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Hell Wall (aka Quarry Wall)
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Glass Balls 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 40'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Steve Sangdahl and Jack Klein 1982 (Trad lead)
Page Views: 1,284
Submitted By: Tradiban on Jun 14, 2010

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (24)
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Climb the slab. Should clean up nicely.


Named for the ball-bearing-like lichen found on the arete, and originally led as a trad route with very little (if any) protection - this route has largely been ignored since its first ascent. Because of its odd position on a sloping arete, even toprope ascents have been considered somewhat sketchy. Recently, with the blessing of the first-ascensionist, five bolts and anchors have appeared making this an enjoyable sport route in a classic position.

The upper anchors were placed to facilitate rappelling off the Hell Wall (aka Quarry Wall) (west/climber's left) side of the arete, rather than rappelling or lowering directly down the crest of the arete (a disconcerting proposition at best). Even topropers might be well-advised to make use of the bolts as directionals given the sharp and sloping nature of the arete.


At the south end of Hell Wall scramble to the notch and look left.


Five bolts and anchors.

Photos of Glass Balls Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: This is directly above Quarry Wall. I accessed it ...
BETA PHOTO: This is directly above Quarry Wall. I accessed it ...

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 12, 2017
By Jay Knower
From: Campton, NH
Nov 21, 2016
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

This is a good route up a pretty unique feature. Given that WI sorely lacks for bolted moderates, this route should become super popular.
By Paul Campbell
From: Waukesha, WI
Nov 21, 2016

When did this get fully bolted?
By Joel Allen
From: La Crosse, WI
Nov 21, 2016

It was done by a competent party (not me) a few weeks ago with consent from the FA. That person will chime in if they want to. :)
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Nov 21, 2016

The prose in the description does not seem like Rhoads. A mystery!
By Tradiban
Nov 21, 2016

This route description was edited without my permission!
By James Schroeder
From: Sauk County, WI
Nov 22, 2016
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

The "Location" information looks like your words Nick.
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Nov 22, 2016

I have now arrived at my theory as to what happened both to the route and the MP description. This was very entertaining. I hope the route is half that entertaining when I make it up there again!
By James Schroeder
From: Sauk County, WI
Nov 22, 2016
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Admittedly, I changed the route description (and cleaned up some no longer relevant comments) to describe the route's current state. I didn't think you'd mind Nick - I apologize if my assumption was wrong. I thought about reassigning the route to me - but I felt you deserved the to keep the credit for the original contribution. Let me know if you think my solution warrants editing.

For what it's worth, I had a chance to climb this thing in its current state last weekend and I found the addition of the bolts a vast improvement over the absence of them. Time will tell what others think. One thing is certain, this route has one of the best belay ledges anywhere. I can't wait to take my little guys up this in the future!

Also, if anyone is heading up there soon and feeling like a good samaritan, the only thing I'd change about the route is adding about four links of chain between the two quicklinks on each of the anchor bolts. I don't think it's an issue of safety (or I'd have gone back on Sunday and done it), just a convenience issue. I doubt I'll be able to get back up there until sometime in December. If you go, take a big crescent wrench to loosen the quicklinks, whoever installed them must be one strong dude.
By Tradiban
Nov 22, 2016

Nah, I don't give a fuck, I didn't even climb it ;)
By Steve Sangdahl
From: eldo sprngs,co
Nov 29, 2016

Just to clarify why I am okay with the retro bolting of this climb , not that my opinion should really matter anyway. When Jack Klien and myself did this route and others at Necedah, we had no regards for those that would climb these routes later. Hell, we had no regards for our own safety for that matter or any clue that these routes would even get repeated. Ultimately Jack and myself were just going f-ing climbing.
I was asked by 2 folks if it would be okay to add the bolts. I am okay with it for the following reasons.
Bolts are acceptable at Necedah. ( back then we avoided using them)
The climb is only 5.8 It is not a test piece by any means.
I don't own the frigging rock.
If it opens up a route for climbers of moderate abilities then that's great.
Ultimately it's up to the Wisconsin climbing community to decide what's best for this route .
I do remember the position on this route is superb. And the excellent ledge for the pre send rituals, if ya know what I mean . Sorry for the spew. But of course, now puke.

I do greatly appreciate being asked first thou. Thank you.
By James Schroeder
From: Sauk County, WI
Nov 30, 2016
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c


Thanks for your blessing on this - the Wisconsin climbing community will benefit greatly. I think with the addition of the bolts, this is destined to become a classic. Leading this on gear must have been quite an interesting experience - pre-send rituals or not. Hopefully the bolts will give modern-day climbers the opportunity to contemplate what was a bold, impressive ascent.

By Tradiban
Nov 30, 2016

Modern climbers don't contemplate anything, figgin kids thse days...
By Steve Sangdahl
From: eldo sprngs,co
Dec 1, 2016

James, Thanks again for your efforts on this climb and making it more accessible for the community. Also hats off for your service to the Wisco climbing community. I want to thank Jay also for his part in this climb and service to the community. Hope everyone has a fun winter season with yer family and friends I think I really am going to puke.
By Yueyang Meng
From: Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Apr 12, 2017

The name of the route fit the route!

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