Type: Trad, 7 pitches
FA: P1-4: Mabe/Juth, P5-7: Mabe/Hubbel, summer 2005
Page Views: 6,345 total · 33/month
Shared By: Wiled Horse on Feb 28, 2007
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

You & This Route

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While either can break your bones, Sticks 'n' Stones is a dual personality route -- part bolted slab, part trad. The "Sticks" part climbs the right side of Helen's, in four bolted slab pitches, and continues to the "Stones" part, which actually climbs the right side of Acid in three trad pitches. The last pitch has an optional surprise ending...an overhanging thin hands V-slot; an excellent 5.10+ pitch on an otherwise moderate route. You can avoid it, however, by traversing off to the gully.

This route was established on lead, onsight, and free drilling stances.

P1. Start just right of the big ledge. An ascending, leftward traverse along excellent intrusion features. Belay at a 2 bolt anchor on a small ramp, (5.8) 75', 7 bolts.

P2. Steep, slab moves lead up and over a small overlap. Work up the slab to a large hueco sink you can stand in, and follow the worn water runnel to a ramp belay at the start of a right-facing dihedral, (5.7) (EDIT: Maybe harder?) 120', 9 bolts.

P3. Follow the dihedral to a point where you commit to an exciting step around. Continue on well featured edges to an 'oasis' belay ledge. The difficulty here drops considerably. (5.6) 165', 8 bolts.

P4: no bolts. From the oasis, continue up and left around the corner to the top of Helen's, belay from gear (#2 Camalot suffices), (5.4) approximately 100', no bolts!

Now, the hike. Go across Helen's summit slabs and work your way up the saddle to Acid rock. On the far right side of Acid, right of the large corner is a series of low-angled dihedrals and flakes. This is the "stones" part of the route....

P5. Get yer rack out. Climb the connecting right-facing overlaps and corners until they disappear. Double up your last piece and commit to the face (5.9) up to a bolt, then fire up more slab to a nice belay ledge, 120'.

P6. Climb the bulge right off the belay via thin hands flake, slightly dicey move leaving the crack and working into a long and wide right facing layback corner. Exit the dihedral to the left to a good belay ledge. Small TCU placement and single bolt for a belay, (5.7) 115'.

P7. This is interesting and exciting! Although there is a crumby lookin' wide crack above, I opted for the seam traverse straight right and around the corner. At the top of this corner, move back LEFT to the overhanging thin hands tight V-slot (5.10) #0.75-1 Camalots. Watch for drag on this pitch. -OR- avoid the v-slot finish by traversing right from the top of corner onto easier terrain to a gully and Acid summit.


Descent: boogey to the Acid/Helen's descent trail. Or for full value, continue to Velcro Wall, and summit Sheeprock, for over 1000' of climbing fun. Allow for a full day due to all the adventure hiking and descent logistics.


This is located in the center of the far right, south-facing flanks of Helen's. Hike as you would to Fractured Fairytales, but keep going. If you get to a huge, left-facing flake, you went too far. Sticks starts just right of the ledge of Brave Cowboy. You can avoid the opening slab pitches entirely and hike up to Acid Rock on the right. but don't sell yourself short! You're on a Platte adventure!


2 ropes (only if you are planning on rapping Sticks from the Oasis ledge of P3). Approach shoes to get up to Acid, as well as the walk off descent. 10 QDs incl a few runners, standard rack. #4 C4 (opt.).. and maybe an extra #0.75 and #1 C4.