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Routes in Middle Wall

Disinclination S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Flashpoint S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Free Fall S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Incline Club S 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Midway T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Moomin Papa's Little Adventure T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Ripcord S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Strange Science S,TR 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Supernatural S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Tomb of Sorrows S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
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Type: Sport, TR, 50 ft
FA: Bob Horan and Richard Rossiter, 1996
Page Views: 14,048 total · 68/month
Shared By: Steve "Crusher" Bartlett on Oct 31, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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320 Opinions

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closure - 2018 Update Details


I'll stick my neck out and give Strange Science three stars (at least by Boulder Canyon standards). The climb is pretty obvious as you hike up the faint trail to Avalon. The route follows a line of small flakes up the center of a beautiful forty-foot high scooped face, a pleasingly natural and independent line.

The right arete, Free Fall, is bolted and (5.12a?) has a steep bouldery look, with a seam and closely-spaced bolts.

Right again is a steep, short face then a short, scruffy, easy dihedral (also bolted) leading to an expansive, low-angle slab above.

The climb starts off easy, past jugs and a couple bolts, then as the angle steepens, the reaches betwen the flakes get harder. The crux move, at the fourth bolt, is a powerful long reach problem, but after this there is no let-up, but a pronounced pump as you struggle up some more perplexing moves, with little for the feet, before you lurch onto the obvious easier ground up and right.

Though short, this has all I look for in a sport pitch, a Gritstone-like series of cool and sustained and yet entirely logical moves, with no filler, which steadily builds up to make for a great experience.


6 bolts to a 2-bolt anchor.
Chris Archer
Chris Archer  
Excellent route. Continuously interesting and difficult. Certainly 3 stars for Avalon. I'm not sure how to grade route quality on these crags. Is it better to grade quality compared to the routes on the crag or routes in the area? I had been grading them based on other routes in the area, i.e., Boulder Canyon. If graded compared to other routes at the crag, in my opinion, this pitch warrants 3 stars as does Free Fall, Ripcord, Chairman of Board, and Clipboard. Oct 20, 2003
Not sure whether your description says to go to the right at the last bolt in the photo (kind of sounds like it), but the best move on the route is to the left of the bolt, it's a dynamic (at least for me) reach to the left side of the lip. This is a great route, I wish I had the endurance to send it all at once, but I fell off of the lip the first try, after a short rest I got it fine.

I also recommend climbing all the way to the anchors right below the steep headwall at the top of the slab. Kind of run out, but easy and fun. An extra 40 feet of climbing and one bolt (the bolt is just below the anchors and is part of Disinclination).

Three stars for Boulder Canyon. Sep 7, 2004
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
Maybe the best route I have done at Avalon. It seemed closer to what I'd expect at the grade, and pulling directly through the last overhang (need not go right as mentioned in a previous comment) was a surprising and fun finish. What great little holds! Might be really hard for short folks or short-armed folks. Jul 27, 2005
Tim Fleming
Boulder, CO
Tim Fleming   Boulder, CO
Yes, it's difficult if you're shorter. At 5'7", I could just barely reach the crimp at the crux but was able to pull through finally with the right sequence of moves and careful balance. Very nice route! Jun 4, 2006
Boulder, CO
claytown   Boulder, CO
Best route I've done in Avalon. Thought is was easier than 11c, but the movement was great. Grabbed that crimp with the left and crossed with the right hand to gain the jug. I'm only 5'9", so I wouldn't say it's height-dependent. Great fun! Aug 12, 2007
Would agree w/ Clayton as a superb route for Avalon. Not only is the crux move super fun & aesthetic w/a great cross, but the climbing leading up to it flowed very nicely on good edges I thought. Great moderate .11 Sep 4, 2007
CJ Coccia
Denver, CO
CJ Coccia   Denver, CO
Tried it for the first time today. Fell 3 times amongst the 4th and 5th bolts. Super fun line that is well you can really focus on the moves. This route was really fun, and I will definitely be there time and time again to get it straight! Oct 24, 2010
Andrew Shoemaker
Olympia, WA
Andrew Shoemaker   Olympia, WA
I absolutely loved this route. One of the better routes I've ever done and def. the best thus far in the canyon. However, I thought Bob Antonio's rating of .11d was right...for me anyways...but I am 5'6" and with a short arm span...had to kind of dyno for that crimp. Jun 17, 2011
Amazing and varied climb on perfect granite. Fun footwork on great crimps turns into a brilliant boulder problem at the 3rd and 4th bolt. After a good rest out left, commit to the steep and complex mantle top-out. A key right hand sidepull up and right over the lip makes the 6th clip a whole lot easier. A must-do. Nov 28, 2014
Height-dependent for sure, but not frustratingly so. I'm 5'4", my beta was very different than that of my 5'9" friend. Feels like .11d for me. Mar 24, 2015
Boulder, CO
michalm   Boulder, CO
Quite easy for taller people and considerably more difficult for shorter people. V2ish crux if you are tall and V4ish crux if you have to throw off a heel. May 16, 2017
Andy Hansen
Longmont, CO
Andy Hansen   Longmont, CO
Today I led a variation to this; at the 4th bolt (after the crux "big move"), plug some small cams (green C3, red C3), lurch left on good holds, and make a hard move onto a decent ledge. Continue up the crack placing small cams on good finger locks. 5.11+ and a bit of contrived added fun to an already good zone. Oct 20, 2017
An excellent pitch of sport climbing! The crux is the definition of a 'height-dependent move'. Building pump, good holds, and thought provoking, fun climbing. If only it was an additional 20 meters :) Apr 24, 2018
Denver, CO
Seb303   Denver, CO
Climbed this route Sunday 9/9/18 after a large party had been on it (they had a kid attempting to TR the route). They basically left a road map of HUGE tick marks through the entire roof sequence (some ticks were about 1 ft. long, pretty ridiculous). If you're going to tick up a classic route like this, at least have the courtesy to clean them before you leave. I removed them. Sep 10, 2018

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