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El Camino Royale 

YDS: 5.2 French: 3 Ewbanks: 8 UIAA: II ZA: 8 British: D 2c

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 500'
Original:  YDS: 5.2 French: 3 Ewbanks: 8 UIAA: II ZA: 8 British: D 2c [details]
FA: Unknown
Page Views: 4,693
Submitted By: Warren Teissier on Mar 31, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (54)
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BETA PHOTO: A view of The Regency from the south.

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  • Description 

    This route is more of a mountaineering adventure than a clean rock climb. Although the rating reflects an easy scramble it was extremely easy (at least for me) to stray off easy ground and onto low fifth class difficulty.

    Start at the lowest point of the rock on the South side of the East face, but to the right of large gully. The path seems blocked by a large overhang some 200 feet above but the route escapes this obstacle on the left. From there proceed up and left to the summit some 300 feet higher.

    The summit is very small and has a chopped ancient bolt. At this point check out the East face route of the Royal Arch. Connecting these two routes makes not only for a cool scrambling outing but also gets you to the Royal Arch trail for a much easier return to your car...

    To descend you can: - Down climb 100ft down the East face and escape North (right) to hiking terrain - For a more exposed alternative, down climb some 30 feet of the East face on the left arete and escape onto a ledge system that takes you to the West face. From there you can descend further to the East via a ramp on the North side. A large hole/crack will then provide escape under some boulders, putting you at the base of the Royal Arch East face


    Standard rack.

    Photos of El Camino Royale Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Two main lines that might be El Camino Royale. Rou...
    BETA PHOTO: Two main lines that might be El Camino Royale. Rou...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Near the top on El Camino Royale. 1/31/12.
    Near the top on El Camino Royale. 1/31/12.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Brea following our first pitch.  Not sure if we we...
    Brea following our first pitch. Not sure if we we...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Jake on the upper portion of ECR.
    Jake on the upper portion of ECR.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Jake ropeless on ECR, 1/31/12.
    Jake ropeless on ECR, 1/31/12.
    Rock Climbing Photo: The tree and I sharing a crack going up Regency.
    The tree and I sharing a crack going up Regency.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up the Regency slab.
    Looking up the Regency slab.
    Rock Climbing Photo: East Face of The Regency.
    BETA PHOTO: East Face of The Regency.

    Comments on El Camino Royale Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 5, 2017
    By shad O'Neel
    May 1, 2003

    This route has more than its fair share of lichen and pine needle pods. The summit is worth a visit as it is very cool, but the climbing I found not so good. I climbed it a few years ago though and must have taken a better line. There are many lines to choose from.
    By Tom Bacus
    Oct 20, 2003
    rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

    I climbed this with my 9 year old son yesterday. It was his first multi-pitch climb. As mentioned above I managed to find a route harder than 4th class at the top of the route. Made for exciting leads with a 9 year old belaying me (can you say free-solo?) The route had a real mountaineering feel to it. It must not see much traffic as we had to brush pine needles of holds and many of the cracks were full of moss and dirt. Every belay along the route was a nice wide ledge with w tree to sling for and anchor. We got off the top easily by downclimbing the climbers right side (north) and scrambling up to the Royal Arch. A typical Flatiron rack was more than sufficent.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Jun 11, 2007
    rating: 5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c

    Hmmm. as a solo, I find that climbing this face to reach and continue on the Royal Arch is one of the nicest link-ups around. Fully enjoyable.
    By Mike McMahon
    From: Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah
    Jun 17, 2007
    rating: 5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c

    I did this one a while back, and I remember it being a bit more technical than I expected. I believe Rossiter calls it 3rd, while Roach calls it 4th. Either way, I ventured to the far left [southish] of the rock and found it to be quite exposed and probably a low 5th class climb. Great summit and easy access to the Royal Arch!
    By Jacob Miller
    From: Lakeood, CO
    Sep 27, 2010

    I was going to post that we climbed El Camino Royale but looking at the pictures posted we didn't. We climbed up the 2nd gully from the South, 3 pitches and then joined the standard route at the notch below the 4th pitch. I am going to label it La Camino, although I am sure many others have climbed it before. The route was an easy beginner lead, ranging from easy 5th to 4th class with the standard lichen, loose flakes and pine needles. The "Gator Skin" pocketed rock on pitch 2 and 4 were wonderful. Caution: Poison Ivy at the base of climb.
    By J. Fox
    From: Black Hawk, CO
    Nov 7, 2010
    rating: Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c

    As a free-solo, this route is fantastic! Very enjoyable and great climbing. I would do it again, any time.
    By Adam McFarren
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    May 22, 2011

    Major fun when linked w/ Royal Arch. I found some 5.easy moves, but may not have been on the best route. Easy to combine with Anomaly (forgettable) and Amoeboid (a blast). Of those 4 routes, this felt the hardest (again, I may have been off the easiest line).

