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Skewed Reality

5.12-, Sport, 85 ft (26 m),  Avg: 3.7 from 3 votes
FA: Alex Scott
Colorado > Pagosa Springs > Piedra River > Piedra River - E Side

Description

This is a spectacular, steep climb with awesome exposure. It is not for the faint-hearted; if you are uncomfortable climbing sideways of bolts, this is not the route for you.

Casual start to the 1st bolt, then easy climbing through lesser quality rock to the 2nd bolt. Go right, then up into a small chimney. Clip bolt 3 and continue up big ledges. Clip bolt 4, which is on the main rock face. Get a rest here and study the holds for the crux traverse. After the traverse, move upwards on steep rock with big holds. Clip the 8th bolt, trend right and use the arete to take you to the chains.

Location

If the river is low enough to wade across:
Take the forest service trail to the west side cliffs. Follow the trail a little downstream of "Cattle Drive" and take a side path down to the river. Wade across at a rocky beach.

If the river is too high to wade across:
Park at the main area above the east rim just after deadman's curve. Walk down the slope to the skier's right. Take a gully down to the canyon bottom and walk upstream to the base of the climb.

Or:
Park at a seldom used turnout on the west side of the road, between the trailhead and deadman's curve. At the turn out, there is a prominent hill to the east and a small pond (usually dry) downhill to the west. Hike down toward the pond. You will see an obvious beak/nose feature on the western cliffs. Hike toward the beak. At the canyon rim, there is a lone spruce near an old fire ring. This is the top of the climb. The next 2 gullies downstream will give you access to the canyon bottom. The second one is easier to descend, albeit a longer hike back upstream to the base of the climb.

Protection

Quickdraws, 9 bolts to 2 bolt chain anchor with lowering carabiners. A runner on the 2nd bolt will lessen rope drag.

  • Note to belayer: give a loose belay on the crux traverse to mitigate the pendulum in case of a fall. I fell many times working the traverse and never got a scratch.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

A beautiful line.
[Hide Photo] A beautiful line.
Alex installs bolts on the <br>
AIRY upper wall of<br>
Skewed Reality (5.12).
[Hide Photo] Alex installs bolts on the AIRY upper wall of Skewed Reality (5.12).
View from the west side of the river, near the best place to wade across.
[Hide Photo] View from the west side of the river, near the best place to wade across.
Rich Strang fighting the war on choss.  This section is cleaned up and well worth climbing through to get to the excellent climbing above.
[Hide Photo] Rich Strang fighting the war on choss. This section is cleaned up and well worth climbing through to get to the excellent climbing above.
Top of Skewed Reality.  View from the east rim.
[Hide Photo] Top of Skewed Reality. View from the east rim.
An impressive face.
[Hide Photo] An impressive face.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Pullhard
  5.12-
[Hide Comment] Thank you, Rich Strang, for helping me with this. Removing the choss was tedious, hard work. Also thanks to Travis Reid and Misty McDonald for their patient and safe belays, allowing me to free this route. -A.S. Aug 28, 2011
Rich Strang
Santa Fe, NM
[Hide Comment] That's Awesome, Alex. Sorry I couldn't make it up there to help finish it off with you. I guess I have another project. How does it compare in difficulty with Wild Hoops & Raising Awareness? Aug 29, 2011
Pullhard
  5.12-
[Hide Comment] I thought it was about the same difficulty as WH and RA. Not harder physically; however, there is a mental factor because of the cleaned up choss band, exposure, and traversing movement. A friend worked it today and thought it was hard 12. I don't believe it's a solid 12. New routes seem harder at first than they really are. Aug 29, 2011
Josef Lovin
Denver, CO
  5.12b
[Hide Comment] I didn't have the same experience with this route. It's an incredible face and a brilliant climb after the crux, but I had a total of three holds break on me, one even during the crux. I don't think that it will alter the grade; holds will come and go on this route.

  • Edit; I have no idea what I was saying here, and I didn't even make the crux the last time I tried it so that's a lie. Anyway, gave it a burn a year later and had some grace for the choss band and found it to be a really enjoyable, solid route for the canyon. Get on it.
Sep 5, 2018