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Helen's Dome
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Fool's Gold 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, Sport, 2 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Dave Bell, Chris Bell, Byron Nelson
Page Views: 3,292
Submitted By: Derek Lawrence on Jun 24, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (15)
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Looking down pitch 2.


Start off the ramp about 30 feet left of the large squeeze/dihedral (Face Value) on the west side of Helen's.

Pitch 1: Head up the face past a bolt to a finger crack. Place pro and head up the face to the right-leaning crack system. Traverse right across the face to the next crack (make sure to place pro immed. After the face to protect your second from swinging big). Head right on easy ground to the 2-bolt anchor. An alternate 5.10 start goes up the crack (small gear) between the above start and "Face Value" past 2 (3?) bolts to the crack that heads right to the belay.

Pitch 2: Head right off the belay, place pro with a long sling and go up and left to the first bolt. Follow the bolts up the face staying left of the water groove. The climbing is on great feldspar crystals which provide plenty of small foot/hand holds. The technical crux (5.9) comes somewhat early (hard to identify exactly), but the mental crux comes in the increasing runouts between bolts as the climbing gets easier. Be prepared for 20-30+ foot runouts past the last 3 bolts (5.6-5.8).

Rap the route with double ropes or head up left thru the notch and right to the top.


Pro: 10-12 quickdraws and a light rack of small/medium wires/TCUs and cams/hexes to 3". (Take a few longer runners for the 1st pitch.) Fixe rap anchors at both belays.

Photos of Fool's Gold Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Party on Fool's Gold.
Party on Fool's Gold.
Rock Climbing Photo: Crux of regular start.
Crux of regular start.
Rock Climbing Photo: At the 1st bolt, regular start.
At the 1st bolt, regular start.
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting up the variation....
Starting up the variation....
Rock Climbing Photo: Luke Clarke above the bolts on the quality alterna...
Luke Clarke above the bolts on the quality alterna...
Rock Climbing Photo: Fool's god from the base. You can just see the dia...
BETA PHOTO: Fool's god from the base. You can just see the dia...

Comments on Fool's Gold Add Comment
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By Darin Lang
May 23, 2004
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

The alternate start (straight up the crack next to the 5.7 dihedral route) is quite good, and at a similar level of difficulty as the even better second pitch. Bring a few thin hands to hands pieces, and some stoppers.
By rob bauer
From: Golden, CO
May 31, 2006

Just a quick note for us old timers who use Hubbel's book, 10 QD is about right now since several bolts were added to the 2nd pitch. (I think Hubbel showed 5 and I used to to bring 7 for the pitch and anchors.)
By Cindy Mitchell
Oct 4, 2010
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

I've led both the regular start and the alternate start of this route, and I agree the alternate start is a bit harder (10a). The 2nd pitch goes on FOREVER, it seems. A real calf/toe burner. Even though it's more vertical than Face Value, the holds are bigger. We climbed the route with double ropes and didn't have any rope drag issues. 10 QDs and a big nut with a long sling for the first move off the belay.

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