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Revelation Route

5.11-, Sport, 600 ft, 7 pitches,  Avg: 3.5 from 54 votes
FA: Mike Carrington, Matt Allenbach, Damien Ternes, Lisa McGloin
Colorado > S Platte > Devil's Head > Sin City
Access Issue: Raptor Closures Details

Description

This is the Devil's Head ultra classic. I've been told by others it's the Naked Edge of Devil's Head. This route has it all!

P1. Climb the 3 foot wide chimney with your back against one side and your feet pressing the other side, 5.8.

P2. From the anchors, trend up and left with a short crux soon after the anchors and another crux lay backing higher up the pitch, 5.9.

P3. Climb up an easy slab to the base of the 200 foot tall headwall. Make an awkward mantel to get yourself established below the crux. Traverse slightly left and up for more continuous, amazing climbing to a semi-hanging belay, 5.10+.

P4. Climb up through more crimps, sidepulls, and balancy moves to get to an airy traverse to the right, 5.9.

P5. This is the crux of the route! Powerful, elegant, varied, airy, and continuous! Climb straight up from the anchor on some nice incuts and playbacks. There's a huge block on the left that I wrenched on for hours with a crowbar and couldn't get to come off. The crux is a powerful undercling to a thin crack straight up then strenuous laybacking to get over the bulge. Get a rest for a few moves when you can stand on a little ledge near the white spot. Continue up laybacking to a delicate move up and right. The last crux! Climb up overhanging crimps, and save some juice to make it to the anchors.

P6. Climb up to the ledge, and move right, climbing the slab over a few bulges and ledges to the next set of anchors, 5.5.

P7. Climb up a short wall trending to the left. Climb the arete to the summit, 5.6.

Variations:

There is a harder variation to this climb that goes right after the first pitch. This is steeper and much more sustained than the original route.

P2 variation. At the first belay, look off to the right for a bolt. This will lead you to the steep headwall. Climb a few stiff moves to get to the first belay, 5.9.

P3 variation. Climb up steep, incut edges, laybacking and balancing up the crimpy handholds. The crux is a very delicate, balance move to stand up and move to the right, sustained 5.10.

P4 variation. Continue up great climbing to a flaring, shallow crack. The crux is moving out of this slot and balancing up the very thin slab, 5.11.

P5 variation. There are three different ways to go on the fifth pitch. The original line (you would have to move your belay to the left to the other anchors). The middle route which is the hardest but is less sustained, layback to get a really desperate cupped hand jam to get over the roof (I don't think anyone else has done this variation, I think it's 5.12). The right variation which you get a undercling to a super long reach to a pinch hold. All three variations share the last overhanging crimping section of the original line and end at the anchors at the top of the fifth pitch.

Location

The climb starts in the obvious, huge, 3 foot wide chimney

Protection

Draws.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

The one and only Dave Washburn helping me bolt one of the variation pitches.
[Hide Photo] The one and only Dave Washburn helping me bolt one of the variation pitches.
The first pitch.
[Hide Photo] The first pitch.
The top of the 5th pitch (11a). Rap straight down from here to the anchors on the route 20 feet climber's right of Revelation Route.
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Photo credit to Q.
[Hide Photo] The top of the 5th pitch (11a). Rap straight down from here to the anchors on the route 20 feet climber's right of Revelation Route. Photo credit to Q.
FFA of the the first pitch.
[Hide Photo] FFA of the the first pitch.
Looking down at the hanging belay atop P3. The P4 crux felt hard for 5.9.
[Hide Photo] Looking down at the hanging belay atop P3. The P4 crux felt hard for 5.9.
This is one of the engaging sections of P3.
[Hide Photo] This is one of the engaging sections of P3.
There seems to be pretty big inconsistency between grading here and the guidebook. After climbing this, the guidebook grading seems a bit more realistic.
[Hide Photo] There seems to be pretty big inconsistency between grading here and the guidebook. After climbing this, the guidebook grading seems a bit more realistic.
Matt on the fourth pitch.
[Hide Photo] Matt on the fourth pitch.
Lisa on the fifth pitch.
[Hide Photo] Lisa on the fifth pitch.
Matt on the second pitch the day of the FFA.
[Hide Photo] Matt on the second pitch the day of the FFA.
Lisa making her way up the variation pitch 3.
[Hide Photo] Lisa making her way up the variation pitch 3.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Mark Griffin
Boulder, CO
  5.11a
[Hide Comment] Really a great route and well worth the drive and (short) hike for this climb alone. Good directions above. The well-cairned trail will take you right to the base of this one. Look for the deep, dark chimney. We had 15 or 16 draws and had an extra or two at least after each pitch. Did not do the last two pitches. Stellar rock and movement on pitches 3 through 5. 1 and 2 were fun too! Sep 10, 2016
GMax Maxson
Denver, Colorado
 
