A Fistful of Awesome
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Only the most comfortable ledges will do for re-ra...
This has 5 pitches of climbing with some great sections connected by a few low-angle bits. It has an awesome setting just downriver from the Waterfall Wall proper. This is another creation from the PEMA mastermind. There is a roof crux down low (with a bypass option) and a fun headwall at the top. It has very solid rock, especially for Ouray County. NOTE: No fist-jamming is required.
P1: Green Slab, 5.6, 100 feet. From the water's edge of Red Mountain Creek, look for a vegetation-free green slab that trends up and right past a couple of bolts to a ledge with a big tree.
P2: Ditreedral Roof, 5.10, 100 feet. Continue up green rock through a balancy dihedral to a well-protected, big roof. The crux is reach dependent. Finish up a short face past a big snag to a bolted belay on another great ledge. NOTE: There is a great 5.7 bypass option that takes a face crack above the ditreedral to the left.
P3: The Wave, 5.8, 100 feet. Scramble up some lower angle steps to a steep, fun, juggy prow then through another upper wave to a huge ledge with a giant pine tree.
P4: Forest, 5.7, 105 feet. Climb past a couple of short faces through the forest, then wander up and right on low angle rock to a two-bolt belay on the sidewalk ledge.
P5: 'Best 5.9 pitch in Ouray County', 100 feet. Climb straight up from the belay on amazing rock with choice edging moves. Don't forget to enjoy the views of the Uncompahgre Gorge. There is a 2 bolt anchor at the top. It is possible to walk off from the top, but it is better to rap/lower to the sidewalk ledge.
LOW WATER (preferred): Cross the Waterfall Wall Tyrolean then scramble up the gully 50 feet. Go right and find the waterfall wall rappel station. You can leave packs here. Do a picturesque 45m rappel next to the waterfall (two ropes or leave one fixed). Head downriver 100 yards through trees until you run out of land. Flake yer rope and belay from the edge of the crystal clear waters of Red Mountain Creek.
HIGH WATER: Don't rappel or you'll get soaked. Continue scrambling up the gully then up the 4th class ramp. BE CAREFUL! Pass the bolted anchor at the top of Ruby Slippers and then a white fixed rope at the top of the El Sueno ledge. Continue another 30 feet past a pine tree with a rap sling. This is the Sidewalk Ledge. Traverse right out the flat, level ledge to a two-bolt belay anchor. This is the top of pitch 4 of Fistful of Awesome. (4) 30 m raps down the route will get you to the creek.
Descent: Lower/rap from the top of P5 to the Sidewalk Ledge. Walk upriver on the ledge to the 4th class ramp and find a rap sling on a small pine tree. A 35m rap gets you most of the way down the ramp, so watch the ends of your rope. Scamble down the gully past the main waterfall rap then to the tyrolean.
A dozen quickdraws and a few finger to hand-sized cams. All belays on ledges with bolted anchors or large vegetation.
BETA PHOTO: The starting pitch of FOA off the creek.
Best pitch of 5.9 in Ouray County? YOU decide!
BETA PHOTO: Fistful of Awesome topo - bottom 1/2.
BETA PHOTO: Fistful of Awesome topo (top 1/2).
P2 5.10 roof crux above the ditreedral. JS sends!...
The rappel down to the base of the waterfall wall.
JS belays at the Sidewalk Ledge during FA. Top of...