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Book of Numbers 

YDS: 5.12c/d French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX ZA: 28 British: E6 6b

Type:  Trad, Sport, 2 pitches, 160'
Original:  YDS: 5.12c/d French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX ZA: 28 British: E6 6b [details]
FA: L. Dalke, C. Jennings (5.8 A4), 1967.FFA: D. Azin, M. Tarrant, 1986
Fixed Hardware: 6 Lead Bolts, 10 Lead Pins, 2 Belay Bolts [details]
Page Views: 2,412
Submitted By: Mark Tarrant on Oct 29, 2004

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Joe Mills on the overlooked classic Book of Number...

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  • Description 

    A somewhat controversial free climb back in '86, this rarely climbed route really should see more traffic. Book of Numbers is a 2 pitch route that strays slightly from the aid line on P1, then reconnects with the original line on P2. It's an exciting excursion up the steep wall and corners left of Genesis. The pitches were originally worked and freed separately, but the climb was redpointed in a single pitch (lots of rope drag--not recommended). Start as for Anthill Direct or on the ledge for Genesis.

    Pitch 1: 5.12b, 90'. Wander up Anthill Direct for about 50' to an old bolt, aiming for a 4' overhang followed by a shallow corner with a line of old pins. Pull past the overhang (.10+, #4 Friend), up the corner, and then move right past 2 bolts on a bulging, blank face (crux) to a 2-bolt anchor.

    Pitch 2: 5.12c/d, 60'. Move up the steep, right-facing, right-leaning dihedral (.11) past pins and bolts. The crux comes about 30' up by a ring bolt. It involves some awkward laybacking and wild positioning. Finish through the roof atop the dihedral (.11, large Friends), then flip left onto an easy slab. There was an old fixed belay about 25' higher from which you could rap--I'm not sure what its present condition is.

    Both pitches are good, but P1 gets done more than P2 partly because P2 had a reputation as an ankle breaker. Two prominent climbers did get injured on the 2nd ascent. The ring bolt was added later, and now this pitch is far safer. Book of Numbers is another unique Eldo route that combines a little history with feel of a modern sport climb.


    Wires through 4". Quick draws and long slings.

    Photos of Book of Numbers Slideshow Add Photo
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    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Nov 8, 2004

    Years ago I was able to get the top with a hang, but never unlocked the secret to the first pitch. I would have reversed the grades on the two pitches and called the first pitch the crux.
    By Scott Bennett
    Feb 25, 2010
    rating: 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b

    Tried the first pitch today, a few thoughts:

    -The whole pitch felt very well protected. I used a #3 and #4 Camalot at the first roof, and then a few more small pieces to back up the pins on the rest of the pitch.
    -There's plenty of hard climbing packed into this pitch, but the standout crux is near the top 2 bolts, starting with a big reach and step right (easier if you're taller), and then a mega-highstep (easier if you're shorter).
    -This is a very high quality pitch, with though-provoking moves and good rock. I can't wait to try the next pitch, hopefully tomorrow morning!


    Tried the second pitch today: more great climbing! Though not very long, it's definitely an enduro challenge. Lots of underclings, sidepulls, and tricky footwork force you to maintain body tension for a long time with no real rests.

    Fortunately, it seems very well protected with two bolts and a slew of fixed pins. I also used a md/lg stopper (BD #9) and a #3 Camalot.

    The big roof at the end isn't too hard, although a bit exciting. There's a two bolt anchor maybe 30' up and right above the roof, although it might be easier to downclimb/back-aid the pitch if you don't have someone that wants to follow it.
    By Noah McKelvin
    From: Colorado Springs
    Apr 9, 2016
    rating: 5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b

    Tried this route the other day. I felt like P1 was the definite crux of the route, but I suck at 5.12 slab climbing, so that's probably why. P2 is really fun! The roof at the end felt weird, even for Eldo. I cut my finger open pretty good on it. Worthy route! Don't need much gear. Did find a #4 useful, but you could go without.

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