Type: Trad, Grade IV
FA: J.Woodward, D.Hensel, K.Powell. 2007
Page Views: 323 total · 15/month
Shared By: melonhead on Feb 26, 2017
Admins: Aron Quiter, Euan Cameron, AWinters, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Access Issue: Portal Road Closure Details


The first pitch of this route, originally led by Kevin Powell when dinosaurs roamed the earth, is as good as it gets up here. The rest is not much worse.


RPs and other small stuff for P2. A runner to thread a hole on the lip on P3. The rest is draws.


- No Photos -
J. Albers
J. Albers   Colorado
Hey Melon,

Thanks for adding this to the database, but perhaps a grade IV deserves a bit more of a description than two sentences. Not everyone owns Croft's book and knows that it starts to the right of Gangway on the WPB proper. Also, what did you think of the route? Is the hard climbing pretty run, or just the easier parts? Given the FA crew, its not hard to believe that even the hard bits are heads up protection-wise (I always wondered about this, but never got a chance to go up there). Mar 6, 2017
The brief write-up seems to be the norm for Jonny. I guess I'll throw out a bit more info and if he's so inclined he can further elaborate as well.

As mentioned in the preceding post, the route starts a short distance to the right of Gangway. It is easily identified by striking swirling black dike features on the first three pitches. Pitch one can be started using a short flake, but a much better start is to do the dike from the ground starting a few feet further right. As JW mentioned, it just doesn't get much better for face climbing in the Portal than this pitch. The route is 8 pitches long (11a, 10c, 12a, 10a, 10a, 10a, 10a, and 10c. If I recall correctly it is possible to get off with 5 rapps using 70m ropes, my notes say from the anchors at the end of 8, 7, 5, 3, and 2 (watch the ends on the rapp to the ground...)

The easier pitches are kind of old school bolting. Pitches 2 (6 bolts) and 7 (4 bolts) have some well spaced sections where a fall would not be advisable. But if you're a 12a climber it should be fine. My notes say there is an optional #3 RP to get to the first bolt on P2. Pitches 6 and 7 are really good knob climbing, similar to the best Ghostrider pitches but with less protection.

The crux third pitch is pretty well protected although it is a bit tricky to read the line, misread it and it can get harder than the given rating. There are two starts to the third pitch, initially going right out of the belay ends up being better climbing and reduces rope drag significantly.

Overall a really good route on good rock.

KP drilled the bolts on pitch one with Dane Scott somewhere around 1985, prior to my and JW's involvement. The funny story around P1 is how Dane literally fell asleep while KP hand drilled, and how KP woke Dane up by pulling rope up to clip in after finishing a bolt. Oh yeah, good times at the Portal. Mar 10, 2017
Josh Janes    
Darrell, thanks for the history. Is this Dane Scott of Montana forestry/philosophy? He was one of my favorite professors as an undergrad at Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, NC - I'm not sure why, but he had a charm about him. Had I known this story, perhaps I would have had a good excuse for falling asleep in his intro to philosophy course. I remember making plans with him to go out climbing but we were rained out and instead went to some crappy local gym. I was not impressed. It wasn't until four or five years later, having moved to Colorado, that I climbed outside for the first time and was hooked... It's a bummer that the weather didn't cooperate back on that day as I might have gotten my start much sooner, but then again, if I had, I may not have graduated! Dec 13, 2017
Josh, I lost track of Dane quite some time ago. KP did contact him a few years back and from what I remember it could be the same Dane you mentioned. Philosophy sounds about right.

"as I might have gotten my start much sooner, but then again, if I had, I may not have graduated!"
Hahaha - I know THAT story all too well. It actually did happen to me. I started college and at the same time figured out that climbing was were it was at. I was climbing so much that eventually I decided I couldn't be bothered with school anymore. Had to focus on the really important stuff, you know. Eventually did go back and get a degree, so I guess it all worked out in the long run. Dec 13, 2017