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Cave Woman 

YDS: 5.3 French: 3+ Ewbanks: 10 UIAA: III ZA: 9 British: VD 3a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 85'
Original:  YDS: 5.3 French: 3+ Ewbanks: 10 UIAA: III ZA: 9 British: VD 3a [details]
FA: Lynn and Gary Clark
Page Views: 1,370
Submitted By: Minesh Bacrania on Aug 10, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (10)
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BETA PHOTO: Cave Woman 5.4


Excellent climbing with abundant placements and holds. Good route for a first trad lead.


This is the rightmost route on the main wall. Start directly under the big cave/hole halfway up the wall. To descend, follow the summit "ridge" down to the right and drop into the obvious 3rd-/4th-class gully. Beware of cacti.


Std. rack up to BD #1 or #2. Big gear (BD #2,#3, big hexes/nuts) and 20' of webbing can be used to set an anchor at the top.

Photos of Cave Woman Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Sam and Chap in the cave of Cave Woman 5.4 trad ro...
Sam and Chap in the cave of Cave Woman 5.4 trad ro...
Rock Climbing Photo: Chap Grubb at the bottom of Cave Woman 5.4
Chap Grubb at the bottom of Cave Woman 5.4
Rock Climbing Photo: A bit more perspective, and suggestive of the clea...
BETA PHOTO: A bit more perspective, and suggestive of the clea...
Rock Climbing Photo: Laura keeping her cool during her first trad lead!
Laura keeping her cool during her first trad lead!
Rock Climbing Photo: Cave Woman (5.3)
BETA PHOTO: Cave Woman (5.3)

Comments on Cave Woman Add Comment
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By RoseyMerin
Aug 12, 2008

I think this is the best quality of four the 'easy' climbs described by Gary Clark in this section of El Rito Trad. Don't not do it just because it is a 5.3. Especially if you are wanting an easy, beginner trad lead, it is a nice 5.3. The route follows a nice line, is not contrived, and offers lots of opportunity to learn gear placement.
By Bill Lawry
From: New Mexico
Jun 14, 2010
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

A good way to quickly find the base of the route: start at Packrat Dihedral and skirt along the base until the wall is broken by a rubble-strewn gully. Back up a bit (20 yards?) until below the 2 meter by 2 meter cave.

As indicated, the middle of the route ascends directly up from the right side of the cave. This ends at a lower right "shoulder" of the formation. We continued the pitch by ascending the ridge line 10 feet or so to the next shoulder, and then traversed leftward across the face and then up to the "head" of the formation. At the "head", there is a very nice belay location and a large attached block to wrap something long around (a cordalette may need extension with some slings). However, the above traverse is a little sparse on pro and has the bonus of a large 4 foot by 2 foot detached chunk of rock; this can be completely avoided by skirting beneath it and then straight up.

From the "head", one can make a couple downclimb moves off the back to the rubble field - easy to back up the moves with a belay both ways. The downclimb moves are no harder than any on the climb.

For return to the base after getting off the "head", bypass the gully/slot that is immediately behind the right side of the formation and instead take the next one back from that.
By Kei Davis
May 7, 2012

There are now a pair of bolted anchors with chains to rap off. A 60m rope will get you down *just barely*. This is also the quickest and easiest way down for Pedernal Cracks, and, reportedly, Shoes for Industry.
By Steven Reneau
Apr 22, 2013
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

To find the anchors, take a route straight up from the cave. They are not visible until you are almost there, at or just past the halfway point on a 60 m rope. If you trend right up the great looking rock above the cave you will end up on the shoulder below and right of the anchors, requiring a traverse. Fun route that can be led entirely with nuts.
By Andrew Nelson
Jun 10, 2014
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Fun, easy route that offers lots of variation after the cave.
By Finn Foster
Oct 12, 2015
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Amazing first trad lead for new trad climbers. I think it's more of a 5.5, but the placements are bomber all around if you have a complete rack. I placed cams, hexes, nuts, and tricams on this route and cruised it.
Go in cave, exit right, and stay to the right of the "death flake" at least a body length. Fixed Pro at the top and walk off potential off the backside (kinda sketchy dismount to the walk off path that is already interesting enough).


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