Mountain Project Logo

Routes in Watch Crystal

Apes of Wrath S 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Black Arete, The T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Crime & Punishment S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Doctor Doolittle S 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Dogs of Doom T,TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Double Exposure S 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Double Exposure Direct T,S 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b R
Durangutan T,S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Evolution S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Extra Cool T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Hidden Gem S 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
Jailhouse Monkey (on dope) T,S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Kong Route, The T,S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Left Picto T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Martyr's Crown T,S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Picto Crack T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Power Glide S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Primate Highway T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Push-Me-Pull-You T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Right Picto T,TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Simians to the Sun T,S 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Watch Crystal Crack T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
White Pages T,TR 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Yellow Pages T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Unsorted Routes:
Order Wrong? Sort Routes
Type: Trad, Sport, 200 ft, 3 pitches
FA: P1 & 2 Ken Trout & Bryan Ferguson, early '80s, P3 - Mark Leonard (Tim Kuss?)
Page Views: 7,012 total · 46/month
Shared By: Grant Bryans on May 2, 2006
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

39 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick


This is a three pitch classic.

Pitch one - climb the short stem corner to gain belay ledge past one bolt (10a).
Pitch two - climb past a small tree, and go for the ledge, bring your usual East A rack for this affair (10c).
Pitch three - this is a short pitch that takes you past two bolts to the top.


Take the descent gully down.


East Animas rack and some draws.


Ben Griffin
Durango, CO
Ben Griffin   Durango, CO
An excellent route that any strong 5.10 climber can cruise. The second pitch is bolted really well excepet the top where you run it out 30 ft. There is a very obvious crack during the run out, so you can place some gear. Mar 17, 2007
m-earle   USA
The run-out on the second pitch is on really easy ground, however, I found the direct start to be pretty spicy (I bailed, and went from the simians first pitch to access the second pitch). Apr 19, 2007
Carbondale, co
jmapping   Carbondale, co
You can definitely place a red Camalot in the upper crack that is referred to as run-out. It is very easy ground. Jun 20, 2009
Durango, CO
IanA   Durango, CO
Third pitch was put up by Tim Kuss. Aug 26, 2009
Ken Trout
Golden, CO
Ken Trout   Golden, CO

Durangutan. According to Wikipedia, the word is a demonym used by residents of the town or owners of the SUV. Late in 1979 I meant it to be a particular red-haired climber who ignored the taboo against bolts and rappel drilled a wonderfully apish climb. It seems my route name spread from the climb to the town, and then to Dodge. Inventing a silly word and seeing it spread trumps new route for me.

To check my memory, I messaged Bruce Lella, the skiing and climbing guru at Gardenswartz. He knew everyone in town, climbers, skiers, hunters, fisherman, golfers, softball players....

He wrote back:

"I had always assumed that Durangutan was entirely a creation of yours, when I first heard the name I was pissed because you came up with such a great climb without me. Then I was even more upset because the name was so brilliant (nature of the climbing, color of yer hair, location) Yes. I'm in therapy today because 30 years ago you trumped the best climbing name in history."


I was joined for the final send, June, 1980, by Glen Banks, Mark Dalen, and Paul Horak. These New Mexico climbers and another local, Dave Baltz had recently found and done New Mexico's most impressive climb, Question of Balance. I'd been to Questa Dome and also taken the exam on Mark and Dave's test-piece Crack of Heraclitus. Durangutan was easy for them.

Brian Hansen and I made the first attempt on the route. Later I cleaned the face and drilled three angles on rappel. Next, I came back with someone else (maybe) and failed to lead it. Again, I rappelled in and added some more bolts. Finally the route was ready, but all my friends had graduated or left town by summer, so I was SOL. I'd just rappelled off the Hallucinogen alone that spring to attend my last class at Fort Lewis and was not about to let Durangutan get away too!

My luck changed when I met Mark, who was from Farmington. He got the other guys to come on over from Los Alamos and Albuquerque for both Durangutan and a much bigger new route on The Pope's Nose. Dave Baltz was invited but couldn't make it. Mark or Dave drilled a couple bolts for the last pitch on lead and tip-toe.

