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Routes in Observatory Rock

99% Pure T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Double Vision T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Flop, The T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Glass Bead Game, The T,S 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Jonah T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Mineral Secretion T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Original Route T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Panic in the Gray Womb T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Punch Line T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Skin Mechanic T,S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Stargazing T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Telescoping Sum T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Will Chevy Slab S 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Type: Trad, 90 ft
FA: Bernard Gillett, 2006.
Page Views: 510 total, 4/month
Shared By: Tony B on Jun 1, 2008
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Description

A climb with some fun and burly moves, but some detractors. It seems that the mineral being secreted here is in fact guano. I've certainly climbed worse, but if you are averse to bats or poo, you should avoid this climb.

Start up into the shallow, left-facing corner just left of the white-washed arete. Fight up and into jams and place some gear. The crux comes low on this line and is protected by hand-to-fist sized gear. The jams are sharp and spots of the climb are dirty. About the time the corner ends the rock gets less steep and the climbing eases... there are bats in the line back there, and while noisy, they did not otherwise effect the climb themselves.

The line by Gillett proceeds up, then up and left through some lichenous-looking rock with seams and cracks for a little over 100', about 5.9- according to Gillett, where one can scramble down to the East to some anchors and rap. We opted to finish up and right to the anchor on Will Chevy Slab to the rap and head down the 85' rap to the ground.

Location

This route is toward the left side of the right half (S-facing) or Observatory Rock. The beginning is approached from the right, coming out onto a ledge below the left side of a large flake, where a white-stained arete lies on the right side of the crack. This is the start of Mineral Secretion.

Just right of this is an obvious fist-crack splitter that starts well off the ground and continues for 20'... the start of the route called "99% Pure."

Protection

This route will take a rack up to LARGE cams, but can be safely lead on a rack from small to a #3 Camalot. A #4 will put gear higher at the crux, and with LARGE cams you might essentially TR the bottom crack.

Photos

Jay Eggleston
Denver
  5.10+
Jay Eggleston   Denver
  5.10+
This route was interesting, but it did feel hard. It can be safely led using a #5 Camalot. There is a difficult section up high too, but at least it is not offwidth! We did not encounter a lot of guano today. Jan 29, 2016
Ross — Are you confusing MS with Panic in the Gray Womb? You led me, Bernie, and (maybe) Mike up the left variation of PitGW, which started in the bottom left of an alcove, climbed up into the ceiling of the alcove (where you removed your helmet, before squirming right to exit the womb), and then diagonaled right to the anchors atop Punch Line. Sep 19, 2014
Ross Swanson
Pinewood Springs
 
Ross Swanson   Pinewood Springs
 
One can start 20' lower in a licken corner for additional moves that lead to the crack on the left of the alcove. The crux comes at the horizontal where there is a hidden sidepull. A #4 Camalot was useful at the top to protect the move around the roof. I had to take my helmet off to do the move.

The guidebook shows a pic for this climbing area and a dotted line for this route that is on the right side of the alcove; however, in the topo, the line for this route is on the left side. To add more confusion, the 10b variation is the thin flake in the middle. Mar 21, 2014