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Deserted Cities of the Heart 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Sport, 2 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: [Kent Lugbill & David Brewster]
Page Views: 2,542
Submitted By: Ben Mottinger on Jan 1, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (20)
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Trevor high on Deserted Cities. September 23, 2011...

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  • Description 

    This is one of three bolted routes on the NW facing side of the Goose. This one is the middle.

    P1 climbs up to a big ledge.

    P2 starts with the crux, a mantel over a small roof then continues up easier ground to the spectacular summit.

    The descent is from rap rings (you must traverse right (facing the rock) down to the other route). Rap on one 50m rope to the ledge of P1, then downclimb this ledge to the left (facing the rock).


    Two pitches. Bring some small cams also (#2 Friend is useful on P2).


    This is located on the west side of the Goose. Approach via the Fern Canyon trail. There are some sections which are looser on the approach.

    Photos of Deserted Cities of the Heart Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Myself leading P1 of Deserted Cities of the Heart ...
    Myself leading P1 of Deserted Cities of the Heart ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: AJ working the lead on P2 of Deserted Cities as th...
    AJ working the lead on P2 of Deserted Cities as th...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Fran Bagenal on Deserted Cities of the Heart.
    Fran Bagenal on Deserted Cities of the Heart.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Aaron Martinuzzi follows the fun, well-featured up...
    Aaron Martinuzzi follows the fun, well-featured up...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Chris Parks on the beautiful face of 'Deserted Cit...
    Chris Parks on the beautiful face of 'Deserted Cit...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Janet on Deserted Cities....
    Janet on Deserted Cities....
    Rock Climbing Photo: Dan Mottinger staring wishing his bro would hurry ...
    Dan Mottinger staring wishing his bro would hurry ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: The line.
    BETA PHOTO: The line.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Dan Mottinger leading on the Goose, Deserted Citie...
    Dan Mottinger leading on the Goose, Deserted Citie...

    Comments on Deserted Cities of the Heart Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 19, 2012
    By Leo Paik
    From: Westminster, Colorado
    Mar 8, 2002

    This is easily done in one pitch. Fun climb. Yet, the top anchor is only 1 bolt. There is an anchor to the right.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Jan 27, 2003
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    While this climb is pretty mellow, benign 5.5 for the most part, it does have some concerns. Coming off of the ledge of P2 is the crux- and the bolt is clipped only after this. Consider getting a sling up high around the tree nearby and clipping a draw to it to avoid a ledge fall if you are tentative on the 5.9 move there. The single bolt up top is OK, but is still a single bolt. Think that over. Lastly, many of the bolts on this climb were placed on uneven rock and are distanced from the rock by thick washers. This is not good for the bolts or their lifespan. They seem OK, but treat them with suspicion.

    On the bright side, the climb is great when done as a single pitch. The alternative descent is to scramble the ridge northward (5.2?) and into the notch between the two summits of the Goose, then down the dihedral, which is mostly 5.2(?) with one 5.6(?) move on huge jugs close to the ground.
    By Richard Rossiter
    Feb 4, 2003

    I free-soloed this route during 1988 [before] it had any bolts. I don't think it had been climbed previously. I believe the bolts were placed later by Richard Wright who did not know the route had already been climbed. I named the route Deserted Cities of the Heart after a song by Cream on the album Wheels of Fire.
    By Kent Lugbill
    Feb 5, 2003

    I climbed this route in 1981 with David Brewster (with a rope and gear). I have done it since with the bolts and enjoyed the route again. I don't remember naming the route.
    By Scott Conner
    From: Lyons, CO
    Nov 30, 2003

    Pretty good route. Easily broken up into two pitches but we did it in one. Expect to feel run-out if you only brought draws (or do the route a la-Rossiter). Not sure if you could find many gear placements anyway. It's mostly slabular. Bring a double length runner to sling the tree before the crux as the clip comes after the hard move.

    I belayed from the two bolt anchor down and right of the top. A medium cam or stopper could be used en-route to the anchor. Double rope rap from there or traverse off north then west.
    By pfwein
    From: Boulder, CO
    Nov 2, 2008
    rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

    Someone added a fixed nut to the anchor to back up single bolt: good idea and I hope no one "booties" it or the biners and sling attached to it. We were a bit worried about pulling the ropes because of the trees on the ledge(led as one pitch using double ropes), but they pulled fine. Pull from the south a bit. Good route--not great, but solidly good. Glad the first ascenstionists don't seem to mind the retrobolt job--no way would this be climbed by 99% of climbers w/o the bolts.
    By Aaron Martinuzzi
    Sep 25, 2009

    As of 25-Sept-2009, the anchor is only a single bolt - no nut or sling, though I could see where a very small nut could back up the bolt. This route goes pretty easily without supplemental pro for the bolts, especially as much of the face climbing is very easy, and I didn't notice any places where the route would protect without a lot of fiddling around with pro.
    By Luke Clarke
    From: Golden
    Oct 17, 2010
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    I think most climbers will appreciate having a light rack. I placed a red Camalot on relatively easy ground between the 2nd and 3rd bolt above the ledge and a small nut horizontally higher. You'll see the placements if you want them bad enough. I anchored with Camalots ranging from #1 to #3 in the large horizontal at the top and used the single bolt as a backup and redirect. It's a fun pitch. Can't think of a reason to break into two pitches.
    By Mike Frato
    Aug 12, 2011

    Was planning on climbing this weekend. Think I'll try it fully sport, only QDs, but I'm wondering how many I'll need if I break it into 2 pitches?
    By Jamie Princo
    From: Boulder, CO
    Sep 24, 2011
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    A really good climb. Qe were surprised at how sustained the 5.9 climbing was! From this site, we assumed the bulge on P2 was the crux and possibly the only 5.9 move, but that's untrue as the thin 5.9 moves are consistent for the first 4-5 bolts on P2. Also, breaking the climb into 2 pitches is very important to reduce rope drag higher up.

    By Rich Kelly
    From: Boulder
    Aug 19, 2012

    Climbing straight up to the bolt off the ledge by the little pine seemed contrived to me. Much easier to start off the ledge 10' to the right using a crack to gain a jug ledge and then hand traverse back left to the bolt. Not sure why the climb didn't go straight up from this spot. If the intention is to climb straight up to the bolt, I don't understand why there is no bolt protecting the leader from hitting the ledge. This and only having a single bolt anchor keeps this from being a classic climb.

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