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Griffin's Romp and Roll 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 60'
Original:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 706
Submitted By: Mark Orsag on Jul 20, 2013

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Griffin below the start of his route.


The true first ascent of this route is apparently lost to time. Brent Kertzman and Paul Muehl climbed it in 1982 and found evidence of a yet earlier ascent. Cheyenne Caffey and Mark Orsag placed the anchors, cleaned the route, and added a bolt in 2013. This route is an oddly un-Needles-like trad jugbash. The route starts on a right-trending slab/ramp. At the top of the slab/ramp, it continues to the right in an ascending traverse through a series of large, wildly-shaped wind-eroded holds. It circles below and around an obvious pillar half to two-thirds of the way up. It then climbs up and behind (to the right) of the pillar. Step back left onto the top of the pillar. Clip a single bolt that protects a face move on a bulging slab, and jog up and left to the two-bolt anchor and a generous belay ledge. Sylvan Lake is visible from the top. Good beginner trad lead, though it is a touch physical for an easy climb.


From the Sylvan Lake parking lot, follow the trail around the lake and to the left. Go through the tunnel and bear left toward the bridge/boardwalk on Sunday Gulch Trail. Stop at the beginning of the bridge and head up into the gulley directly right/north of you. A 3rd class scramble gets you into the gully. The ramp and a number of good belay stances should be obvious. Probably best belayed by the leader from above. Rap with 60m rope gets you down easily.


Good cam placements and opportunities to sling the large features almost all the way through. The only marginal placement is atop the pillar, and the single bolt helps there. G-rated climb. Bring at least two slings or runners. Otherwise, a standard rack should suffice. An additional cam can be set in a crack above the bolt to protect the 2nd against a potentially nasty pendulum fall if the 5.6 face move is blown after the bolt is cleaned.

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By Mark Orsag
From: Omaha, NE
Jul 20, 2013

Named after my Welsh Terrier-- Griffin. Could he climb this thing? Next time, we may just put a harness on him and see...
By Brent Kertzman
From: Black Hills, SD
Dec 11, 2013

I want to say this sounds and looks like a line Paul Muehl and I climbed in 1982. He thought at the time it had already been climbed as there was evidence of passage with a freshly broken flake and a fixed nut which we removed.
By Mark Orsag
From: Omaha, NE
Dec 16, 2013


We didn't find anything on it directly, but there was some old abandoned gear right nearby, and we figured that (being in that heavily trafficked area) it might have been climbed before but had no way of checking (no problem with you claiming it). I can alter first ascent, etc (looks like the true first ascent is lost to time) info if you wish? The rap line of it goes too... we didn't get around to bolting that, but it is probably on the to do list for next summer (when I get up there). That line we top-roped in from the right-- about 5.9 off the deck and then a lot of 5.7 moves except for a couple of mid-5.10 range moves on a short headwall. Have climbed some of your routes at Rushmore, and you have established some classics!
By Brent Kertzman
From: Black Hills, SD
Dec 16, 2013

Mark, Its's all good. The problem with this area is so much rock and a lack of documentation through the years. Where more obvious lines are concerned people like Paul and myself assumed many of these lines had been climbed but weren't documented so we didn't claim an FA that day.
By Mark Orsag
From: Omaha, NE
Dec 16, 2013

By Seth Hogan
From: Frisco, Co
Jul 10, 2015
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Worthwhile, but there are better climbs to play on.

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