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Routes in The Headwall

Ray Auld Memorial Route T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Touching the sky S 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
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Type: Sport, 110 ft, 2 pitches
FA: B Middleton, D. Kloke 2002
Page Views: 926 total · 36/month
Shared By: Kemper Brightman on Sep 30, 2016
Admins: Scott Coldiron, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick

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8 Opinions

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Access Issue: Lower Main Wall/East Buttress Trails Re-opened Details


Another fantastic sport route that deserves WAY more attention than it gets. Although less sustained than its neighbor, Freedom Fighter, Touching the Sky feels more exposed. This route can be broken into two pitches, or stitched into one 110' pitch for the full experience.

From the top of snag buttress, look for twin bolt lines leading up the slab. Touching the Sky takes the right bolt line, navigating gritty crimps up to a roof. Pull the roof on JUGS to reach the belay bolts above. From these bolts move directly left to the arete, making an airy step around to the left side. Cruise up the exposed arete and make a few tricky moves before reaching the three bolt anchor below the headwall. Three Raps get you back down to the ground.


12 bolts to bolted anchors. (book says pro to 1", but the climb never felt run-out without it)

A 60m rope successfully got us down to the top of snag buttress in one rap. Certainly tie knots if you plan on doing this...or use a 70!


This is a great route, with clean rock, a sweet juggy roof, well-spaced bolts, and fantastic exposure.

The start belay is best placed at the chains at the top of "Sunshine on a Dark Day," which seem to be newer than the latest guide book version. We linked both sport pitches with a 60m; you'll want 3-5 alpines to minimize rope drag and AT LEAST 12 draws total (I scavenged backwards a couple times). The guide book lists Pro to 1" for the climb; this refers only to the "optional" third pitch, which is an interesting change of pace (less air between your legs, more varied features). If climbing the third pitch, there are two bolts at the top left corner of the Headwall face and chains above.

If rappelling down, aim for the first belay ledge of Freedom Fighter instead of the chains before the arete, as it's much easier to get to the start belay chains from there (and MUCH easier to reach the top of Snag Buttress). This ledge is about 20 feet to the left of the P1 chains and maybe 10 feet down. A 70m would probably get you to the bottom from the top of P2.

Great climb, planning on hitting it again! May 31, 2017

More About Touching the sky