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Routes in Lost Temple Spire

Separation Anxiety T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Southwest arete T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
West NW Face Anderson-Garrett T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b C0 PG13
Type: Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches, Grade III
FA: Ty Mack & Kirk Billings
Page Views: 608 total, 22/month
Shared By: WMcD on Aug 21, 2015
Admins: Mike Snyder

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Description

Separation Anxiety features several mediocre pitches that guard an amazing 65m pitch of perfect handjams. After the hero jamming, a bit of tricky route finding leads to a difficult last pitch and the proud summit of Lost Temple Spire.

I found this route to be considerably harder and more involved than I expected. Plan for a proper adventure in the alpine.

Note: My experience on this route differed somewhat from the description in the Bechtel guide. I may have been off route, or the guidebook may be vague. Please correct my description if you know better.

Pitch 1: Start perhaps 50' below the LTS and Steeple col. We scrambled a couple meters to a nice belay ledge and then climbed a ledge system that angled up and sharply to the right (see photo). This was mostly easy ledge scrambling, with occasional bits of loose rock and awkward grass negotiations. Belay off blocks at a nice ledge just before the obvious leftward hand traverse (see photos). 5.6, 65m.

Pitch 2: Make the obvious 15' hand traverse off the belay ledge and throw down the 5.8 death mantle (see photo). Perhaps you could wiggle in some micro gear to protect the mantle, but absolutely do not fall here. The mantle leads immediately to a large ledge. Walk left and belay either on the left side of this large ledge, or on the next ledge just above the slot. (NOTE: this very memorable pitch is not mentioned in the Bechtel description. Perhaps the death mantle can be avoided by starting on a flake system left of what I describe.) 5.8R, 20m.

Pitch 3: From the left side of the large ledge just above the mantle, negotiate blocks in a slot to reach another ledge. From here, head up and right to a featured slab traverse. This short rightward traverse leads to a L-facing corner and cracks on the face. Climb enjoyably up these steep and well-protected cracks to reach a very large ledge and the arete. We found no 5.10 climbing through here. 5.9, 20m.

Pitch 4: The large belay ledge wraps around both sides of the arete and allows for several options for the next pitch:

I believe that the original route wraps onto the North face and traverses 20' out a large, thin flake (clenching exposure) to reach an alleged pitch of difficult 5.9 fist jams. After much waffling, I rejected this option.

Instead, I climbed a moderate left facing corner system back on the West face of the spire. This corner had an obvious cairn at the base, was pretty solid, and checked it at perhaps 5.8. From the top of the corner, I made a short left and upward traverse on a loose ledge that brought me around the arete and to the large ledge at base of the handcrack pitch. (35m?, 5.8)

Pitch 5: Climb the truly glorious #2 camalot crack off the large ledge. Pull a couple of bulges on perfect jams and make a cool crack switch to the left. Continue up the perfect 2.5" crack forever. Eventually, a few easy slab moves lead to another great ledge. This was a 70m rope stretcher to reach the ledge. I brought 2 x #3, 4 x #2 and 4 x #1 camalots, plus doubles of other sizes. Be comfortable running out handcracks or bring more gear. On the ledge, you can build a belay with a #4 camalot (optional) and finger sized gear.

Pitch 6: More tricky routefinding. Your goal now is to get back around the arete to the final slot/undercling pitch. I climbed the obvious crack straight off the belay ledge for a short and fun pitch of 5.9 jamming. When this crack ended, I stepped left to a nice belay ledge below a slabby dihedral. 5.9, 20m.

Pitch 7: I climbed the easy but sparsely protected corner off the belay before reaching a small roof and stepping right on overhanging mega jugs to mantle onto the ledge on the arete. Likely off route, but this seemed like the least bad option. I belayed my partner up and he then down led the 15' easy handcrack off the right side of this ledge to get us back on the West face and to the base of the last pitch. 5.9, 20m.

(You may be able to avoid what I am calling pitches 6 and 7 by traversing around the arete from the large ledge at the top of the handcrack and negotiating whatever terrain is over there. Carefully choose your own adventure through here.)

