Type: Sport, 200 ft, 3 pitches
FA: Richard Rossiter, Dianne Barrow, Vanessa Grittenda, 2000
Page Views: 1,364 total · 8/month
Shared By: Ivan Rezucha on Aug 10, 2004
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

11 Opinions

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Lost Highway is unusual in that you rappel in. It feels isolated on the right side of the crag, away from all the other climbs. I give this 1.5 stars. The rock is ugly in places, although solid, and the middle pitch is easy. Bonus points for the adventure factor.

Approach: See Mystic Mile for how to get to Ledge 2. Walk right on Ledge 2 past Mystic Mile. Rack up and leave your packs at either the second to last large tree (Eight Miles High) or at the last large tree (Arcanum). You will be rappelling down Arcanum. Walk further right to where the ledge ends, then scramble up about 20 feet to the top of a pillar. The rappel bolts are just right of the pillar on a small ledge. A single rope rappel brings you to a nice large grassy ledge with trees. You could, if necessary, rap from trees from here to the approach trail. The climb begins near the right edge of the ledge.

Alternate approaches: Rossiter describes a "West Approach" that involves crossing the creek at an island across from Easter Rock. I checked this out a couple of months ago, and the tree from the island to the far shore was gone. At low water, you could wade the creek. There is supposedly a trail marked with cairns to the top of the crag from which you can rappel the route in 3 single-rope raps or perhaps one double rope rap with 60m ropes. However, from the top of Lost Highway, I did not see any cairns, and it would be difficult to find the anchors at the top of the climb if you've never been there. It also looks possible to scramble up to the start of the route from below from near Beer Can.

It is possible to get to the base from the normal approach trail (before reaching the main wall) with 4th class scrambling up loose dirt and rotten rock, but not recommended.

Linking pitches: I self-belayed, and easily linked all 3 pitches with a 70m rope. There was lots of rope left over, so I'm pretty sure a 60m would work. If you link all 3 pitches, I recommended back cleaning the top 2 bolts on pitch 2 so that the rope runs up the inside corner to the left. You may have some rope drag at the very top when you move left out of the corner.

You should definitely link pitches 1 and 2. The belay at the top of pitch 1 is in an ugly place, and you can't see the good parts of either pitch 1 or pitch 2. The only reason to belay here is if you have a weaker member of your party that wants to lead pitch 2.

Pitch 1: 10a, 6 bolts. Climb over some bulges on positive holds into a small, right-facing corner. Fun stems up this lead past the crux at the 3rd bolt. Rossiter calls this 10a, but it may be 5.9. Solid stem rests after every move. Easier rock leads to a small ledge and the anchors below an ugly orange headwall. I recommend continuing and linking pitch 2.

Pitch 2: 5.7, 5 bolts. Pull over the headwall. There's a bolt that's a little hidden by the vegetation on your right. Continue up a white quartz dike to a vegetated ledge below a grungy, left-facing corner. Move right around the arĂȘte and climb a few nice slab moves to a good ledge and the anchors.

Pitch 3: 10c, 9 bolts. Pull over the headwall above the anchors to the base of a right-facing corner. Orgasmatron 11b moves left from here, underclinging a ceiling to gain a steep arĂȘte. Lost Highway continues up the corner. About half way up the difficulties begin. There are several tenuous moves at the last 2 bolts in the corner. I placed a nut between these 2 bolts. Swing left out of the corner onto a slab (avoiding the roofs above) and traverse left past 2 bolts at about 5.8 friction (Orgasmatron joins here) then back up and right to the top.

Descent: From the anchors at the top of pitch 3, walk back a short ways and then walk left a couple hundred feet staying near the top of the cliff face. Look for a gap in the trees that leads to a horizontal slab. There may be a cairn marking this. The rap bolts (with rings) are at the climber's left edge of the horizontal slab. This is the top of Arcanum. You can do one rap with double 60m ropes, or two single raps. Rap down the low angle slab and angle a bit right to the top of a vague, right-facing corner. The anchors are near the top of this corner at a small stance and are not visible until you are nearly there. Another rap gets you down to near your packs.

NOTE: Bob D'Antonio's guidebook has Lost Highway and Orgasmatron switched in the photo. On the third pitch, Orgasmatron is to the left of Lost Highway.


3/8" bolts with 2-bolt anchors with rings. P1 6 bolts, P2 5 bolts, P3 9 bolts. A few long slings if you will link pitches. I placed a #7 HB offset nut (about 3/8") at the crux on the third pitch. Bring a 60m rope to be safe.
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
I really liked this route: fun, interesting climbing from bottom to top, in a spot isolated from other routes on the cliff. Some dirty rock doesn't detract from the quality of the moves.

We stashed our gear at the start of Arcanum (just right of the one-bolt belay anchor by "Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid"), then scrambled about 100' right toward a tall pine tree visible on the skyline. The rappel bolts to access the route aren't visible until you top the pillar just left of this tree. An 85' rappel got us to the big terrace below the route.

I wouldn't recommend rappelling in from the top of the route, unless you just wanted to do the last pitch or the Orgasmatron finish (11b). We rebuilt the small cairn marking the top, but it's hard to see from a distance. Also, there are no rap rings on the anchors atop the first and second pitches.

Ivan's beta is excellent, as usual. The first pitch starts with some steep bulges that felt 5.9 to me, but were much harder for my shorter partner. Then fun stemming moves that seemed about 10a. I followed Ivan's advice and ran the first two pitches together; this was a good idea.The climbing in this section included a neat quartz crystal band and a clean arete and slab - 5.7 or 5.8. Bring a few longer runners to keep down rope drag.

The final pitch was outstanding: thin stemming moves up a steep corner, somewhat reminiscent of Over the Hill; I'd call it 10b or 10c.I felt comfortable with the bolts for pro; I brought some wired nuts but didn't use them. The 5.8 friction slab after the corner was fun as well.

After scrambling to the top of the rock and going a bit left, look down left for a big cairn marking the traverse to the anchors atop Arcanum. Two rappels (85' and 90') with a 60m rope got us back to our gear.

Check out this route if you're looking for an "adventure sport climb". Aug 24, 2004
When you get to this climb, turn and look across the canyon. You will see Animal World, a clean and challenging crag. That is where you should've gone, hahaha. Unless you like smearing lichen and crimping moss.
If you do find yourself in need of a dirty adventure, bring screwlinks and place them on the bolts at the second belay (there are no rap rings here, but there should be, as it is the most sensible way to rap...from the top, to the second belay, to the ground...with a 60m). Apr 17, 2012
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
On P3, instead of swinging left to avoid the roofs, you can clip the last bolt prior to them and then go directly upward on underclings and kneebars over the roof and to the anchor. You skip the 2nd to last and perhaps last bolt this way, but it's very good climbing and not runout. It is probably a shave harder than the given 10c grade. Maybe 10d/11a? Aug 30, 2016
Daniele Nicolodi
Boulder, Co
Daniele Nicolodi   Boulder, Co
A few weeks ago I found a wrist watch at the base of this route. I'm trying to find his owner. Describe it, and I'll find a way to return it to you.

Daniele Nov 11, 2016