    Re-climbed portions of all these routes in the process of solo-shooting a short video:
    By Ralph Doane
    Jun 21, 2011

    Help! Lost "Tradmaster" shoes (size 9 or 10) on Father's Day, 2011. Probably stuck in walk-off crack between boulders! Let me know if you're headed up there - 720-352-4718!
    By Eric Klammer
    From: Boulder, CO
    Feb 26, 2013

    Fun route with mostly clean rock all the way up. A great time can be had by doing this route with the Royal Arch, the Anomaly, and Ameboid for a few pitches of great scrambling all in the same general area.
    By SteveF
    From: Fort Collins, CO
    Apr 24, 2016

    Like most east slabs in the Flatirons, you can climb just about anywhere on this face, which makes it easy to get off-route and into more difficult climbing or longer run-outs. I started on route then traversed left into the large gully which was great for about 80ft then became very dirty. If you end up in the gully, I would recommend going back right to the east face before you reach the large juniper.
    By Ubermensch
    Aug 23, 2016

    Agree to not go into the gully. Stay on the west arete for the most part until you see some broken faces where you can either skirt left and go above the gully or move right onto better slabs as seen in some of the pictures. This takes you to the top of the gully below the final summit pitch. Definitely 5th class since you are climbing on 4 points for the most part, but still a good solo scramble. I think the shorter downclimb to the west is better, but there is an awkward drop off to reach the platform where you can move south and through a slot to walking ground.
    By mtnrunner2
    Aug 12, 2017

    Granted I'm a 4th Class free soloist right now, so take that into account, but here is my take if you are at my level and considering this climb:

    I found this route to be more difficult and exposed than other 4th Class routes I've done such as Freeway, Front Porch East Face Center, Buckets, Anomaly, and Third Flatironette. Two guidebooks (Rossiter's and Haas') have this as 3rd Class, which is absurd to me, and I was careful to look for the easiest line all the way up.

    The holds lean towards quartz knobs and small pockets or friction holds, and a fair amount of the rock is water-polished, like Sunnyside Two on Der Zerkle but with fewer cups and more sloped footholds. Unfortunately, if you avoid the water polished areas, then the holds on the rock are not as big. Jugs are few and far between in the middle section, where you're also along a steep ridge that drops 100+ feet to a stone gully. So, be sure you have good shoes, can spot small holds, and have some skills.

    BTW, I enjoyed the easier rock on the North Rib route much more, in spite of the pine needle gully in the middle section, which you can probably avoid by moving up onto the slabs to the right or left.
    By Peter D Daniels
    From: Denver, CO
    Sep 5, 2017
    rating: 5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c

    I was on the Regency yesterday. I may have done El Camino Royale. :) I believe there is a lot of confusion about this route. Roach calls it Class 4. Haas calls it Class 3. Mtn Project now has it at 5.2.

    Admittedly, many of Roach's Class 4 routes are labeled in the 5.0 to 5.2 range currently, but I've also been on a number of those routes - Freeway, Der Freischutz SW Ridge, 1st Flatironette SW Ridge, Amoeboid - Buckets, Front Porch E Face Ctr, and Lost Porch SW Ridge. These feel great on solo for me.

    However, the route that I believe many are looking at on this site as "El Camino Royale" may be south of what seems like a more realistic Class 3/4 route that starts 150' or so to the north on what seems like (and looks like on google earth) another "lowest point on the rock to the right of a gully system" as Roach describes. I submitted a GPS location for this start to Mtn Proj. When starting from this spot, the climbing felt similar to the other Roach Class 4 climbs. It also finds a "broken area" about 250' up as the Roach book describes and another one about 200' further up.

    The Roach book (2nd Edition) also has a picture of The Regency (p 151), which shows the start further South - and seems to be in agreement with what is showing here on Mtn Project but doesn't jibe with the book description or class rating. That's not the first time I've experienced that with the Roach book.

    Kudos to those who are solo climbing that route on the Regency that begins further south - maybe 50' or so from the trail leading up the gully. I tried this start 2 times and bailed off via rap both times (apologies - I'll try to get back with a rope partner to clean up the rap anchor). It seems at least 5.2 to me and beyond my personal current level of OK-ness for solo exposure.

    My point in this discussion is to open up the possibility of two main E. face routes on The Regency, with the more Class 4-ish one starting further north. I hope that this might stop folks that are expecting Class 3-4 from running into the same difficulty that I did. Cheers.

    Add'l note: I took GPS readings at the two main low points for the Regency. The one further north is actually lower in altitude by roughly 20'.

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