Type: Trad, Sport, 60 ft
FA: Josh Helke, 2004
Page Views: 3,757 total · 29/month
Shared By: helk0003 on Aug 12, 2008
Admins: Mike Snyder, Jake Dickerson, Taylor Spiegelberg, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Aeon Aki

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Access Issue: Dirt roads reopened as of June 2014 Details


This is the finely positioned arete to the left of Slick and Superficial. It is climbable on all but the coldest Wyoming days.

It was an old Bob Scarpelli-Tim Tuola top rope project from the '90s. Bob urged me to lead this and gave permission for the bolts to be added. The first ascent climbed with natural gear placements in the crack, bolts were added later after a few locals at the time agreed it would be nice to have a nice hardish sport line for the upcoming young strong pad people to get hooked on tying in at Vedauwoo as well.

Climb it how you like, gear, bolts or gear and bolts more style points and an extra cheers if you place the gear, congrats either way on sending this classic line.


Above the tempest for pad people and 12' left of the classic "slick and superficial" for those who have the climbing guide.


Bolts to small hands gear. If you skip bolts a small shaky nut at the bottom and a poor piece behind your heel at the crux protect till the better crack at 35' please consider a pad over the ankle breaker botton.
Natural anchor on top.


- No Photos -
If I am not mistaken, this was also a long standing Eric Decaria headpoint project that was rudely bolted by a glory hog. I think it is funny that you had to add that Bob gave you permission to bolt it and that one can choose to clip the bolts or not. Vedauwoo is not owned by Bob, and that route was not owned by Bob, so don't drag him into the discussion. You chose to bolt a good trad project before it could be completed. If future ascentionists want to do this route in good style...chop the route and do it on trad gear. Jun 7, 2010
EldoFiend   WY
"First ascent climbed with natural gear placements in the crack"

Sounds to me like Josh got the FA, on gear, and then decided to bolt it. If Decaria had actually done the FA, then it would have been his prerogative to bolt it or not; however, he never did anything more than toprope it until after it had been established, then bitched about it being bolted in Climbing magazine.

And why are you calling Helke a glory hog? Please refer me to the issue where Climbing magazine lauds him establishing multiple new routes and problems in Vedauwoo - it doesn't exist. However, when Segal and Decaria repeat existing routes (The Final Cut), or even just attempt a FA ("Steady as She Goes") without an ascent they get a ten page spread.

Without bolts, The Final Cut was an R/X rated route that would never be repeated. With bolts, it makes a good line available to more than just the self-centered elite. Jun 8, 2010
If Josh did the the line on trad gear first and then bolted it, then I retract some of my trash talk. I am not saying Josh is not a strong climber. On the contrary, I know he is a very strong guy. As for the Eric Decaria defense...I am not sticking up for him. Generally I try to avoid the Boulderite "elite" crews when they show up. The thing that annoys me most is that this route has been considered a trad project since before I started climbing at the Voo which has been about 12 years. Rather than maintain a cool trad route we now have ...da dada da...another generic sport climb. Great...you can go anywhere in the friggin' country and find a 12d sport climb. Then you whine about "but I can't do it if someone doesn't bolt it." First of all, you probably can, but you are going to have to work for it, and if you pay your dues and one day sack up, you would be damn proud of your send; way more than if you just clipped some bolts. Secondly, who cares if the masses can't do it? There are thousands of well protected routes at Vedauwoo. The masses can go do those. Why does everything need to be dumbed down for the masses? There are still A5 routes out there right? Do people whine about those being too hard? No, they see it as something to shoot for or something that is not for them, but they don't cry foul. Hard scary routes are not for self-centered elitist, they are for anyone looking to push themselves physically and mentally. They have their place, they are just not everyone's cup of tea. As for the mags, you will rarely get much press when you limit yourself to mediocre routes in an unpopular area. Jun 8, 2010
Handsome- go do the route, then bitch about the bolts. Also, climb Tugging Softly or Analog, and tell me how "mediocre" they are. Jun 8, 2010
To set a few things straight: Josh Helke initially only bolted the first bit. For the upper crack he told me he used special, non-standard hybrid Aliens he made at CCH while working there, and preplaced them for his ascent. He told me he bolted the crack because (a) not everyone has hybrid Aliens like that on their rack (he said he used something like a yellow/orange hybrid, or something to that effect, basically a hybrid of a size not produced), and (b) his partner at the time thought it would be great if there was a sport climb at Vedauwoo that you could do with prehung draws and nothing else. These are things Josh told me face to face, so this is not secondhand info.

