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The Ogre aka Mt. Hubris
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Cosmic Wall 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b R

Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 950', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b R [details]
FA: ??
Page Views: 21,301
Submitted By: Bryson Slothower on May 27, 2004

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (74)
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BETA PHOTO: 3rd belay station has only one bolt (old hanger wa...


Excellent route up the East face of Mt. Hubris. The climbing stays pretty easy but is run out.

Pitch 1: 190' 5.5Start at a low point along the East face at a large pine tree below a huge right facing corner. Start out on easy ground up the corner, pass a tree continuue up the face above and belay on a good ledge with a tree.

Pitch 2: 110' 5.6Move up and right following broken rock in a dyke system. When the face nears vertical step right to a bolt anchor on a comfortable ledge.

Pitch 3: 150' 5.6 Make a tricky move just above the anchor then run it out across slabs and grooves on the face above until you reach a bolt anchor at small stance.

Pitch 4: 125' 5.4 Continue straight up the low angled face to a large ledge system below to right leaning ramp systems belay from gear.

Pitch 5: 170' 5.6Climb up the right hand ramp system to a notch and an uncomfortable belay from a small tree and an old bolt.(The left hand ramp system also looks very climable and leads to basically the same spot)

Pitch 6: 185' 5.6Traverse 25' left and climb a low angled groove with a piton. If this otion does not look fun to you go straight up the sharp arete to the summit, there is very little pro on this long pitch but the exposure off both sides of the arete is amazing!

Descent: 2 raps down NE face then follow gully down and right.

Rappel 1: 100' from bolt anchor on the summit

Rappel 2: 85' from a tree


standard rack up to 3"

Photos of Cosmic Wall Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: My topo of Cosmic Wall.
BETA PHOTO: My topo of Cosmic Wall.
Rock Climbing Photo: Red circle is the 3rd belay, two people at the bel...
Red circle is the 3rd belay, two people at the bel...
Rock Climbing Photo: last pitch- really amazing exposure and easy climb...
last pitch- really amazing exposure and easy climb...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at pitch 1. Note large ponderosa at bas...
BETA PHOTO: Looking up at pitch 1. Note large ponderosa at bas...
Rock Climbing Photo: The view from the top of Cosmic Wall
The view from the top of Cosmic Wall
Rock Climbing Photo: And it can feel steep, too
And it can feel steep, too
Rock Climbing Photo: The fun rib on the first pitch of Cosmic Wall.
The fun rib on the first pitch of Cosmic Wall.
Rock Climbing Photo: looking up the ridge alternative to the last pitch...
looking up the ridge alternative to the last pitch...
Rock Climbing Photo: looking down pitch 2
looking down pitch 2
Rock Climbing Photo: Cosmic Wall
Cosmic Wall
Rock Climbing Photo: Alternate pic to picth
BETA PHOTO: Alternate pic to picth
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 6 from alternate pitch 5. Pitch 5 - two righ...
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 6 from alternate pitch 5. Pitch 5 - two righ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking back down p6
Looking back down p6
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 2. More casually runout fun!
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 2. More casually runout fun!
Rock Climbing Photo: The last pitch of Cosmic Wall, great exposure
The last pitch of Cosmic Wall, great exposure
Rock Climbing Photo: View from top
View from top
Rock Climbing Photo: the last belay before the top
the last belay before the top
Rock Climbing Photo: Tree Pose on top!
Tree Pose on top!
Rock Climbing Photo: cosmic wall
BETA PHOTO: cosmic wall

Comments on Cosmic Wall Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 6, 2017
By Anonymous Coward
Aug 28, 2004

If one has a 70m rope one can eliminate what has been described as the 4th pitch in this description. Just clip the bolts and gain the ledge. I actually did it with a 60m, but wasn't able to get to the wall on the ledge for a comfy belay, and so just slung the sapling up there (not recommended). I believe it's worth it to eliminate this 4th pitch, though, because it's very, very short (basically a belay move), but one could not probably combine it with the fifth as it is a longer pitch.

-Adam Hicks
By Blitzo
Oct 22, 2006

This is a fun route!
By lars johnson
From: San Francisco, CA
Feb 26, 2007

This a real classic! Right up there with the Matthes Crest.

I agree with AC that pitches 3 and 4 should be combined even with a little simulclimbing. Also the alternative finish is a must do. The standard finish would be a real letdown in comparison. The arete starts out about 10' wide and progressively narrows to a blade with amazing exposure. One could probably fiddle in some pro however it just doesn't seem necessary. Highly recommended, four stars.
By cspieker
Sep 7, 2007

Combining p's 3 and 4 via some simulclimbing is NOT a great idea. The moves off of the belay at the bottom of p3 are probably the most difficult and insecure of the entire climb. Having the second do the crux of the climb where a fall might pull the leader off is not a good strategy.