[Hide Comment] Best multi-pitch sport route on the Front Range! The 5.10+ pitch was sick! The 5.11 pitch was great may be 11b? Awesome route! Sep 11, 2016
Chris G.
Lakewood
 
[Hide Comment] Very fun route! Each pitch has a different style of climbing. I thought pitch 4, the 5.9 pitch, was exceptionally hard for 5.9. About 3/4 through this pitch, you hit a blank slab with two very small, half pad? crimps with what seemed to be zero feet... or it could be that I couldn't feel my toes after that hanging belay. Go climb this, super fun route in a beautiful setting. Oct 24, 2016
Tom Ashley
Laramie, WY
[Hide Comment] Descent beta? Apr 14, 2017
[Hide Comment] I've always rapped the route. It is possible to walk off toward Recovery Wall if you do the final two sideways easy pitches and then rap off to the north. BTW this particular crag is closed for raptor nesting in the spring. Apr 15, 2017
Adam Block
Boulder, CO
  5.11a
[Hide Comment] Last two pitches are basically bolted 4th Class to a false summit with nearly the same view as the top of pitch 5. Wouldn't recommend. A 60m can get one down the route proper in 5 raps. Linking pitch 1 + 2 is possible with liberal use of long draws and/or draw bumping. Same goes for an epic 200' P3 and P4 linkup worthy of its own classic multi-sport route status, but P5 makes this an absolute jewel. Sep 5, 2017
[Hide Comment] There is now a rappel anchor for use to rappel off the west side of the summit of Devil’s Head Rock. This rappel of about 60’ lands one at the top of the Recovery Wall Trail. Look for bolts on the south side of a red summit block. Sep 29, 2018
Chris Neal
Fort Collins, CO
 
[Hide Comment] Pitch 1 is a fun chimney that will feel familiar if you've done Kor's Flake at Lumpy or The Convict at Vedauwoo. Pitch 2 had a couple tricky moves but felt like the easiest pitch overall. I'm not sure if we did the original or variation for pitch 3, but it was an excellent crimpfest - the hardest part for me was a short traverse right just ten feet or so below the anchors. The traverse on pitch 4 was frustrating for me; I have a long enough reach to clip the bolt and get a hand on the flat gaston hold while still standing on the big ol' ledge, but I still had to hang on the draw to get over. Does the standard beta involve cutting feet and/or dynoing? Seemed pretty rough for 5.9. Or are you supposed to climb to the right of the bolt and then traverse back left? Anyway, pitch 5 is great - very tiring with interesting body positioning and great exposure. If I had to complain, it would regard the vegetation being a little feisty in spots and lots of bird crap reducing the aesthetics of pitch 5. Great route though, the variety of styles is hard to beat. Sep 30, 2018
A Bandos
CO
  5.11b
[Hide Comment] P3 was my favorite, but I did enjoy the tricky traverse on P4. I stayed low on the good foot ledge and matched hands and feet until I was far enough right to grab a decent hold.

Either way, each pitch was unique and engaging. Definitely put it on your to-do list!

Also, it is easy to rap the route to the right (Mr. Hypocrite's Golden Rule) to avoid other parties climbing up. Oct 27, 2018
[Hide Comment] I can't remember the last time I lead a chimney, but P1 seemed a lot harder than 5.8. I literally got stuck by the 4th bolt and went through all the motions as described in Tod Anderson's guidebook getting unstuck and past that point. Sep 14, 2019