Also EldoFiend, the article Decaria and Segal wrote that featured that route claimed that Eric actually redpointed this route. Do you have reliable information that supports your statement that he only TR'd it? If not, please refrain from posting erroneous BS, even if it is about a climber you do not like or respect.

Molony, I totally agree with you that Tugging Softly and Analog are not mediocre.

As for magazine articles, I seem to racall a particular article about Vedauwoo bouldering, written by Josh Helke, featuring almost exclusively Helke problems/photos of Helke. Not hating on him for it, but just curious why you (EldoFiend) would grill one person for doing that and not the other. Shouldn't you hold them both to the same standard? WAKE UP! Jun 9, 2010
EldoFiend   WY
Sorry if I have caused any confusion, and thanks for the info, jammer.
I never claimed that Decaria didn't red point the route, I only said that he had just tr'd it when Josh established the line.

As for the magazine articles you are mostly right; however, Helke's article was in Urban Climber, not Climbing, correct? And Josh did a LOT more route development at Vedauwoo than Segal & Decaria.

BTW, how are you doing, Justin? I haven't seen you in months. Jun 9, 2010
Molony why do people always say that comment,"go do the route". I would have liked to one day do the route as a trad route when it was cool. If I get on it, will the experience change my mind somehow? Am I going to think, "I wish he had put even more bolts in and it would have been awesome if he had chipped a few more feet and a crimp over here. I wish someone would go bolt ALL the hard routes at Vedauwoo!!!" Probably not. I am not going to spray about my own abilities, but if I want to get a 12d sport route, I will get it done, most likely pretty quickly. Also molony, I'm sorry to break it to you, but ANYTHING less than V14 is mediocre in the eyes of any climbing publication on the planet. My comment speaks nothing of the aesthetics or general quality of the line. I am refering to the fact that unless you break away from the mold or push overall standards then you will not be published. Both analog and tugging softly look awesome, and someday when I am in the area I will get on them, but they are both pretty far down on my "to do list". Eldoclimber, who cares if it was in Urban Climber or Climbing. Not much of a point of contention. It is basically the same mag, different cover. Jun 9, 2010
"I never claimed that Decaria didn't red point the route, I only said that he had just tr'd it when josh established the line."

Really? Specifically, you wrote: "If Decaria had actually done the FA, then it would have been his prerogative to bolt it or not; however, he never did anything more than toprope it until after it had been established, then bitched about it being bolted in Climbing magazine."

So what is your statement? That he TR'd it with Josh, that he TR'd it before Josh established the line and then went back for the RP and subsequently bitched about it, or that he only TR'd the line after Josh had established it as a bolted route? Your wording leaves a little ambiguity. That, and the statement that Helke did it entirely on preplaced gear, is the only reason I said anything. Also, magazine articles are magazine articles. By your line of reasoning, Bob's article in Alpinist clearly calls out Helke's article in Urban Climber.

It would be great to never see another conversation like this in the Vedauwoo section of this site. I would love to discuss things like headpointing vs. bolting, but instead while sharing a rope or a beer, and hopefully with smiles and laughs.

I'm doing well, Pablo, thanks for asking. Hope all is well with you as well. Jun 10, 2010
"It would be great to never see another conversation like this in the Vedauwoo section of this site."

Agreed. Jun 10, 2010