Type: Trad, 4 pitches
Page Views: 782 total · 11/month
Shared By: brian benedon on Mar 14, 2013
Admins: Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Greg Opland

You & This Route

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The Big Sleep is a traditional style back country adventure route put up in the early 80's. Be prepared for run-outs on less than perfect gear. The route has great exposure, mostly good rock and nice belay ledges. See the picture for Entrance dome, Big Sleep is G. The Big Sleep starts, "Breaks out" at the top of the big gully below the arch.
To get up there you can walk right and up until you can scramble up to the big ledge, then bushwhack across the ledge ( below Falconlore) and belay 30' below the chimney. I prefer to;
1) Climb the short low angle slab on the far right side of Entrance dome. there is a weakness with a couple placements.
2) Walk across the ledge to the left, climb the 50' chimney. Belay at a single bolt next to a 0 tcu placement.
3) Step left onto the face, traverse left then work up and right to a lone bolt, move right, up, then angle left and up to a belay alcove with one bolt and a 1" cam. 5.9 110'
4) Traverse right and up slightly, pass a new bolt next to the old bolt and continue traversing right, after 50' or so step down 5' around the corner to a belay stance right of a short book. 5.8+
5) Continue traversing right then follow a dike ramp system up and right until you can climb straight up 30' to the top. 5.8
walk right and down, one double rope rap off of a long tied runner into the gully.


Entrance dome has an upper more prominent summit in the center; see Whores of Babylon. The dome also has a right side which sort of lays onto the main dome. The right side contains; Full Circle, The Big Sleep, Falconlore and others. These routes do not summit the main face.
There are cairned routes up to Entrance Dome, they lead you to the base of Full Circle, from there walk right along the base.


We used a run of cams from 0 tcu - #4 cam with a few extras in the mid range. We also used a few sm-med nuts. we did not use tri-cams. Don't for get long runners.


brian benedon
brian benedon   tucson
It was 1994, I was standing at the crux of the big Sleep, several hundred feet off the ground, I heard a voice "go right laddy buck". Could it be a voice from the gods.....Indeed it was, it was the legendary backcountry guru, Karl Rickson. He was watching us (over us) climb his route from way down in the valley below us. We were in the Stronghold to attend his bean fest.

I returned to climb the Big Sleep in 2012. My friend Scotty Mac and I had a great time enjoying the perfect conditions. We found that the Belay anchor at the top of the chimney had died, the pin at the next belay was not there and the anchor was choss, poor gear lead to a rusty 1/4" spinner, however the crux bolt had been replaced. (thank you). Scott suggested that we replace the missing and dangerous fixed protection.

March of 2013 rolled along, and I was looking for something special to do for my birthday route. I remembered that KR's B-day was also in march. I enrolled my friends Eric H and Jefe to help me with the work. We placed one Belay bolt next to a piece in place of the dead tree. We replaced the missing fixed pin with a bolt at the alcove belay, and I added a new bolt next to the old bolt. I normally would remove the old and re-drill the hole, but in this case I did the work on lead, and I thought some climbers might like to see the remnants of the past. They are 3/8 * 3" bolts with stainless hangers, drilled by hand.

Karl would have been 62 today. His life ended way to soon, but his work lives on. Happy Birthday KR. Mar 14, 2013
1Eric Rhicard
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
NIce going Brian. Here Here to KR! Mar 15, 2013
Worthy. Mar 15, 2013
My most vivid recall of KR is of him standing in his living room holding his arms straight out to the sides squeezing off sets using those v-shaped hand exercisers (yes, he did work out), long hair over one eye, and that silly grin on his face (but not, uh, from working out). Sigh. Thanks for the post Brian. Mar 15, 2013