Fortunately, Battle's End turned out to be a terrific route, equal to the best in Clear Creek Canyon. The stone is immaculate and the climbing relentlessly difficult and as varied as a route can get.
Like many routes, Battle's End has a personal story to it. I had worked closely with a colleague for 8 years and had watched him slip slowly into an irreversible state of depression. After years of therapy, drugs, and agony, Dale took his own life - the end of a long, frustrating battle. This climb was put in place for Dale as a small way for a climber to keep his story fresh.
The snowy November day I placed the bolts on Battle's End turned into one of the most terrifying days of my life. The top of The Stumbling Block contains a narrow, water channel that fills up with ice in the winter. I had gone up to the channel with a rope, descender, and slings for clipping the anchor. Seeing it full of ice should have turned me back, since I wore only light hiking shoes. Descending the ice filled channel, bridging against the ice on either side, must rank as one of the stupidest and most terrifying experiences I can recall. The channel slopes downward at 40 degrees and dumps out right over the climbs for an 80 ft ride.
The climbing on Battle's End begins with the first three clips of "Lips Against The Steel" for a 5.11c entre. Where Lips moves right to the trad crack above, Battle's End books left into the horizontal jams. Clip a bolt and cop a rest, it's all there is. Chase the seam above via six more clips. I would rate the moves 5.11c (in Lips), 5.12a, 5.12c, 5.12b with a bit of 5.11 as you approach the anchor. The end of this battle comes when you clip the anchor.
FFA went to Alan Nelson who blitzed the route in archetypal powerful, high efficiency style in the summer of 1997. Battle's End is easier than Anarchitect
because it has no single move at 5.12d, but it has just as much continuity. Three stars for the superb quality stone, the powerful sequences, the cool moves, and the relentless continuity. It is worth mentioning that a positive ape index of about twelve feet would be useful.
QD only. This 80 ft route needs 10 draws and something for the double bolt anchor at the top.