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Face Off 

YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a

Type:  Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 60'
Original:  YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Lee Sheftel, Chris Vandiver & Rick Smith, 10/89
Season: year round
Page Views: 3,012
Submitted By: Jason Halladay on Apr 3, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (26)
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Super good climbing with a superb view. January 20...


A fantastic steep, thin face route. For most it requires a sequence. Careful not to tweak your fingers on this one.
The steep face is obvious with its chalk-marked, tiny holds.

Scramble up easy rock to the high first bolt and move up to the second bolt as the rock starts to steepen. Pull past the thin flake holds to a good two-finger pocket next to the third bolt. More thin, steep moves lead past the fourth bolt. It's sustained all the way to the sixth bolt but above that you finally get to rest before cruising the easier terrain to the top.


Steep face right of Thief in Time and "RDD Crack". Shown as route number 20 on the Overlook route topo photo.


7 bolts to a bolted anchor.

Photos of Face Off Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Allison leading through the final thin moves. Dece...
Allison leading through the final thin moves. Dece...
Rock Climbing Photo: Gritting it into the crux. December 2010.
Gritting it into the crux. December 2010.
Rock Climbing Photo: Moving through the crux of the route on a just-war...
Moving through the crux of the route on a just-war...

Comments on Face Off Add Comment
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By Shirtless Mike
From: Denver, CO
Apr 4, 2007

Great route, might take a few tries to work out the sequence on this one. Also the name is a bit of a misnomer since for the 12a grade the arete is off in the middle of route, making things a little bit harder.
By Dave Wachter
Mar 4, 2008
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

Really really cool crux section getting up to the pocketed face. Lots of stars from me.
By J. Albers
From: Colorado
Apr 13, 2010
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

"the arete is off"??? Hmmmmm. I have not been on this in years, but I don't remember the arete being "off". This isn't Devils Lake where there are rules problems, i.e. if you can reach the arete from the bolt line, then it is on. IMHO, this route gets the 12a grade for the bottom 3-4 bolts. The top where you might be interested in touching the arete is just pump time that keeps the route consistent. I don't think this changes the grade.
By Shirtless Mike
From: Denver, CO
Apr 13, 2010

Well this is what I had heard when doing this route several years ago from another climber. I'll have to check the guide to see if it mentions anything about the arete being off. I vaguely remember there being a move just past the crux where grabbing the arete did make a difference. Above where the arete becomes more rounded you are almost climbing on it however so this only holds true for where the arete is truly an arete.

While this isn't Devil's Lake I remember many of the lines at the Overlook being quite contrived, cruxin out on the face with an easy crack within reach. Double Vision, Holy Wall, Way Beyond Zebra, Donde Estan, On Beyond Zebra, to name a few looking at the descriptions and comments.

I haven't been on this in 5 years but I wonder if it isn't already quite soft for the 12a grade since this was my second 12a after the notoriously stiff (joking) Bolting Barbie.
Does the new guide give this 11d/12a?
At any rate this is a fun route and one of the best at the overlook regardless of the grade and any suspect holds.
By J. Albers
From: Colorado
Apr 13, 2010
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

Yeah, I understand what you are saying about the whole contrived bit at the Overlook. I always just climbed what was obvious...whether it was "on" or not. It is my personal opinion that Face Off is solidly 12a, if for no other reason than I think it is a bit harder than Thorazine which is pretty benchmark at 11d.
By Daniel Trugman
From: La Jolla, CA
Apr 14, 2010
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

To me, "Face Off" feels about as hard as the average 5.12a in LA/WR area. I might be alone in this, but I think "Face Off" is more like two letter grades harder than "Thorazine Dream".

As far as the arete is concerned, I would use whatever feels natural and go with it. It would be a shame to ruin your experience of what is probably the best sport route in White Rock with questions like: "Is this hold on?" .
By Anthony Stout
From: Albuquerque, NM
Apr 14, 2010

I suggest someone put some red tape on all the holds that are "on". :)
By Amy Jordan
Apr 21, 2010

I thought "Face Off" was harder than "Monsterpiece."
By Jason Halladay
From: Los Alamos, NM
Apr 22, 2010

I have the same opinion as Amy. I got Monsterpiece in three or four tries but it took quite a bit more than that for me on Face Off. For me, Face Off is more sustained while Monsterpiece has the one hard crux move but the rest is more cruiser.

No matter, though, both routes are super fun.
By Naomi Galinski
Oct 28, 2011
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

This is a real 12a. My third 12a lead ever and I can say that there are no more excuses like 'that was a soft 12a'. There's nothing soft about Face Off and the string of crux moves are suuuuuuper fun - don't stop, keep moving. Definitely harder and more sustained than Monsterpiece Theater.

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