Type: Trad, 450 ft, 3 pitches, Grade II
FA: Petefish & company, circa 1992
Page Views: 2,343 total · 15/month
Shared By: Airbiscuit on Mar 29, 2006
Admins: Jesse Zacher, Jared LaVacque, Bradley Mark Edwards, Nick Reecy, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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This is one of the Best Routes in The Momument hands down! as well as the prominence of being the most accessible, full-length route out there. Just right of Sentinel Spire (approximately 200') lies a HUGE corner that extends the full length of the canyon wall. (There are two distinct approaches; I recommend climbing from the ground up first, so you know what you are getting into when you downclimb!) (and you will want to do this climb many, many, times!)

Eyeball the large dihedral that makes up this fine route from the rim. The last belay lies directly under the HUGE overhang, and the anchors are hard to see. Grasp a line and an idea where you are going then downclimb a moderately loose but an easy 5.7 pitch to the belay under the overhang. (Do not try to rappel!) Leave slings and rappel two excellent stations to either: terra firma; or, (if you want to avoid an extremely unpleasant and extremely short, 5.11+, dirty fingers crux right off the ground) land on the ledge directly above this section and diss the crap, in lieu of an awesome and sustained 5.10a experience to the rim.

At the ledge, belay off a pixed pin and a cam down low.

Climb exciting 5.10 face for three pins, then enter the chimney. Excellent, clean, and well protected climbing lead to an exposed and super-exciting traverese left onto the ledge with a good anchor. Retrieve your rappel gear.

P2 starts with a what looks like a little mank, (watch your gear!) but in reality; excellent and thought provoking movement lead into a sustained 120' perfect hand crack all the way to the belay. Retrieve your rappel gear.

Continue up the 5.7 line of least resistance out and to the right.
This route is SOOOOOOOOOOO good!


Start 200 feet climber's left of the start of Medicine Man.


Singles with many hand size pieces, few extra thin hands and fingers. If doing the full deal, bring a few small TCUs for the bottom. Nuts, etc. nothing larger than a #4 Friend.


Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
  5.11b PG13
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
  5.11b PG13
A few notes on this route. It was good, but not a repeater until I've done many more routes- it was not nearly as good as a classic like Desert Solitaire, a few miles away. 3 stars if you consider some bad rock compulsory for a desert wall, otherwise 2 stars. As my partner phrased it: "This route must change every time it is done." Wear helmets and stay alive.

The route is 4 pitches:

P1: 5.11 thin hands and fingers with some layback and smearing. It is all of 25 feet of climbing and is the only physically hard climbing on the route. It is not that sandy and not 11+ unless you have BIG hands, but even then, I'd presume a big reach would come with that and allow you to totally skip the hardest move. The crux protects below a key jam on a 2" cam. That will be at your waist as you do the hardest move. Once your feet are here, you can work in other gear overhead from an OK stance. But how to belay up here without wide gear? You might get in that #4, or might climb up to the first fixed pin and work that into your anchor... There was some loose rock and sand here- I cleaned it out/off as best I could. The pitch seems clean now.

P2: The mental crux is going up the face past 3 pins, on sandy rock. At least the pins seem good, because this is unnerving. Then the chimney, which might be 5.8, and is very well protected with a single run of cams before exiting left to traverse on more sandy crap. I snapped off a handhold and don't know how I made it without a fall from around the crumbing finish corner. The bolt and pin belay needs an update- I finger-tightened the nut on the bolt, which wiggles a bit- perhaps owing in part to the fact that the sealant used around it 21 years ago (in 1985) has mostly come off/out. This has since been abandoned as a practice (the sealant) since it does not work. The pitch is less than 100' long.

P3: The best pitch, 125'- start off with a .75" cam or so, or maybe 2 of them and then go up to a hand-sized placement before reaching good rock. The above description of the route as needing "many hands sized" would be accurate if #3 Friends is the size of your hands. All those 2.5's we had, and gold Camalots were dead weight most of the way. And blue Camalots wouldn't quite fit. Nice exciting runouts were the result. Take maybe five #3's for this great pitch.

P4: I'd complain about all of the bird crap, but since most of the big blocks were securely held in place by it, thus making the climb possible, I'm not sure I have a gripe. The most insecure and dangerous move is protected above by a good large (but blind nut) if you climb and rap in rather than walk in, you could just leave this in... as we did. But then again, do you really want to climb a 5.7 "in poor form."

The route gets sunshine on P1 and the beginning of P2 around 10am, and the belays on P2 at about the same time. The upper pitch gets mid-afternoon sun.

For the approach, which was difficult to be sure of using the above directions... Easy to find, but hard to be sure of. The dihedral faces "climber's left" which is to say, "skier's right."
Find the climb by walking the edge and seeing a 5'X 8' pedestal/ledge recessed down 3' below the main rim. Step down onto this and look back towards the visitor's center, where a huge roof and corner block your views of the 2-pin anchor below the roof. Climb down a wide spot with a few 1.5" cams or tricams for protection for the "Second" and continue out and down for 70' until you at last reach the anchor. Coming around a loose corner (stacked blocks) was the mental crux.