On the other hand if one could combine p's 2 and 3 somehow and thus bypass the belay ledge, you'd make the climb a slightly easier by bypassing two crux moves. Simulclimbing to accomplish this would better as p2 starts out very easy and secure.
By Sam Prentice
Sep 26, 2007
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R

Done this quality route about six times. Classic moderate climbing in a stellar location. Will continue to introduce it to new climbers for years to come.

Extra beta for those in need:

There is no clear approach path, owing to the low traffic - just a maze of discontinuous user trails. Generally, stay high on the plateau (north side, along a shallow ridge) and trace you way west towards Mt Hubris. Drop south when you’re close - not before. Look for a big poderosa at the base. And dont wear shorts.

Pitch 4 (full 60m): go up a ramp (guidebook calls it a shallow chimney), past the small tree with a fixed pin, and belay from a notch.

Pitch 5 (final): pass through the notch and traverse west a short distance on the south side of the summit. A few awkward moves up a flared chimney take you to the top. Alternately, pass through the notch and move straight up the runout arete.

When belayed and protected ideally, confident leaders will find that each of the five pitches is 60m. A steep 60m rappel takes you home (can be broken into two raps with a single rope).
By Scott Becker
From: Medford, Oregon
Jan 7, 2009
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I love this route. Done it a bunch of times.
Some notes:
The easiest way to do the first moves on pitch three is to reverse the last moves on pitch two rather than trying to climb the thin moves directly above the anchor (this will make more sense when you're there).
Pitches 3 and 4 link fine with a 60m rope if you're comfortable belaying from the tree. Personally I like the tree better than the rusty "bolt" that is part of the previous anchor.
Do the arete/ridge finish.
By Skeates
Jul 6, 2010
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R

This was a really fun, mellow climb - with excellent exposure. Despite the relatively run-out pitches, all of the more vertical/exposed moves were very easily protected.

We climbed this in 4 rope stretching pitches using a 70 meter rope. Unless you combine pitches 3 & 4 you will have to use gear to back-up the anchor at the top of pitch 3 since one of the (2) bolts is bad. I would highly recommend taking the left of the two "chimneys" at the base of pitch 5, since it felt like a more aesthetic line (at least to me). It gets steep, but you have tons of bomber flakes for hands and feet. Finally, the arete finish is really what makes this climb special, don't miss it!
By Paul Bernard
From: Chester, CA
Oct 9, 2010

While I agree that you can't get pro anywhere you want it on these pitches, I'm not sure I would give this an "R" rating. Nevertheless, it IS a spectacular climb.

Approach beta: Once you gain the saddle between the ogre and Castle Dome, keep going! Just as you start dropping back down the other side, watch for a climbers trail on the left that winds through the manzanita thicket. As of June 2010, it was pretty naviagable and much friendlier than bush wacking up the manzanita. If you miss it on the way up, you'll hit it on the way down (climber's descent trail) and you'll know for next time. :) That's how I found it!
By splitclimber
Nov 7, 2012

do this route! super fun. there are two bolts for the second rappel. don't really need a 3 on this route.

bring clippers for the trail and a new notepad for the summit register, it's full.

Paul wrote: "Once you gain the saddle between the ogre and Castle Dome, keep going! Just as you start dropping back down the other side, watch for a climbers trail on the left that winds through the manzanita thicket."

you don't have to start dropping down at all. go around the left side of the rock outcropping at the saddle, you'll pick up the trail.
By Chris G.
From: Lakewood
Jun 17, 2013

Great route with an amazing finish. Do yourself a favor and climb the last pitch arete. Holds are all there but be comfortable climbing 5.6 with huge run outs! Very fun climb
By Floyd Hayes
Sep 9, 2013
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13

LENGTH: I think the climb is about 800 feet (unless my rope is longer than what I bargained for).

PROTECTION: A single set of cams and a few small nuts (I used only one small nut) should suffice, including a 3" cam to reduce the length of a runout on pitch 3. The climb is never runout for more than 25' if you look hard for solid gear placements.

APPROACH: There seems to be a disconnected network of trails through the manzanita. We wound up taking different trails up and down, and wound up bushwhacking a short distance each time. If there is a single trail that avoids bushwhacking, good luck finding it!

START: Once you reach the base of Mt. Hubris it's a short distance to the start, before you reach the lowest point of the east wall (we walked past it!). It starts at the first big tree. Having a photo of the start helps (somebody posted one here).

PITCH 1: 5.5, 175'; climb up the corner and then up and slightly left to a tree on a good ledge. Mostly 5.0-5.4 with a few 5.5 moves near the top. My partner placed 4 cams and a sling on a tree, but skipped many potential placements.

