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West Ridge - part E - top to Xanadu
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Friends in High Places 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Bruce Hildenbrand and Robert Mueller, 1986
Page Views: 2,835
Submitted By: Tyler Jones on Jun 11, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (85)
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Friends in High Places goes up the chalked up dihe...

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  • Description 

    The route starts about 10 feet to the right of Purple Haze. (On the upper section of the West Ridge)

    P1 - Start up a crack in the middle of the face. This pitch is fairly easy (6). Go past a small tree stump. Belay at the ledge.

    P2 - I almost want to give this a Serious rating. It begins with a couple hard 5.9 pinchy moves. There's really no pro on the direct line to start the pitch, but if you really want to you can barely get a stopper in crack around a small corner on the right. Pull over the "hump" and continue to the dihedral on the left, past a piton. The 10a section comes just after the piton. Follow the crack up to the tree with slings. 80 foot rap.


    Bring small cams from #0.2 to #0.75 (Camalots) and a set of small stoppers. The top of the first pitch has a great place to use large stoppers and some small camp tricams for a good anchor. You are able to rap off the top of p2 with a 50m rope from rap slings around a tree.

    Photos of Friends in High Places Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch one crack of Friends in High Places.
    Pitch one crack of Friends in High Places.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Clipping the fixed pin on the 2nd pitch
    Clipping the fixed pin on the 2nd pitch
    Rock Climbing Photo: The second pitch on Friends in High Places (10a).
    The second pitch on Friends in High Places (10a).

    Comments on Friends in High Places Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Dec 19, 2011
    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jun 12, 2001

    I'd vote for a PG13 rating on this climb. I followed the route, but I remember it seems hard to stop and place gear, and there are few placements available.
    By Matt Robertson
    Jun 18, 2001

    Agreed also. While the crux is well protected, there is an interesting move early in the second pitch (right off the belay, if I recall) which you wouldn't want to fall from.

    This route might be considered really good if it were on almost any other crag in the universe. Worth doing while you're waiting for all the megaclassics nearby - but only if you don't lose your place in line.
    By stan
    Sep 24, 2001

    Yikes! This was one of my first 5.10 leads and it was definitely full value. I found the whole climb to be pretty dicey. Not a climb for the leader wishing to break into the 5.10 grade. Choose Chockstone instead. Stan
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Oct 31, 2001
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

    I got in reasonable red and orange HB micromates (small cams, .3" and .4") but they were pumpy to place, and I though the route was hard at its grade. Try Ball nuts if you have them.
    By Bryson Slothower
    Feb 13, 2002

    Linking the two pitches for an 80-footer is the way to go, not sure why one would stop after the 5.6 section. The gear is all there, I don't think it deserves an S rating, this could be because of the fixed nut that is in place above the pin as of 02/10/02.....
    By Chris Carithers
    Mar 13, 2002

    Would agree on the move off the "belay" spicy moves with little gear could result in something ugly. Found I could wiggle an RP in a thin opening off to the right.
    By Joe Collins
    Mar 18, 2002

    The gear at the start of pitch 2 (though I'm not sure why you would bother doing this as 2 pitches) seemed just fine to me, though you have to work to make it good. From a stance you can place a marginal purple TCU in the weird slot. This slot looks like it might take a good nut but I couldn't get anything to work. With that piece, you should now have the psychological support to move slightly higher to place a bomber RP just above the TCU.
    By Ivan Rezucha
    From: Fort Collins, CO
    Jan 18, 2003

    Are people climbing left of the crux of Purple Haze or doing the Purple Haze crux (the small, right-facing corner off the ledge)? The comments above suggest people are climbing left of PH, but Rossiter says do PH.

    If you can't reach the RP placement above the micro cam, you can link another wired nut to the RP to make the reach. This is an ancient trick that I consider fair play. Be careful not to pull out on the RP as you move past. You could clip it to the microcam to prevent this. Have a long sling ready to hook over a decent horn after doing the Purple Haze crux.
    By Scott Conner
    From: Lyons, CO
    Feb 2, 2003

    Ivan - Sounds to me like most people are doing the crux of PH then moving left into right-facing corner and up to the tree as in Rossiter's guide. That's how I did it as well.

    I'll agree also about the seriousness of the first move (second pitch) off the ledge. I thought it was 1.5 moves of hard .9 with uninspiring protection. I was able to get the smallest alien in upside down in the small crack in the corner.I found the climbing above the pin to be strenuous and difficult to place gear. Definitely a worthy climb, especially when combined with P1 of PH.
    By Shane Zentner
    From: Colorado
    Feb 3, 2003

    The protection is sparse, especially moving up from the start of the second pitch. There is a fixed pin and stopper near the crux, but placing pro is difficult to do. Definitely a worthy route that is solid at the grade.
    By Hayden Yurkanis
    Sep 20, 2003

