Type: Trad, 400 ft, 3 pitches, Grade III
FA: Dan Davis, John Holland
Page Views: 18,567 total · 120/month
Shared By: Lizzy Trower on Jun 26, 2006
Admins: Scott Coldiron, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick

You & This Route

180 Opinions

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The Davis-Holland Route is a super-classic at Index. Although it technically has 6 pitches, most only do the first 3 and either rap from there or continue up Lovin' Arms to the top of the Upper Wall (this combination is also very classic).

P1: Jam up a handcrack (sometimes a little wet when the rest of the route is dry). Upon reaching a ledge, wander over right and then back to your left on small terraces to reach a bolted belay in a right-facing corner. 5.8+

P2: Jam and/or lieback the crack up the right-facing corner to another bolted belay. 5.10a

P3: Climb up and right from the anchor, around the roof, then back left into a right-facing corner (another variation goes directly out left around the corner past a bolt, but the moves are very balancy and potentially harder than the route's original crux). Climb up the corner past a crux with delicate footwork and small holds to a bolted belay on a ledge. Rap from this belay (or continue on Lovin Arms). 5.10c

Instead of rapping the route, it is a wiser choice to make one double rope (60m) rap to anchors at the top of the sport wall. From there a second double-rope rap will get you to the ground.


The route is immediately to the left when you reach the upper town walls via the standard approach trail. It heads up a corner to the left of a blank face. Further uphill is the "sport wall."


A typical trad route, gear to 3" will suffice, although you could probably be fine without a #3. The crux pitch protects with small nuts, so bring extras if possible. All anchors are bolted.
There is a newer (and in my opinion, better) variation to Lovin Arms called Suicidal Thoughts of Paranoia aka STP. It goes at .11c/d and begins by following the obvious right trending bolt line from the top of the Davis-Holland 3rd pitch. After a short bit of "filler" climbing, you catch an awesome and challenging dike to a belay (.11c/d crux). Next is a meandering gear protected .11a that is mucho entertaining! Finally, connect with the 5.9 headwall of Loving Arms that leads to a spectacular topout. Jul 17, 2006
Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
Great climb. First pitch was wet (as advertised), but the finger locks are bomber so the water was more of a novelty than a problem. Second pitch is sweet fingers to tight hands - suprisingly pumpy and sustained for the grade. I brought three green Camalots (#0.75) and placed them all, and probably could have placed more - the crack is very consistent in that width and #1 Camalots didn't go in. Third pitch (we did the single bolt friction option out left) was varied, suspenseful, and fun. Lots of small nuts protect the business portion of this pitch. Each pitch was about 30-35m. We didn't have time for Lovin Arms, and rappelled straight down in 2 rappels (double rope).

A conservative rack for this climb would be nuts (including thin), double set of cams from fingers to #3 Camalot, with 1 or 2 extra green Camalots for good measure. Jun 8, 2007
Las Vegas
sqwirll   Las Vegas
Great route. The second pitch is actually a left facing corner, not right facing as listed in the description. On 4/12, the first pitch was still a little wet but not too bad. The first pitch on Lovin' Arms was also a little wet. Apr 14, 2008
Not true. Not that it matters all that much, but the corner is right facing. Apr 14, 2008
Perspective? No, the corner faces right (as does the Stern Farmer, Split Pillar, etc). Thanks for the pic. Apr 15, 2008
Las Vegas
sqwirll   Las Vegas
I guess I was smoking crack. Apr 28, 2008
P3 Cannot be rapped with a 60m rope, but can with a 70m. If you top out on the UTW With a 60m rope, you can rap many other routes but if you've climbed DHLA, just rap the bolted line to the right of P4 and P5, then the bolts to the left of P1,P2, P3. May 21, 2008
Bringing an extra rope is better than rapping over someone on another route. May 23, 2008
Chris Duca
Downingtown, PA
Chris Duca   Downingtown, PA
Great, sustained, and highly recommended route. As per Andy's comment, I carried multiple green Camalots (5 total) and placed them all. It is also worth noting that it pays having a red and/or gold Camalot handy for the last 20 feet of climbing...it is on much easier terrain, but it's wider and feels a bit insecure compared to the perfect jams of the lower corner. Jul 9, 2008
Tod Bloxham
Tacoma, WA
Tod Bloxham   Tacoma, WA
As reported, P2 sucked up the .75 Green BD. I used four of them, though I think if you look hard enough you could probably find spots in the crack that would accept another size. Regardless, if you take 3 of them or 5, you will use them and be fine.

Lovin Arms is a great finish. I would recommend this over rapping from P3.

