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Desert Solitude 

YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, 7 pitches, 840', Grade IV
Original:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Dave Wonderly & Warren Egbert 1989 (Swain guide)
Page Views: 2,672
Submitted By: Xavier Wasiak on Oct 8, 2012

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Depending how much water is in the gully, you coul...

RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone in Red Rocks is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. MORE INFO >>>


Beginning with an involved approach leading to some classic and some not so classic but interesting pitches, and a descent that could have you wading in water up to your head, this route is a full day of adventure.

Pitch 1, 150' (10b) From the bolt anchoring the fixed line on the approach ramp, head up the obvious face and flakes past two bolts trending left past the weakness in the roof to a ledge. Climb the face to the crack leading to the right facing corner. Up the corner to a ledge and a bolted anchor.

Pitch 2, 150' (10a) Directly off the belay ledge head around the corner to the left to a black face. Fun face climbing leads past two bolts straight up, trending first to the left then to the right then straight up to another bolted anchor.

Pitch 3, 80' (10c) Climb up and right past two bolts (wild and fun face climbing) to a broken corner then right to a thin fingers lie back. Climb this to pedestal and belay at the base of a beautiful corner. #1 & #2 BD for belay.

Pitch 4, 140' (10) Climb up the nice hand crack in the corner and don't be tempted to move right until after you see a crack that passes a small roof and a couple of mandatory bushes. This crack will curve to the right at the top and around a corner to a ledge and a belay (gear).

Pitch 5, 90' (10a) Upwards and onwards following the crack to a ledge to the right of a large alcove (gear).

Pitch 6, 80' (9) Head up this big feature the best way you can reaching for the 6"-10" crack on the right side of the roof. Good gear opportunities exist and there is no need for really big pieces here. Past this there is a great slanting ledge and another belay (gear).

Pitch 7, 160+' (9) There are two possibilities here. Handren guide says the right crack is 5.8 and eventually trends left and joins the left crack. We climbed this first but I down climbed after 30 feet or so. gear was crappy and the holds were less than inspiring. The crack on the left went well enough and could be surprisingly well protected. Stay in the crack trending left.

You're heading for a steep gully that eventually leads to the top in another pitch or so.

The first four pitches are fun and on mostly good rock. The pitches after that deteriorate and hence the 2 stars instead of more. The first four pitches alone would be 3 stars or more. Enjoy!!!!


You can easily spot the first and second bolt on the first pitch somewhere between Breathing Stone and Tranquility Base. The route climbs through a weakness in the arch, on the left side of the arch. There is a single bolt at the base of the route that holds the upper end on a line that is currently fixed on an approach ramp. Once on top, head climber's right (west) and straight (south) diagonaling down some slabs to a gully where you will encounter your first single rope rap off of a tree. Tat and a couple of carabiners. Scramble down to a two bolt rap anchor on the right side of the gully. A two rope rap gets you down to a big sloping ledge area (probably a river when it rains) to the next bolted anchor on the left. Two double rope raps will get you down to the gully, on the far left side of the Western Spaces Wall.

You could also bring shoes and all your gear and descend via the eastern descent for any of the BV routes that top out.


Full rack up to a BD#4 with doubles .75 to 3 and a set of nuts is what we took. The anchor on top of pitch 3 took a #1 and #2, and you'll want another 1 and 2 for the fourth pitch. Only pitches 1 and 2 have bolted anchors. There are ten bolts on the route and they appeared to be in good shape.

Photos of Desert Solitude Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Awesome pitch 4.
Awesome pitch 4.
Rock Climbing Photo: Beginning pitch 2.
Beginning pitch 2.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 6.
Pitch 6.
Rock Climbing Photo: First pitch slab.
BETA PHOTO: First pitch slab.
Rock Climbing Photo: 2nd rap, 1st bolted station.
2nd rap, 1st bolted station.

Comments on Desert Solitude Add Comment
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By Cunning Linguist
Oct 10, 2012

^^^^^^^THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is a great writeup.

Thanks for taking time to put 'er down, big time! Well done!

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