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Routes in Sheep Rock

Virgin Wool T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C2
Type: Trad, Aid, 400 ft, 5 pitches, Grade III
FA: Jim Bodenhamer and Sandy Fleming, 11/86
Page Views: 6,208 total, 47/month
Shared By: Sam Lightner, Jr. on Mar 3, 2007
Admins: slim, Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

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Raptor Closures 2017: Check status and details at: nps.gov/arch/planyourvisit/… -Read about Anchor Replacement and Restrictions mountainproject.com/v/utah/… in Arches National Park Details
RAIN, WET ROCK and RAPTOR CLOSURES: The sandstone around Moab is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Also please ask and be aware of Raptor Closures in areas such as CAT WALL and RESERVOIR WALL in Indian Creek Details

Description

Virgin Wool ascends the south flank of the tower to the bedding seam, then traverses to a corner system that is followed to the top. To truly summit you have to traverse across the summit ridge and then back for the rappels.
P1 = Climb the slab using friction and climber-made moki steps. These steps are the result of years of banging pins into drilled holes and then extracting them on that ascent... not a good idea for the rock. It has now been bolted so that this is no longer needed. It is very soft. At the bulge there are a couple of sketchy C1 moves that might also go a 5.11. A fall would not be far, but would leave a nasty mark as you would slab-out. Continue on to the ledge. This is a 55 meter pitch
P2 = traverse in a hand size crack (C1) around to the east face of the tower and a nice ledge.... a 20 meter pitch.
P3 = the Ewetopian Crack. Follow a beautiful thin crack up the face just left of the corner. I found good placements the whole way, but I often top-stepped to get them. This is one of the finest aid pitches in Arches. Its C2 and about 45 meters in length.
P4 = Follow a finger and hand size crack to the bulge, then move through the bulge on a pin and some thin wires. This is strenuous and the rock deteriorates a bit. A fall would be ugly because of the slab. If you have a wide, piece, it will help you transition into a few free moves. At the top use a pin, and edge, and maybe some manky gear, to pull onto the summit ridge. THis pitch is 20 meters long and C2+/5.10-.
P5 = walk across the ridge to the summit knob. You can feed a cordolette through the holes to protect you on the 5.4 move onto the summit. Reverse it to the rappel anchors. This pitch is 30 meters.
Rap the route on 1/2 bolts and brown chain placed by the Arches Task Force in March of 2007. Please try not to add webbing to the route as it is visible from the highway.

Protection

Quick draws, slings for bolts. Three sets of friends up to 3.5, then 1 each of 4 and 5. A few micro pieces are handy. The Ewtopian Crack gobbles up lots of small to mid size offsets... bring lots.
A cordolette is needed at the top for slinging the huecos.
tooTALLtim
Boulder, CO
  5.7 C2
tooTALLtim   Boulder, CO
  5.7 C2
A few notes after having a great time on this today:

-The route starts on the NORTH end of the formation.
-There is a ton of cryptobiotic biotic soil around the formation, stick to the drainages. Walk down the road from the parking lot for a bit, cut down into the big wash next to the road, and then look uphill when you are across from Zenyatta. There will be a dranage (small and narrow) that takes you up to the south end of Sheep Rock. Walk the base around to the north side.
-I found an ideal rack to be: doubles of micro offset nuts (triples wouldn’t hurt), one set of medium-large offset nuts, triples of small cams to blue metolius, doubles of 0.3 – 3 C4, a four and a five (really nice to have). I brought but never placed: tricams, any standard nuts, or offset cams.
-The Ewetopian Crack is super rad! Make sure you lead it.
-If soloing the route, getting to the first piton on Ewetopian Crack pitch is rough. I didn’t have a cheater stick; it might be nearly impossible if you’re not 6’6”, as I was fully stretched out to reach it. But there’s a crack that has ok pro in it to get up to the second piton.
-The loose rocks at the P3 belay are still there.
-You cannot do the last rap with a single 70m rope; you’d end up 6m above the ground looking at a blank face. You can do the first rap with a single 60m rope and have tons to spare.
-Each pitch is rad and memorable, get after it! Nov 19, 2017
Matt Glue
Boulder, CO
Matt Glue   Boulder, CO
Did this on Monday. P3 is on par with the best of Zenyatta Entrada! Yep, a triple set of offset micronuts for the first half of P3. More if you don't backclean, or just extras around the green/purple Peenut size. The occasional drilled angle and larger cam is very appreciated. Then doubles/triples in small TCUs/C3s for the second half.

Someone with small fingers could think about freeing the second half of P3. Maybe that's why all those drilled pitons are up there? I was wondering how well a C3 in entrada could take a lead fall...

I would also say that only two sets of Camalots/Friends are necessary.

CAUTION: Loose rock at the P4 belay! 1) The fridge-sized irregularly-shaped piece of rock which contains the obvious hand holds to start the pitch rocks back and forth when pulled on. I don't think it would actually go, but it would be absolute disaster if it did. 2) The watermelon-sized piece of rock that is the obvious stepping stone to go from there is ready and rarin' to go, all the way down P3. Be super-careful. May 29, 2014
A. Roberts
Boulder, CO
  5.8 C2
A. Roberts   Boulder, CO
  5.8 C2
Besides the offsets for the first half of the third pitch, 3 of each metolius #0-#2 are nice for the upper half of pitch 3. We also appreciated a blue tri-cam for a hole next to the last bolt on pitch 1. And a #5 camalot between the roof and the anchors on pitch 4. These pieces aren't mandatory but made things easier. Great climb, pitch 3 was by far my "pitch of the year". I wonder what "don't stand on the piton guy" would have thought about my shoulder stand to start pitch 3? Nov 22, 2010
Bill Bones  
 
4 pitches is all it is. 2 long pitches and 2 short. make sure to bring lots of small offset nuts and yellow and blue TCUS and/or green Aliens. 3 to 4 for the utopian pitch upper part. Rad route. Oct 21, 2009
Matt and I climbed this on dec. 23rd and found a metolius nut tool at the base. I will mail it if you claim it. Dec 28, 2007
toddgordon Gordon
Joshua Tree, California
toddgordon Gordon   Joshua Tree, California
I am glad to hear that the first pitch has been "fixed" up.....we ( Dave Evans, Cyndie Bransford , Margy Floyd and I ) did this climb in March of 1991, and I lead the first pitch , and it was soft and funky;....I remember placing a few pins and such;... Dave followed and did NOT bother with a hammer, as he could remove ALL the pins easily with his hands. This climb is really all about pitch 3, which (rats!) Dave got;...it's a wonderful long pitch of fairly good rock and good placements;...fast, fun, and fairly easy. The rest of the climb aint' no big thing. The summit, as you can image, is fantastic. What a great formation! Apr 25, 2007