If you only have a 60 meter rope and your topping out on Lovin Arms, there is a decent way to rap off the upper town wall using both the Heaven's Gate and Golden Road Anchors:
See comments on Lovin Arms for descent info. Aug 24, 2009
Ian G.
Ian G.   PDX, OR
Absolutely classic. Finish with Lovin' Arms for an epic day! Aug 30, 2009
Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
Repeated this route today. Damn fine climbing indeed! Four green camalots worked out fine. I did the one bolt variation out left at the start of P3, and enjoyed it again. Definitely balancy though.

P1 might have been the wetest 50' of climbing I've ever done. It was absolutely soaking wet and full of moss. Fortunately the gear was bomber and somehow I made it up - but I was surprising even myself with the upward progress.

The rest of the climb was totally dry.

I had a #4 camalot, and I placed it on P1 (and one spot on P3, but it wasn't required there). I could have placed a #3 camalot in the spot at P1, but it was pretty tipped out considering it was in water+moss - so I has happy with the #4. YMMV. Jun 8, 2010
Colin Bartholomew
Colin Bartholomew   WASHINGTON
Did this route for the first time today. I found the 10a pitch quite sustained. But for the experienced 10a leader, four or even three green .75 cams is overkill. there are places for other pieces when you need them. Oh, and you can rap with one 60 meter from the top of the third pitch. Aug 18, 2010
Did this route about 25 years ago (free), one of the best ever. Protects just fine with a set of old school hexes and wires. Nov 15, 2010
good write up:

ericandlucie.com/Index%20an… Sep 17, 2014
pitch three was my favorite. after climbing about a body length up into a massive flake which would probably take a #5 or #6 quite well, make a few tenuous undercling moves out right while smearing your feet below you. if you can trust your feet this section is really quite easy. next up is the amazing cruxy thin section. a little body english and chimney technique will help you place some entry pro. the gear here is small bomber nuts. you can really stand on your feet for much of this section so take your time and figure out a sequence. you really only have to power through a move or two and then it's back onto jugs with another 15 feet of 5.6ish climbing to the anchors.

a late start and daylight savings booted us off the wall at this point, so we did one double rope 70 meter rappel straight down to a ledge at the base of the sport route. i hesitate to recommend this option because the ledge was quite dirty and a somewhat sketchy downclimb traverse to the climbers right brought us back to the ground. having said that, we only had to do one rappel.

if i were to do it again i would bring small nuts up to a BD8, doubles of cams .3-1, one #2, and one #3. Nov 11, 2014
Nick Drake
Newcastle, WA
Nick Drake   Newcastle, WA
If you are doing the left variation start on P3 you can climb up before making the traverse around the arete, clip the bolt out on that face, and then be protected from taking a swing back into the corner of P2. May 2, 2016
Serge Smirnov
Seattle, WA
Serge Smirnov   Seattle, WA
Never placed the #3 but was happy to have a #4 towards the end of P1.

Used 2 tiny cams (0.1 Camalot / 00 Metolius) to protect the beginning of P2.

The 0.75 crack on P2 also takes 0.5 in places.

P3 was the easiest pitch overall - 10b/c was 1 move, the rest was easier than P1 crux.

The 2 rappels down Sport Wall are ~45m and ~40m.

(I'm ~solid at 5.9, breaking into 10a) May 13, 2016
Zak Krenzer
Auburn, WA
Zak Krenzer   Auburn, WA
Fantastic Route! Bring an extra .75 or #2 friend for P2 the thin hands section. Have fun! Aug 16, 2016
took the #4 for pitch 1 and found a place to use it on both the next pitches! glad to have it. Sep 25, 2016
Tyler Hagen
Seattle, WA
Tyler Hagen   Seattle, WA
About 10 ft directly above the first anchor there is a large, and seemingly very loose block. When rapping the route you'll go right over it. I wanted to pop it off but I wasn't sure how far down the hill it could roll. Jul 20, 2017
Tavish Hansen
Seattle, WA
Tavish Hansen   Seattle, WA
All three pitches can actually be rapped with a 60, the third is just really, really, really close. The ends hung well above the pitch two anchor when the rope was not weighted, and with knots taking up about half a meter of either end, my waist was at the anchor when I couldn't rappel any further. A 59 meter rope would not cut it, and tie knots. Sep 24, 2017

i don't remember a looming block above the first pitch belay (?) isn't it just a big fat comfortable ledge with a solid corner above it? Sep 28, 2017
Adam Wood
Adam Wood   seattle
There had been a loose wedge all summer on the rappel line directly above the first belay. Perhaps 15 feet above the chains. I expect a lot people have noticed It recently. It was a ticking time bomb for sure and I am glad it's gone. It's sitting at the base now. Sep 28, 2017
Kevin Shoemaker
Vancouver, WA
Kevin Shoemaker   Vancouver, WA
You only need 2 .75 bd cams 3 of anything would be excessive lol the rack was already too big.. use a 70m the last rap is close! I didn't notice any major loose rock on the route. A little runout w/out the #4 but its easy, and if you blow it your only looking at a pretty clean 20 footer. Aug 21, 2018