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Earth Angel 

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

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.12d French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX ZA: 28 British: E6 6b [details]
FA: Bob Horan; 1996
Page Views: 5,391
Submitted By: Dan Levison on Aug 29, 2005

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Earth Angel, Boulder Canyon, Colorado.

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  • Description 

    Avalon's first and hardest sport route, Earth Angel, is the stunning arête/face on the far left side of Tarot Wall. It's hard to believe a route this good hasn't seen a second ascent (as per Rolofson's new guide book) until today; however, we did find the route somewhat dirty and lichen-covered in places so it is possible.

    Face climb past 3 bolts to a good stance below the roof. Crank over the roof (12a) and ascend the very sustained and technical face above. A wild dynamic move (spectacular position) at mid-height onto the arête yields the crux. A couple more awkward 5.11 moves and the difficulties abate. I would agree w/ Horan's original rating of 12d.


    10 bolts to a 2-bolt anchor; optional gear for finish (last 20 feet).

    Photos of Earth Angel Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Earth Angel.
    Earth Angel.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Earth Angel is the leftmost bolted route on Tarot ...
    BETA PHOTO: Earth Angel is the leftmost bolted route on Tarot ...

    Comments on Earth Angel Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 26, 2015
    By ac
    Aug 30, 2005

    My partner and I did this route a few years back. Did not realize it had only a first ascent. Gear at the end is strongly recommended! We took some killer falls onto the tree below. Hard moves over the roof and sustained slab moves up the arete. Nice to hear it was 12d and not us climbing so poorly!
    By Alan Higham
    Sep 5, 2005
    rating: 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b

    Great pitch, there is a rest after pulling the roof, but then it is very sustained until the last bolt. I do not feel the need for supplemental gear after the last bolt, it eases off significantly.
    By Joe Collins
    Sep 18, 2006
    rating: 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b

    I highly doubt that this didn't see a 2nd ascent for 9 years until last summer. This is a strikingly obvious line on a very popular crag. Not to mention that there are probably 100+ people living in the Boulder area at any given time who can climb the grade. Most people wouldn't report it if they had redpointed a 12+ route.

    As for the grade... the route is VERY condition dependent. When I got on this in July, I thought it was the hardest 12d that I'd ever been on. 30 degrees cooler this weekend and it felt like its grade. Nevertheless, this is certainly one of the best hard-12s in Boulder Canyon.

    BTW, if you manage to pull through the secondary crux (spicy) you will have no trouble doing the 5.10 finish without gear. Also, there is no tree below the route to hit if you fall.
    By matt wood
    May 20, 2007

    I had to leave a QD on Earth Angel over the weekend. I dont think I am strong enough to get it back. If any one happens to get it down, I would love to get it back.

    By reboot
    From: .
    Jun 20, 2007

    Matt, I cleaned a draw on the route last weekend. I've sent you a PM....

    I'm a little perplexed by the upper section of this route: there is a crack system on the right and the arete on the left, working either would offer good rest and easier moves. Is the point to just work the hard face moves?
    By Ben Collett
    Jul 3, 2011

    I just got on the route today, and I will second Joe's comment about it being conditions dependent. It felt really hard in the heat. People might want to be aware that there is a little block with a couple of crimps on top of it that one uses just above the initial roof that felt a little hollow and scary. I don't know how much longer it will stay put.
    By Peter J. Beyel
    From: Glenwood Springs
    Aug 4, 2013
    rating: 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b

    Does anyone have beta for this rig?
    By SteveZ
    From: Denver, CO
    May 5, 2014

    I was confused by this line in the way Reboot mentions above. There seemed to be several places to traverse left to the arete from the crack above the first roof. We figured out at least three. It always seemed like the natural line wanted to take you up and right but the bolts to the left. Kind of nebulous but good rock at the very least.
    By Pinklebear
    May 5, 2014

    Pretty line but a bit nebulous. It seems bolted to keep you out left on the arete, but there is a good crack and sidepulls on the right, though these make clipping way out down and left kind of hairball. You can even get in a nice hand crack at one point and rest. At a certain point, the bolt line forces you to come back left (at least high up, to the horn), though you could just keep going right with some trad gear. Maybe there is a more direct way left onto the arete lower down? Seems to be a little height/wingspan dependent. Didn't send but don't know if I'll be back....
    By Jack Sparrow
    From: denver, co
    Sep 17, 2014
    rating: 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b

    Got on this today, and I think it's a great line. I climbed to the right of the bolts then traversed to a good horn on the arête. I think 12d is a fair grade for it. Overall, a very aesthetic climb with great moves and an awesome position. Classic.
    By Curt MacNeill
    From: Boulder, CO
    Sep 24, 2014

    I agree with Pinklebear. I think the FA party envisioned climbing the arete, but there ended up being an easier way up the face to the right of the bolt line. With that said, the crux for me was actually reaching the bolts to clip draws. Hanging the draws for me and sending was completely out of the question, I was nowhere near being able to reach. I actually had to extend a bunch of draws and ended up skipping some on redpoint, because I could barely reach the extendos I had set up. Clearly for me the crux was making the clips. All clipping aside, the route on the face flows very nicely and the transfer from the crack out right to the arete was very cool moves. The stone is very nice on this one and overall a great climb. Appropriately graded too, I thought it was a touch harder than the route to the right....
    By Stephen Felker
    From: Boulder, CO
    Apr 7, 2015

    I would give this route four stars but for the bolt placement leading into the crux.
    By Mark Rolofson
    May 26, 2015
    rating: 5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b

    Yes, there are two ways to climb this route. In September 2009, I redpointed this route & thought it was the easiest .12d I had ever done. My partner, Henry Lester, was working on this route moving onto the arête above the roof, at 6th bolt, & then following the arête. I tried this briefly, & it seemed quite hard. So I followed the seam up the face. Just past 7th bolt, the short, discontinuous hand crack provides a nice rest before the crux traversing left to the arête. Being tall, I am able to span from a sidepull on the seam to the arête. A shorter climber might still find this crux .12d, because they would have to hang on a tiny edge. The next section up the arête, past 8th bolt seemed 5.12, but soon I was able to turn the arête for a rest. There is still more hard moves to the last bolt.

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