Brian Hansen is a true native of Eldorado Canyon. Moving to Durango in January, 1980, he increased the number of 5.10 leaders in town by 25%. He remembers more:

"I don't recall hearing the term 'durangatan" prior to your use, so I'll back you up. I do recall an initial foray on the route, perhaps on the day I met you at the Outdoor Pursuits office or soon thereafter (winter 1980). I am pretty sure you thought of me as fresh meat. After doing the first pitch of Watch Crystal crack, you handed me the rack and pointed me straight left. Some manky pro, as I remember, culminating with a tied off Leeper pin. Then you said "Straight up! Lots of jugs!" I backed off quickly. There is some comfort that it eventually took several days and much drilling for the route to go. I went out to watch you drill a few times: "white-hatted wall pecker" was my name for you then. Guess I am one of the many that left you SOL for The Send. I was off working for Outward Bound by that time. Didn't you go up on the Hallucinogen about then? I remember because Bryan Becker was in OB training with me, fresh off the route.


Jan 17, 2011
Yesterday was the first time I'd done it and we did all in one pitch. Awesome, Awesome, Awesome. Apr 11, 2011
This is a strange and incongruous account of the FA of Durangutan. First of all, Durangutan was a somewhat common term used by climbers and others in Durango in those days. Search your memory, Ken. You might recall that I followed you on the FA of the second pitch (after I led the first pitch). Pretty sure you placed one bolt from a hook that day. At the belay, atop the second pitch, your wife asked you descend, You agreed. Otherwise, we would have completed the FA.

Oh, but what a great route, classic - the middle pitch is really, really fun - steep with lots of positive crimps. Apr 22, 2012
Mark Dalen
Albuquerque, NM
Mark Dalen   Albuquerque, NM
@ Bryan & Ken - memory is a funny thing. Ideally my contribution clarifies rather than adds confusion:

In the summer of 1980, it was our understanding - we three NM climbers, namely myself, Paul Horak, & Mark Leonard (not Glen Banks) - that we were on Durangutan to do the FA link-up of all 3 pitches, P1 & P2 having already been led while P3 had only been top-roped. After a free lead of P1 where I left a drilled angle, Ken Trout re-led P2 on which all protection was already placed. Mark Leonard then free climbed P3 hand-drilling both bolts on lead.

Hope this helps. All this comes from my logbook kept at the time which incidentally records a July, not a June date for the ascent. While giving credit where it's due (to Bryan and of course to Ken), I should note that while I indeed played a role with Horak & Baltz in establishing A Question of Balance, I have never been anywhere near the Crack of Heraclitus. That was all Paul, Dave, & Andy Embick. So, it isn't just a matter of memory failing after 30+ years. It has to do with so many different climbers connecting in so many different places. Speaking for myself perhaps most memorably this link-up of Durangutan proved to be a warm-up for the same party successfully establishing Contraceptive Cracks on the Pope's Nose later that summer.... Aug 27, 2012
Aaron Miller
Santa Fe, NM
Aaron Miller   Santa Fe, NM
The direct start pitch is a little dangerous, but it can be protected, somewhat. There is an obvious but questionable yellow Camalot in the 2" flare, right below a loose, rattly block, and above that a #4 or 5 nut placement in a flared seam that you have to really want. One of these should catch you if you fall getting to the fixed pin. Calling this a 10a pitch is misleading and will definitely get a new leader with low gear-placement skills hurt. The red Camalot mentioned in earlier posts is in 5.5 territory higher up, not likely to see a fall unless rock breaks here.

Also, I don't know what an East Animas rack is, if I did I wouldn't be querying MP for beta, but it seems to be a rack that has lots of draws and a few pieces of gear up to a red Camalot, heavier on the tips sizes.

Fun route, highly recommended. May 28, 2013
I agree with the previous post, calling P1 10a (read 10-) is misleading. I found it harder than the start to Crime and Punishment (a route on the left side of the Watch Crystal for those not familiar), which goes at 11-, I believe. It looks like 10- but doesn't climb that way. Perhaps I missed something. Found similar gear too; you could also place a manky offset finger-size cam, or better yet a slider in the sandy slot in the bit of the roof just before turning up and around the corner to the left. Good fun regardless! Jun 25, 2014
Ben Griffin
Durango, CO
Ben Griffin   Durango, CO
The first pitch is 10-, it's just not a easy pitch. 5.10- is allowed to feel hard. Do not fool yourself with silly numbers. I just read my 2007 quote. HA! I had a long way to go back then. Jul 16, 2014
Ken Trout
Golden, CO
Ken Trout   Golden, CO
Bryan, I trust your memory on the naming, especially since you were on the almost-first ascent and really finished the two best pitches. I feel a lot worse forgetting you helped out on the best pitch than forgetting Durangutan was a local joke!
Sep 17, 2017
Ben Kiessel  
I pulled a giant block off the second pitch today while rope soloing. It felt to be a similar grade when I climbed through it afterwards, although it's very dirty. Sep 24, 2018 · Temporary Report

More About Durangutan