Type: Trad, 90 ft
FA: Dennis Mehmet, Bill Goldner, 1965 FFA Hugh Herr, 1981
Page Views: 3,087 total · 23/month
Shared By: Ron Olsen on Dec 10, 2007
Admins: JSH

You & This Route

12 Opinions

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Devious climbing with hard-to-place gear on a right-leaning arch. A good route with good gear...if you can hang in to place it.

Climb the corner just right of Ventre de Boeuf: trend right to the arch, and climb the arch to a small overhang (crux) to a slab. Reach the anchor and rap.

A note from Ivan Rezucha: I did what I thought was the FA on aid in the mid '70s. Dick Williams says it was done earlier by Dennis Mehmet & co., but I'm a little skeptical, as there were no pin scars. But perhaps in the hard Gunks rock, one aid ascent wouldn't leave any scars.

My "FA" was done as a self-belay, on all nuts, with hooks. At one point I did 3 hook moves in a row, with 2 hooks, by hanging on some small free holds as I moved a hook up. That was pretty exciting. I was either self-belaying with prussiks, or maybe I had moved up by then to jumars.

My name for the climb, "The Man Who Fell to Earth", came from this story: Jeff Pofit attempted (what we thought was) the second ascent. He didn't know that I had used hooks. He ripped his gear from the crux aid section, where the arch jogs right, and zippered a bunch of other gear due to the sideways pull caused by arching. He landed on his head at a soft spot between some rocks. I think he was carried away, but he would have been able to walk away.

The original route went right at the top of the arch to a platform on the arete, and then angled left and up on some nice free climbing at about 5.8. My understanding is that Hugh Herr & co. free-climbed the final traverse right to the arete, but that most people end the free climbing by exiting left near the top of the arch.


Start just right of Ventre de Boeuf.


Small to medium gear with double rp's.


Morrison, CO
Monomaniac   Morrison, CO  
"The Man Who Fell To Earth" is a classic sci-fi movie staring the Chameleon of Rock, David Bowie. My favorite line from the movie:

"you're not at all like my father" Dec 11, 2007
There was a rusted RP at the crux that popped out after I touched it - protectable with a #0 mastercam though.

Upper edges felt kind of greasy, or I was just sweating a lot... Also double-check that your belayer gives you a soft catch if you blow it just before the anchors, it's a decent swing into the wall otherwise. Apr 4, 2017
This climb is super fun! I took the time to scope out the moves and gear on TR before trying to lead it. Would be a big onsight for sure.

An alternative/contrived beta option:[spoiler!]

At the big right-facing jug/sidepull you get to after the first few traverse moves, instead of going up into the left undercling crimp in the roof, smear or iron cross out right to the chalked left-facing jug sidepull. Then set up some high feet and a right hand sidepull, and throw for the big jug above. Extra holds up and right are off. Done this way you trade a tension-heavy undercling sequence for an exciting deadpoint. The grade is about the same. Sep 26, 2018