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Plumb Line Crag
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Unsorted Routes:

Big Pink 

YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 40'
Original:  YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Bob Scarpelli
Page Views: 5,263
Submitted By: Handsome B. Wonderful on Jan 1, 2005

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Climber Kristina Suorsa getting after it.

Dirt roads reopened as of June 2014 MORE INFO >>>


This is the lead to test all hard offwidth climbers. Its moderate grade keeps it from getting much press, but anyone familiar with Scarpelli .11b's will have some idea of what to expect. Rest assured, this is probably one of the hardest offwidths at Vedauwoo. It is overhanging the whole way and the crux is close to the top. Unlike a lot of other hard offwidths, you can not crimp your way through the crux on this one. Technique will be your only hope, so if you don't have any, then you won't stand much of a chance. Many talented offwidth climbers have called this a .12 making it one sandbagged mofo. If you have big fist, it may be an .11. If you have small to average fists, then it is a lot harder. To add to the difficulty, you will not find much friction on this fine line, rather, the inside of the crack is a very smooth, polished patina that will leave you squeezing with all your might just to stay in there.

Get psyched, get tough and go for it.


Big Pink is the obvious offwidth located on the lower tier immediately left of Plumb Line crack.


#4.5 Camalot to #6 Friend or equivalent Bigbros.

Photos of Big Pink Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Plumb Line's lower terrace.
BETA PHOTO: Plumb Line's lower terrace.
Rock Climbing Photo: Kathy Karlo making her way up Big Pink.
Kathy Karlo making her way up Big Pink.
Rock Climbing Photo: Making use of stacks.
Making use of stacks.

Comments on Big Pink Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Dec 16, 2014
By Anonymous Coward
Mar 6, 2005

Handsome B. Wonderful, I would be inclined to disagree with you on this one. This thing is definitely a grade easier than Spectreman, which would make the 11b grade correct. Go back to school Mr. Wonderful, and don't come back untill you know a thing or two about how to climb offwidths. Softie.
By Handsome B. Wonderful
Mar 13, 2005

Thanks for the advice. I always suspected that I sucked and now I have some concrete evidence. I will inform you though that I am now enrolled in an accelerated offwidth program with some mighty fine teachers who are quite good at schooling me. Maybe I'll comment again when I get better.
By Petsfed
From: Laramie, WY
Jun 3, 2007

If you choose to toprope this thing from the bolts on top of Plumb Line, use very long slings so the rope doesn't run across too much of the slab at the top. The rock will chew through a sheath without too much difficulty.
By Bart Paull
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 6, 2008

If you don't have gorilla fists, this thing will likely punch your lights out. A badass line!
Apr 7, 2008

An interesting tidbit on the rating. I'm not sure anyone ever actually considered this climb to be 5.11. Maybe some "hardasses" today do. The story told to me was that a certain climber was supposedly being too cocksure about their ability to climb 5.12 offwidths, so he was taken to this thing and told it was only 5.11. He failed to climb it, and the rating stuck. Like many of Vedauwoos true sandbags, the rating on this one had inspiration.
By Greg Cameron
May 27, 2008

Put me in the camp of this is somewhat underrated. I tried to straight in arm-bar it - and, well, couldn't pull it off. Does everybody who's done this do that fist-stack thing like the picture of Scarpelli in the guide?

Edit: answer to my own question - this can be done with armbars only. I didn't use a single hand stack (on a TR).
May 28, 2008

The trick is to have big enough fists to stack the whole thing. If you don't (that's me) you have to arm bar while leavitating, or else lean in and straight up offwidth it. Either way it's a subtle little bitch. Definitely the kind of climb you think you will hike and then get shut down hard on. If you ever want a tutorial Greg, hit me up.
By Jeff G.
From: Fort Collins
May 31, 2008

I once watched a Laramie local do this climb in about 10 minutes. He didn't even puke at the top. How hard can it be?
By Bart Paull
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 29, 2008

I fist stack the whole thing, and I can even get half decent knee locks as my legs are pretty big (finally their size helps in climbing, for once). When I first tried this route, I couldn't really get off the ground....
By Jason Haas
Sep 7, 2009

I'll admit, I thought this thing was a sandbag. I did Trip Master for the first time this weekend as well and thought Trip Master was easier than this, although I suppose the two climb very differently and fist size is key. All in all, it was still fun to be humbled.

About the gear, I only placed 3 #6 Camalots (new style).
Sep 7, 2009

Jason, I thought this was harder than Trip Master as well, though I did both that and Squat before I could do this or Jays Solo, so part of that was a poor understanding of proper arm barring technique, which I have since figured out. Nonetheless, this thing is a sandbag, even compared to other sandbags at Vedauwoo.

The inspiration for this one came from a certain offwidth aficionado who told Bob he could onsight any 5.11 at Vedauwoo. Bob took him to this one and after he got shut down, not only on the onsight but on the redpoint as well, Bob told him it was 5.11.
By Jay Anderson
Nov 18, 2009

Yeah Greg, straightforward (extremely difficult) armbars is the only chance for many of us. No way my fists, stacked, span that void of space.
By erik rieger
From: Ridgway, CO
Aug 19, 2012

At the base of this route, Scarpelli remarked, "That's the hardest 5.11b in the world."
By reboot
From: .
Jul 22, 2014

Almost two years later, Bob poked his head above the route & remarked: "That's the hardest 5.11 in the world." Couldn't have made this up myself, lol.
By Geoff E. Mercer
From: Worcester, MA
Dec 16, 2014
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a

I remember trying to on sight this guy about 5 years ago, thinking "it's pretty short, how bad can it be?!"... Well, I found out how bad it can be. Thought this climb might go at solid 5.12 even.

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