Type: Trad, Alpine, 500 ft, 3 pitches
FA: James Blackwood, Ryan Pecknold, Todd Bol, 9/16/17
Page Views: 240 total · 9/month
Shared By: tbol on Sep 18, 2017
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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This route is a great combination of adventure trad climbing, a descent with a canyoneering feel, and lots of tough hiking. Almost alpine but not quite, we call this fine style "subalpinism". This is what's it's all about. A throwback to the old style of doing things. We came out for a mystical experience and found what we were looking for. The reward was the journey of entering the unknown, not necessarily what we found.

Follow directions under Rainbow Spire for getting there. Once at the wall, sneak left up ledges and through a small notch (4th Class). Continue up until things get steep, and set up a belay at a high tree left of the chimney.

Pitch one - "Mahayana". Continue up and left on the path of least resistance. Some chossy climbing leads to a tree on a ledge and a good belay. It's possible to split this into two pitches to avoid rope drag, 5.6 R/X.

Pitch two - "Samsara". From the tree, climb a steeper panel to another small ledge 15 feet higher. Place a cam with a long sling, and step left around the corner. This is the crux and also has sweet exposure all of a sudden. Once you step left, continue up the corner, past a small tree, and build an anchor at a nice place to sling a natural feature below the main crack splitting the headwall, 5.8- R.

Pitch three - "Nirvana Unplugged". Head up the main crack for 70 meters. This pitch is straightforward but becomes runout at the top as the rock quality also decreases. Save some small cams and a #0.5 Camalot for the belay, 5.7 R/X.

To descend: from the summit, head right past the notch and locate a steep gully. Head down the gully (steep and loose 4th Class) until it cliffs out. Make an epic 70m rap to the ground off of a tree with slings and 'biners. Once on the ground, head straight down the talus towards the river, and find your way back to the trail.


This is the plumb line on the crag. It is the prominent "splitter" just left of the chimney/notch splitting the spire.


A double rack to a #3 Camalot, one #4 is optional.


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