You can get down with a few lines as such:
Climb down the P4 as described- fix and anchor at the top of P3 and set a single rope on it- single line tied, 50m, 60m, whatever... Rap that to the top of P2 (carrying your other rope, a 60m or 70m) Then rap to the bottom of P2 with a 60m (if you are skipping P1 as suggested) or to the base of the crack on P1 on a 70m that and pull your rope. You can now pull the lower line and do all but the top pitch unencumbered by the second rope. You pick it back up at the last belay and tag it out to the top behind you. We left water and a jacket on the anchor above P2 as well, you could also leave all the extra 3" rack of cams here, 'cause you don't need it all for the bottom 2 pitches and it would get in the way in the chimney. But we were not that smart... Apr 24, 2006
Bryan Gilmore
  5.11 PG13
Bryan Gilmore   FLG, AZ
  5.11 PG13
Actually the first pitch, from the ground, is quite good climbing. Maybe it has cleaned up a bit over the years. I did it on March 16, 2007 and thought it was one of the cleaner sections on the whole route. Good, hard moves to get you warmed up fast. Enjoy!
Great route to do as a back up when your intended route is being aided extremely slowly! Mar 21, 2007
Boulder, CO
tooTALLtim   Boulder, CO
Josh Merriam and I spent about 6 hours cleaning the last pitch of this route. We trundled loose blocks, swept off sand, and shoveled rat shit. The pitch is now much safer and more enjoyable. There is still much cleaning to be done, however.

We left one rat poo-cemented block in place, the one below the “5.7” bulge. It could easily be removed, but we felt that it held some of the original character of the route, and we found it could be avoided while keeping the move at the same grade.

It is quite easy to rappel in with one rope to the pins at the top of P3 (using directionals), but pulling the rope would be a pain. If you don't want to down climb, then just rap with one rope, and climb with another.

The face climbing by the three bolts on P1 is terrifying due to the fragility of the holds. I don't think I'll be doing that part again! When those break off, it's going to be a bit harder. The same goes for the traverse at the end of the pitch.

If you don't mind skipping junk, just rap down to the beginning of the excellent chimney, and climb up from there. Oct 11, 2009
Tyler Vaughan
Glenwood Springs, CO
Tyler Vaughan   Glenwood Springs, CO
I thought this was a sweet route with awesome rock and moments of classic Monument choss. We fixed a 70 m rope from the rim and rapped to the top of the 1st pitch. From that anchor, we rapped 100 ft to the ground with the rope we led on. You can also stop at the top of the 11+ section of pitch one and begin climbing there, and if you really wanted to, you can put directionals in and top rope all of pitch one off this anchor.

P1 - 11+ tips and fingers to a pin at 25ft, then climb easy wide crack for 20 to a ledge. after that climb up 20 ft passing 3 pins at 10a and pull into a sweet 5.8 chimney, climb up and eventually traverse left passing two pins at 5.9 to a familiar ledge and anchor (pins and old bolt). 155 ft.

P2 - Climb up 40 ft of shitty rock and find solid cracks behind the choss for good gear. After this pull into a sweet hand crack in a corner. Indian Creek style. Climb 10- hands for another 100 ft to a two pin anchor. 140ft.

P3 - Stem out right and follow the ramp to the rim, and belay off a big tree at 5.6. 40ft.

Pro - singles from grey - blue Metolius and small nuts for the 11+, doubles to 0.75, three #1, four #2, three #3 Camalots.

This is such a sweet route, it's roadside, and in the winter, it bakes in the sun. The dihedral faces directly south and caught sun from 11pm to 4pm mid-January. Must do route for the Grand Valley or anyone passing through the area.

Also I thought this route was well protected with some delicate rock climbing between bomber gear. No PG-13 rating needed.

IMPORTANT - do not down climb to the first rappel anchor, just fix a 70 off the tree and rap to the top of pitch one. The last 5.6 pitch is kitty litter, and there is no reason to down solo it to rappel (that is bad beta). Jan 17, 2015
Michael Schneiter
Glenwood Springs, CO
Michael Schneiter   Glenwood Springs, CO
Downclimbing the 5.7 pitch to the anchor at the top of pitch 3 is really bad beta and is just unnecessarily risky when it's super easy to just fix a 70m rope and rap to the top of pitch 2. You can catch a glimpse of the prominent corner when you are looker's left of the route. You'll see rope grooves in the rock on the rim to help show you where to rap. Great route. Do it! Mar 9, 2015
Grand Junction, Co
Airbiscuit   Grand Junction, Co
I never said anything about down soloing. The multiple times I have done it this way, we roped up and downclimbed with gear, it takes ten minutes, one rope, and is totally cruser. At the time, I had not done the rappel to the top of the 1st pitch, and it looked like a rope over that huge roof would leave you hanging in space. Mar 9, 2015