much easier & well-protected dihedral lands you on the big ledge below the Outer Space headwall. David A. Turner


Standard Eldo rack (be sure to include one inch cams).


Josh Janes    
I thought this was sufficiently terrifying - I was more scared than on Jules Verne at least.

The loose hold on the run out is a serious disaster waiting to happen. The hardest move of the run out (the actual crux comes later and is well protected) comes right before this hold - both my partner and I latched onto it and moved up to a better stance on it, only feeling it flexing after the fact. Someone please go up there and knock the thing off - preferably while seconding.

Also, Rossiter's topo is misleading on this climb for three reasons. First, if you start this from the anchors atop Wide Country, you traverse almost straight right past a bolt, not up into the 5.9 variation of XM as shown. Second, there isn't an 11a S move near the top of the NW Corner piton crack as shown. Third, the run out is definitely more serious than 9+ S as shown.

The climbing is pretty darn good though! A long, sustained, and interesting pitch. Jun 2, 2004
Adam Brink
on the road
  5.11a R
Adam Brink   on the road
  5.11a R
While the runout is pretty serious, it is definitely more mental than really difficult. I wouldn't say it was any harder than 10a. Concerning the loose hold, it would be great if it was gone but I didn't feel like it was necessary to even go near it to finish the runout. With that said... WOW, Holy Shit! What an amazing pitch! Jun 3, 2004
Rob Kepley
Rob Kepley   Westminster,CO
I followed this climb with my friend Joe yesterday. We were doing the "spice tour". What an incredible pitch! I agree with the other comments that it is BOLD, but not death defying. Yes, there are some huge runouts, but on moderate rock. Leaving the belay and traversing over to the pin on NW corner is probably the spookiest section. Besides the bolt at the start, there is no pro for quite a ways. The runout below the crux would be very spicy on the sharp end, and yes, the loose hold is still there. It kinda caught me off guard. The crux section has bombproof gear about at your feet and it's really only a couple hard moves of 11. I guess I'll be on the sharp end next time. This climb should definitely be on every hardman/woman's ticklist. 4 STARS!! May 28, 2006
Rob Kepley
Rob Kepley   Westminster,CO
Back on this one again today with Joe. I was on the sharp end this time. I found myself with another case of "pastemouth" similar to last weekend on JV. Good thing you're pulling the crux with great gear near by. This climb is delicate and balancy is spots way out on marginal pro. Classic hairshow! Oh, I think the loose hold is gone. Jul 2, 2006
On the first ascent of this pitch, I actually started from the second belay on XM, but instead of going straight right past a bolt, I followed the little arching corner up and right (part of the 5.9 XM variant Josh mentions above) and from its' end continued up and right across blank rock to meet the flake below the runout slab at its' bottom. This makes a more independent and committing route than the one described, but overall about the same technical difficulty. Rossiter's guide is correct. Glad you guys are enjoying the climb.

-Jello Jun 17, 2007
Nick Schlichtman
Golden, CO
  5.11b X
Nick Schlichtman   Golden, CO
  5.11b X
Lots of lichen...zero chalk. The seriousness of this route guards some of the most intriguing and fun face climbing in Eldo. Don't sleep on the heads up "10a" climbing, spooky but fantastic! Only detraction would be the lichen, but that's due to the minimal traffic. The juice is worth the squeeze on his one. Full value onsight effort.

P.S. Did not notice any "loose hold", at least that was needed. Don't let previous comments deter you. Sep 8, 2017