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Routes in Central Portion

Alpin Lily's Masterpiece T 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c A2 R
Brigitte S 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Carmen, the Gypsy Girl S 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Francesca'’s Face TR 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Isabel's Eyes T 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13
Julia's Arête S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Julia’s Arête T,S 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Petra’s Preference T,S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Song of Sabine T,S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c A1
Valgedur'’s Tooth T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
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Type: Sport, 40 ft
FA: Matthias Holladay & Joel Schiavone
Page Views: 1,587 total · 17/month
Shared By: Matthias Holladay on Nov 30, 2010
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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This aesthetic arête first climbs thin pinches directly on the arête for 10 feet or so then moves to the left. Good pockets, edges, and the sharp arête on the right make for a very aesthetic route.


This is the left side of Julia’s Arête.


Four bolts plus anchors.


Skyeler Congdon
his van
Skyeler Congdon   his van
Mathias, no one is going to climb ANY of this choss but you. Hell, I'd rather see East A get retrobolted if it prevents more of Durango's backcountry from getting trampled by drill-wielding chuckleheads. Dec 1, 2010
Matthias Holladay
Shiprock, Navajolands
Matthias Holladay   Shiprock, Navajolands
Ha Ha! I love to chuckle! But why do you resort to name-calling?
"Mathias, no one is going to climb ANY of this choss but you. Hell, I'd rather see East A get retrobolted if it prevents more of Durango's backcountry from getting trampled by drill-wielding chuckleheads. "
Please be civil, thanks.... Are you perhaps just afraid you can't climb the left side of Julia’s Arête, yes? and so dismiss yourself from even trying it? It is chossy, kind of, but so were many other areas around here upon discovery, and 5 minutes from the road is not backcountry. Regarding Tyler88, I was joking, as yes, I don't expect many climbers to visit any of my areas. Although...I'd heard the traverse under the big roof of Julia's Jibe at Hermosa spanked you... true or false? Is that why your star quality vote was a bomb? Too runout for you? The funny thing is, is that it's young guns like you who are the most likely to free some of the harder aid lines around here or there. Like, have you SEEN the roofs of Khumbu's Cove? They have thwarted every attempt so far, but I'll tell you: Shark's Fin would go at .11b/c And there's already the 1st bolt on it.... Dec 1, 2010
Skyeler Congdon
his van
Skyeler Congdon   his van
Nice response, Matthias. Well, I suppose I deserve to be called out since I called you a 'chucklehead'. Allow me to retort:

1) You question my climbing abilities as a possible ulterior motive to my criticism. Perhaps you should do a search of my first ascents added to Better yet, go repeat "Martyr's Crown", and THEN tell me how I handle runouts. Or go bag the third ascent of "The Icarus Line" in the style of my FA. Or maybe you'd like to repeat a R/X highball I put up like "Hesitation."

2) I went up to Hermosa way back when with the intention of reconning your aid roofs for possible free attempts. I got on a route you gave 4 stars wanting to sample what you thought was the best of the best. Julia's Jibe was awful! Maybe the worst route I've been on in 9 years of climbing. And you gave it 4 stars??? I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared, but that route was well within my abilities. I came down because it sucked so bad and let Kevin finish it. Then we left and went to the Golf Wall. Needless to say, I haven't been back to free your epic roofs.

3) 5 minutes from the road or not, and whether we choose to call it backcountry or not, this crag is still wilderness, and your lust for FAs does not justify the environmental impact of route development. Just because a cliff COULD be bolted/developed doesn't mean it SHOULD. We are climbers, but some of us are environmentalists, as well. There is plenty of quality climbing in Durango that we do not need to resort to bolting every last piece of choss we can find.

Why don't you go to the Creek where there are still hundreds of GOOD FAs waiting? You could repeat "Malidea" while you're there, since you might be one of the few climbers who might actually enjoy it ;)

Oh, and I don't actually think you are a chucklehead. As one first ascentionist to another, I think you let your need to be first overwhelm your judgment of what is worthwhile. Just because we are climbers does not mean every vertical eco-system we can find belongs to us. Dec 2, 2010
Matthias Holladay
Shiprock, Navajolands
Matthias Holladay   Shiprock, Navajolands
Skyeler, thanks for your kind remarks:

1) I have no doubt you are an excellent climber and have climbed and will continue to climb/create very hard routes.

2) Don’t give up attempting the roofs at Hermosa, you might find you like it there after you have done everything which interests you on other local outcrops.

3) Malidea looks cool. Way to go; I love that area and routes like that. Having done F.A.’s on similar routes out in that part of the backwoods, way back when, we chose to leave them unrecorded due to their pristine nature. So, for us there was no stroking of egos by posting those spires … and no further environmental impact. (Too bad about the recent magazine article, however.) Nonetheless, so true, I have locally altered many vertical eco-systems irreparably and egotistically posted the information so others could “enjoy” these “worthwhile” routes. I am torn, truly, but for me, lust for virgin choss is a hard thing to ignore. Dec 2, 2010
Skyeler Congdon
his van
Skyeler Congdon   his van
I can certainly empathize with the drive towards FAs. It's clear we can both agree it is far more rewarding than even an at-our-limit redpoint. There's so little adventure nowadays with our beta-choked climbing culture that places more value in performance and numbers than in experience. I know the towers you are referring to and was equally disappointed when the article came out. That stretch from Ruby Ranch to Mineral Bottom could have a lifetime of routes for climbers of our ilk. Now that the word is out it could become the next trendy desert haunt for any yahoo with a dinghy;)

Also, I think we both have a much higher regard for our own routes than subsequent parties (which may be why you gave Julia's Jibe 4 stars and I gave it zero). There are routes I've done which, in retrospect, I almost wish I never set eyes on. I don't think future generations will be stoked enough on them to justify the havoc I wreaked in cleaning them.

I cleaned up a hard trad line at Lemon this fall with the hope to free it- tore out a bunch of vegetation in the process, but now I'm conflicted if I should even go back since no one is likely to seek that route out again after me. If I'm the only one who climbs it, is it really worth the impact? By criticizing your development I'm also calling into question my own actions in the backcountry. What right do we have putting up less than stellar routes (or developing entire cliffs) if no one else will enjoy them?

And if you love choss so much, why don't you just put up routes in the Black? Thats where all the "good choss" is anyway;) Dec 5, 2010
Matthias Holladay
Shiprock, Navajolands
Matthias Holladay   Shiprock, Navajolands
Anyone enjoyed this arête 8 minutes from the road yet? Is no one "going to climb ANY of this choss" but me? May 9, 2013
I've added this one to my to-do list, choss is the name of the game where I'm from. Just a nessessary skill, that eventually becomes really exciting. I'll be checking out this arete for sure if I'm ever in your neck of the woods. Mar 4, 2016
Grady King  
Started climbing here this summer. Fun climbs and great location! Aug 3, 2016
Matthias Holladay
Shiprock, Navajolands
Matthias Holladay   Shiprock, Navajolands
Wow, amazing....
Great to hear it, Evan & Grady! Aug 5, 2016

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