Type: Sport, Alpine, 350 ft (106 m), 4 pitches, Grade III
FA: Mark Tarrant, Richard Wright, May, 2008
Page Views: 1,764 total · 9/month
Shared By: Mark Tarrant on May 27, 2008
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

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Description Suggest change

Touch Gold is a 350' sport route that starts from the Catwalk about 25' down and right of Priceless. The first and last pitches are over 100', so a 70m rope is required to rap off. The entire last pitch has some of the best stone yet climbed at Empire.

Pitch 1: 5.11c, 18 bolts, 3-bolt anchor, 104'. The hard stuff starts right from the get-go through the first 5 clips and then eases as you approach a small roof and then a ledge. 60' of .9/.10a takes you to the anchor.

P2: 5.6, 4 bolts, 3-bolt anchor, 50'. Head up easy ground and find the belay on a ramp to the right.
P1 and P2 can be combined (some rope drag) and you can back clean along the way to save on draws.

P3: 5.12b/c, 12 bolts, 3-bolt anchor, 80'. A wild pitch with great movement through the sustained crux roof. Locating a few invisible holds is the only thing that keeps it reasonable. Work up to the roof and decipher the initial tricks to get established at the lip (hint: go straight up). Move straight right along the sharp lip past 2 bolts and finally pull onto the wall above (hint: reach about 3.5' right of the high and difficult 2nd clip). Balance through 2 moves and climb 25' to the anchor on a nice ledge. It helps to lower yourself out about 10' from the anchor so you can see your partner.

P4: 5.10d, 15 bolts, 2-bolt anchor, 110'. The last pitch is fantastic both for its position and quality of stone. Climb the corner right of the belay and then launch up beautiful golden rock for 60' to a green slab. Move right and up the slab for 40' to the anchor. Lowering back to the belay requires a 70m rope. (You can rap this pitch with a 60m--barely--but only after the pitch has been followed/cleaned.)

Descent: Rap the route. Note the distances on the first and last pitches. After lowering off the last pitch, it's possible to return to the Catwalk in 2 raps with a 70m rope. From this anchor, a 70m rope just makes it to the 1st pitch anchor--knot the ends! A 60m rope will require 3 raps. We've rapped the first pitch with a 60m rope, but the ends hang about 4' above the ground.

The name Touch Gold was given both for the nice, gold stone on the last pitch and for an awesome golden eagle that soared by, close enough to touch, on two trips up the route.

Location Suggest change

Above The Catwalk about 25' right of Priceless.

Protection Suggest change

About 20 draws (more if you combine P1 and P2). 70m rope is recommended.