PITCH 2: 5.6, 110'; follow the broken rocks diagonally up and right between the overhangs, with a few 5.6 moves on steep sections and at the traverse (look for a good foothold down low) to the belay ledge on the right. I placed 4 cams, 6 slings on knobs, and clipped a fixed pin and a fixed cam. No runouts longer than 20'. The final traverse is well protected by a sling on a knob, which can be left in place to protect the first few moves of pitch 3.

PITCH 3: 5.6, 130'; reverse the final moves of pitch 2 and continue up the broken rocks to a single-bolt anchor (on the right) which can be backed up with a small cam. No harder than 5.5 after the first few moves. I placed 8 cams, a small nut and a sling on a knob, with no runouts longer than 25' (a 3" cam fit a shallow groove between 20-25' runouts below and above).

PITCH 4: 5.6, 115'; continue up broken rock (no harder than 5.3) to a slanting ledge with few gear belay options, then 15' of unprotected 5.6 up the right side of a triangle to a small ledge with better gear belay options. My partner placed 4 cams but skipped a few potential placements.

PITCH 5: 5.6, 150'; climb up one of the two chutes above to a class 3 gully to a notch (dropoff on both sides) with a comfortable belay and several gear belay options. I took the left chute (is the right chute easier?). I placed five cams plus a sling on a knob; the latter was the only protection on the final 15' headwall just below the class 3 gully.

PITCH 6: 5.5, 120'; climb the ridge up and right to the summit, staying slightly left of the ridge. Contrary to some comments here and elsewhere, it is well protected and easy to climb with only a few 5.5 moves. I placed 5 cams and a sling on a knob. Judging from what I've read elsewhere, the option of traversing lower to a chute is harder with poorer protection.

DESCENT: Rappel 90' from chains at summit to a tree, and 80' from rings to the gully. The gully descent is class 3 with a few class 4 moves.
By Floyd Hayes
Sep 16, 2013
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13

A video of the climb is posted here
By Mike Hofheimer
Oct 21, 2013

I would call it a fantastic 700 to 750 foot climb, with final two pitches the highlights. A solid semi-alpine grade II.
By TomD
From: Medford, OR
Apr 8, 2014

Does anyone have anymore info on why the R rating?
By JonSkeen
May 13, 2014

TomSOregon, I'd say the R rating comes from the first pitch and the very beginning of the third pitch. The protection improves the higher up you go and I felt well protected for the hardest moves.
By Mike Zasadzien
May 14, 2014

3rd and 4th can be combined per everyone's suggestion with a 60m, just need to find good placement near the ledge with the sapling. (Although the ledge is large enough to walk around and relax on...) Airy ending is a MUST on the right. Totally awesome.
By Joe Crawford
From: June Lake, California
May 19, 2014
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R

The 3rd and 4th pitches should be linked as the anchor mentioned in this description has had one bolt chopped, leaving the newer of the two. There is no reason to ever climb the chimney described here as the last pitch, when the awesome, run-out, exposed low-5th arete is staring you in the face. Also, there is a trail through the manzo to the base and from the descent. Follow the castle dome trail to the saddle and left of the small formation and then a few feet down hill you will start to see a cut path, it is a touch circuitous, but gets you to the base without any schwacking.

Bolts were also added to the summit, 3 glue-ins as an anchor before the chains and one about 4 feet before that. Don't know who placed them, but I had a hard time understanding why bolts were added and not just replaced. The chain anchor up top is bomber to boot.
By splitclimber
May 22, 2014

weird that someone would put glue ins up there. the rap bolts appeared fine and easy to clip from the summit.

edit: I bet the bolts are for slacklining. I've seen slackliners at the gap at lunch rock next to Castle dome last year.

I thought if there was any R it was the 20-30 feet before the first pitch beley. I didn't find any reliable protection on the slab runout.
By AndrewFranklin
From: San Fransisco
Sep 1, 2014

I agree, the glue-ins are poorly placed and unnecessary retro bolts. The run outs were really not that bad. I brought 10 shoulder length slings, and 2 double length . Placed a few nuts and a few cams but mostly slung solid horns/knobs every 10/15 feet. It was incredibly hot, and I would recommend stopping at Indian Springs on the way to replenish your water before continuing up the 2 mile approach. A classic, but not one I would soon repeat! So much amazing rock in this area but it is securely guarded by a solid approach.
By Floyd Hayes
Sep 3, 2014
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13

I enjoyed climbing the route again on August 31, but near the bottom of the descent I was chased a few hundred feet by an angry swarm of yellow jackets, which stung me about 15 times. I killed most of them, so hopefully it won't happen to anybody else!
By Alex McIntyre
From: Tucson, AZ
Nov 26, 2014