    I think this climb, if done in one pitch is better than the 1st pitch of Chockstone...really varied and cool. This climb is NOT S!!! to really good RPs protect the hard 5.9 moves and you are pretty much on toprope here; I'm about 5 foot 10 inch and had no problem getting the upper RP placement, and the lower #2 RP placement is very nice as well---I wouldn't recommend a cam here. It is also pretty easy to downclimb on the 5.9 moves to the ledge again. The upper 5.10 sews up completely...all in all a good pitch of 5.10 for those who feel pretty in control on 5.9.
    By Edward Jenner
    May 2, 2004
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    Since there are two competing schools of thought here I'll add mine. Lead this combined with P1 of Purple Haze. I tried to climb to the left of the PH crux but was 'forced' to use the same pro (black Alien in slot, which I think is bomber if you get it in right) because I couldn't find anything to the left. However, instead of climbing straight up the PH crux corner I allowed myself to use the very chalked holds on the left, which made it a bit easier. Most people probably do this anyway. Either way you are only a few feet one way or the other so I think it is all 'on route'. The top half was well protected. There is one place where if I fell it would be with a smallish RP at my feet with the next piece 6ft below that. Definitely not S. I thought easier than Chockstone, more obvious moves and a lot of fun. If you find this S you should probably practice placing pro some more before moving further up the grades, at least in Eldo!
    By Matt Chan
    From: Boulder
    Apr 26, 2005
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    I combined pitch 1 of Purple Haze with the 2nd pitch of Friends in High Places with no noticable drag to speak of. I slotted a #0 TCU at the crux of PH and felt pretty good about it. The pin at the crux of Friends in High Places looked in great shape and the fixed wire is still hanging in there. Above that I got a #5 stopper in (at least halfway in!) and a yellow Alien in the jug/roof section right below the tree. Maybe not S, but definitely a tad spicy above the pin. Three stars with Purple Haze as P1, two stars if following the traditional start.
    By Matt Richardson
    From: Longmont, CO
    Jun 29, 2006

    Where in the f*** is this belay for the second pitch?! All I saw was choss that didn't look like it would take much good gear. And I saw no reason to not link up the "two" pitches - you can reach the ground with a 60 m and there is little or no rope drag (I linked the first pitch of Purple Haze with the second pitch of Friends...). I was able to slot a nut in at the ledge (at my feet) before making the thin moves through the right facing corner.
    By Christa Cline
    Aug 7, 2006

    Quite spicy for a 10a. I followed the route and climbed up the small R-facing dihedral on P2 as per Rossiter's description. Being on TR, I used tiny face holds for my feet and the finger slot that my partner had plugged up with gear and therefore couldn't use. Crux for me was right past the pin. The fixed stopper is still there. My partner found plenty of small pro to place. Nice, challenging climb.
    By Ivan Rezucha
    From: Fort Collins, CO
    Nov 11, 2006

    The fixed nut above the pin is trashed as of today. 3 of the 6 cables strands are broken. It may be possible to get another nut in the same spot, but unlikely, as I would have done just that in previous ascents to back up the nut. Since the nut has been fixed for at least several years, it likely will require a hammer and punch or bigger guns to remove it.
    By Paul Hunnicutt
    From: Boulder, CO
    Nov 11, 2006
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13

    I just French free'd this today just as the light was fading. The fixed nut is indeed torn. Would be nice to have it removed, but we had to get off as it was getting dark. I was able to slot an ok #5 stopper slightly above the torn nut though. I feel there is really no reason to belay at the ledge, just make it one pitch. For the moves after the ledge...there is a cam placement after the ledge on the right as others have mentioned. I fit a #0.2 Camalot (green Alien, I think) and it was solid if set right. You can place this then downclimb back to the ledge and climb the hard super chalked moves above the ledge, still it wouldn't be a great fall and you might still hit the ledge. Without this placement, I can't see how it isn't an 'S' rating as a fall would for sure land you on the ledge below. You could also try just climbing up where this cam placement is, which is what I did...though the cam really takes up your handhold here, hence I just yanked on it...hence I know it is a solid cam. I thought there were plenty of small stopper placements before/after clipping the pin, though hard to place.
    By Rich Aschert
    Nov 12, 2007

    I agree with Ivan's method, if you can't reach the RP placement on the right side (Purple Haze), you can link another wired nut to the RP to make the reach. It's too bad I didn't think of this when I did the route. There is also a reasonable #4-5 RP on the left side, but you would need double ropes to utilize both gear placements. I used the RP on the left and thought the route was 10a/b (s). A nasty fall if your gear pops.
    By claytown
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jan 20, 2008

    Go to the tree in 1 pitch with a 60 and lower / rap. Don't blow it off the ledge. Can get in two small nuts, but they won't keep you off the slab below if you fall. Classic Eldo, pull the moves and then you are rewarded with a placement. Right hand tips above the pin make for a cool move. Feet help....
    By John Rudolph
    Sep 28, 2009
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    I did this route over the weekend. Look out for the number of wasps on the left face right before you exit the crux up high. I thought I was going to get stung for sure, but got lucky and hurried through.
    As far a PG13 rating, the face moves do protect well to the right. I slotted a 00 C3 and a #2 nut right next to each other, both very solid. After the face moves its easy climbing to a fixed pin.
    By Andy Kowles
    From: Longtuckles
    Nov 7, 2011
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    Did Friends' P1 into Purple Haze crux, then back into the P2 corner. Tiny wires sew this beauty up even without the pin. Super fun, longish, and engaging pitch with an easy rap.
    By Scotty Nelson
    From: Boulder
    Dec 19, 2011

    Purple TCU protects the spooky 5.9 step off the ledge. The second crux section near the pin also protects well with a blue HB brassie.

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