Pitch 8: This pitch is burly. Climb up the obvious low-angle wide crack and wiggle into the slot below the roof. Begin chimneying and stemming out of the slot and clip a pin at the lip. Stem and then layback up the short corner before pulling difficult undercling moves to turn the roof and gain the face above. A couple more desperate moves on the face lead to good gear and a romp to the summit. 5.11, 30m.

Location

Separation Anxiety begins on the west face of Lost Temple Spire and climbs pitches on both the West and North faces. Hike from the Big Sandy Trailhead to the pond above Deep Lake. Then head straight up the talus (easier than it looks), to just below the Steeple-Lost Temple Col.

We rappelled in the vicinity of the Southwest Arete. A single 70m was adequate. Lots of tatty rappels brought us to a large gully and one last slabby rap. We then hiked skier's left down grass and talus before heading back skier's right to some moderate down slabbing that brought us to the obvious ledge system at the base of LTS. Walk across this ledge back to your packs at the base of the climb.

Protection

Standard rack + lots of extra hand sized gear. Bring tat and booty nuts to beef up the rappels. We brought 1 x #4 camalot, 2 x #3, 4 x #2, 4 x #1 camalot, and then doubles down to green alien. This rack was adequate but bring way more if you want to sew up the hand crack.

We got up and down with one 70m rope.

Photos

Matt.H Haron
  5.11b
Matt.H Haron  
  5.11b
This route has a reputation for being dangerous. Be careful anywhere in the winds. You're not in Colorado anymore. Dec 14, 2016
I just wanted to add a note that the listing for the FA should read Ty Mack and Kirk Billings. Ty led most of the route and I followed. It was also his idea. I was just a counterweight in case he "needed" a belay. As I remember, he didn't. :)
-Kirk May 18, 2016
Great route!

Long day
Gear
Tripple on 1,2,3
Double .3,.4,.5,.75,4
Single small gear down to 0
Stoppers
2 ropes

Ascend to base of left angle gully below north prow, ditch packs
Climb gulley to near the col
1-Climb crack that starts on the ground and heads up and right, this is further up than the grassy ramp system
2-trend right to left facing dihedral to ledge. 5.9
3- scramble left up ramp to base
This would be the last easy retreat point
4-we climbed straight left through ledges to overhanging alcove at base of a roof that leads to the fist pitch, 10a. About 30 ft left
Other option is to trend left and down passing a roof to a good ledge system below the fist pitch
5- climb roof hands to fists, off fists to ledge, 10
6-climb perfect hands to small ledge after bulge, small gear for belay. 10
7-climb hand crack, shift left when crack pinches down to fingers, to good hand crack, continue up. Save a 2,3 for belay at ledge. 10
8-traverse left about 10 feet, climb slab to ledge, up left angle crack to a roof, move right, airy move to mantle roof. 10
9-traverse right and down to ledge. We made a short 15 ft rappel
10- climb ramp to off fist, to chimney, to roof, move left to left facing dihedral, past old shitty peton, undercling roof, crux last move. 11
Scramble to summit
Descent
Rappel down SW arĂȘte off ledge down wide chimney, off large block.
No more than six rappers to ledge system
Walk trending left, southwest down scree to gassy spot, traverse straight right, north on ledges, past small exposed ledge to attempt to gain the gulley system used for the ascent scramble. Sep 7, 2015
Drew Thayer
Denver, CO
Drew Thayer   Denver, CO
This is a very fun, adventurous route. If you feel solid in gold camalot cracks you can cruise the money pitch without much gear.

I thought I was off-route on the "5.8 death mantle", but it's the logical way to connect crack systems. It looks intimidating but it's not that bad. Absolute no-fall-zone though. Luckily you can place gear to protect the 2nd after completing the moves.

The "original" pitches that connect the mid-way prow ledges to the handcrack are actually really fun and very exciting. Traverse left on a series of blobby blocks, passing a thin L-facing dihedral with fixed gear, to belay below a steep R-facing handcrack roof with the entire north face under you. The pitch is easy but thrilling.

The next pitch climbs excellent steep jamming into a L-facing fist crack. Two #3 and one #4 camalot are sufficient. This crack ascends straight toward the money hand-crack pitch. Aug 24, 2015