The glue-ins are highline anchor bolts, not retrobolted descent anchors.
By Muscrat
Dec 16, 2014
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R

I really think, having climbed this 4 times now, that class II is a little optimistic. 2+hour approach, 2+ descent, plus the rappel. I have climbed this in 2+ hours, but we simuled a lot of it. Figure a minimum of 8 hours car to car, if you know where the route starts, and you are comfy on easyR, and it is R. Fun day when the lower climbs are too hot. 2 ropes get you down in 1 rap.
By morgoth70
From: Bountiful, UT
May 24, 2015
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13

Really outstanding route but probably a bit intimidating for a new 5.6 leader - there are some long and spooky run-outs. Do yourself a favor and choose the ridgeline direct finish. The exposure is exhilarating and the rock is perfect - far superior to the thrash up the nasty, rubble-filled gully! For the record, the FA was by the inimitable Sir Chris Bonnington in 1979.
By Crimper E6
From: cheltenham, UK, SW is the BEST
Sep 30, 2015

I wanted to like this route so much more, given the high praise on this site, unfortunately only an average route.. one good pitch really. Sorry, this isn't a 4 star route compared to (Proper ) lovers leap /Yosemite so don't get too excited! I recommend spending the hideous hike/time driving to Tahoe!
By Evan Wisheropp
Oct 3, 2015

CrimperE2 is trying to troll everyone saying its overrated, "don't get excited," and there's only one good pitch. The proof is in the popularity, Cosmic Wall is a fantastic route that hundreds have really loved. I don't know how LL is considered any more proper, but Cosmic Wall is better than many many routes at LL (I know, I grew up there...)
By iryna
From: eugene, or
Oct 5, 2015
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13

great moderate climb, did it with a friend last weekend. I would say it's mostly 5.5-5.4 with a few 5.6 moves on pitch 2 and 5. Most dangerous moves are getting to and from pitch 2 anchors risking a factor 2 fall- pay extra attention to your steps. Other than that, it's really really easy- low angle and solid holds. Protection is sparse but you really shouldn't need much. Single rack, lots of slings and some nuts is plenty- dont bring much you wont have where to place it. If you have 70 m rope, absolutely link pitches 3-4, it's more intuitive to do so as they are on the same low angle ramp in a straight line. An anchor tree on top of pitch 4 is small - be nice to it, bring some webbing, it currently does not have an anchor on it. Go for arete finish, it's more exposed but protects really well. The hardest part of the climb is getting off of it- repel is a bit challenging when it's windy. All those lovely horns on the mountain that are nice to sling during the climb make it a pain to repel without getting your rope tangled and stuck. two of us climbed it in 2 hours and 45 min with a 2 hour approach in a very casual pace. for the approach- you have to hike all the way to Castle Dome, dont turn off sooner. Leave the trail when it starts going downhill. There are a few trails through manzanitas. Bring a pair of pants you are not sentimentally attached to, they might not make it. it was my first time in Castle Crags, the area is beautiful! So many things to climb.
By Ben Stabley
From: Portland, OR
Jul 18, 2016
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13

Getting on and off the "airy step" to P2 anchors can be protected by a slung small horn slightly up and left of the bolts.
By Shaun Johnson
Aug 4, 2016

My girlfriend and I climbed this today in 5 PITCHES with a 60 METER ROPE. Pitches 3 and 4 can be linked up to the small tree.

Amazing climb.
By Hans Kegler
From: Thousand Oaks
Apr 24, 2017

Solo climbed this beautiful route while being surrounded by the parks amazing scenery. After hiking up I over shot finding the start of the climb and did a hard traversed back to the base of the climb but cut a finger on a razor sharp Crystal and it just would not stop bleeding and to say the least I was really bummed but finnaly after a bit of time stop it by packing in chalk. Took my small rack up but just used two slings on horns at the step and never used by my surprise the rope for just draged it up below me. Did my research but still was alittle worried the whole time if my rope was long enough for the rap just downed climbed a section of rock to the tree on the first rap. Was not totally safe but was no big deal it even looks like one could down climb from the vary top in good weather. Pretty neat spot the tree you rap too. One of the hardest spots is the first 15 feet of the climb very smooth. One of the best 5.6 one can do.
By Gustavo Ambrozio
Aug 6, 2017

This was my first trad lead, I led the first and last pitch and it was a good introduction to leading.

The only bad part is the approach that is grueling. The first day we hiked there we got lost and took us forever to find the base so we decided to go back the next day. I recorded the "correct" way and I recommend you get AllTrails and follow it, especially the part after my waypoint marked as the point where you split from the main trail. After that is super bushwhacky and I'd recommend following my trail so you won't get lost.

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