Type: Trad, 12 pitches, Grade V
FA: Jonathan Schaffer, Lindsey Schauer, Fall 2011
Page Views: 5,178 total · 45/month
Shared By: Vic Zeilman on Sep 18, 2012
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

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Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures Details
Access Issue: 2019 July South Casm View Wall closure lifted. Prior: Rockfall potential closes some routes! Details

Description

El Padre (named in honor of former Climbing Ranger, Brent Mims) is an excellent route that takes a series of crack systems right of Crystal Vision on the west face of South Chasm Wall. For those who enjoy crack climbing in the Black Canyon, this route should be high on the list. It has it all - chimneys, squeeze slots, offwidths and finger cracks. Although it still has some definite South Rim fern gully funk and dirtiness to it, this route will likely clean up to be one of the classics in the Canyon.

Almost every pitch weighs in at 5.10 to 5.11. Generally speaking, the cruxes of the route protect well and the OW is manageable. Depending on one’s climbing style it’s hard to say where the true crux of the route is, but you'’ll have plenty of options to choose from.

The original topo is more than adequate as a description of the route. There are very few places to get lost Basically, climb the first two pitches of Crystal Vision to the massive terrace above. The start of El Padre’s pitch 3 is a beckoning hands to wide crack almost direcly above (although on the right side of the massive terrace). The start can be kind of wet, but it quickly goes to secure hand jams, finishing with burly OW.

For the next handful of pitches, follow this obvious crack system, which is really the left side of an enormous pillar/buttress. Pitch 4 avoids a huge chimney with an awesome, wavy splitter that appears out of nowhere on the left wall. At the top of pitch 5, move the belay about 100 feet right, past some giant blocks, to belay under a pegmatite-ish corner that looks like crap but actually climbs well and is definitely one of the cruxes of the route.

Pitch 7 pulls through an airy bulge and leads to the base of another splitter hand crack. Pitch 8 takes this crack for quite a ways to an ominous, slightly flaring OW. Bump your #6 and finagle gear into the back. Exit and move right to another splitter OW and end at a ledge. Pitch 9… you guessed it… another splitter. Punch it up the beautiful 5.10 corner for a shorter pitch. Pitch 10... locate the right leaning crack in some orangish colored peg. Climb this and up through a bulge. You’'re almost done.

From the ledge at the top of Pitch 10, choose your own adventure to the rim. There'’s a corner that leaves from the far right edge of the ledge, generally trending back to the left. Follow the path of least resistance until you’re on the rim. It'’s probably worth breaking this up into a couple of pitches.

Location

Park at Painted Wall Overlook. Descend the SOFB Gully rappels. After six double rope rappels, descend the gully to the start of Crystal Vision. Look for a massive boulder with a split in it, just after the enormous chasm in the wall. El Padre shares the first two pitches with Crystal Vision, then branches off right, in the beckoning wide crack system on the right side of the terrace.

Protection

Standard rack plus (1) #4, #5, #6; a couple small TCUs (purple, grey Metolius type of size), and optional RPs…. You can get a few in on pitch 6.

Photos