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Lower Grotto Wall
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Grotto Wall Traverse 

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

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: A. Carter, H. Carter
Page Views: 2,004
Submitted By: Alvaro Arnal on Jun 5, 2012

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (25)
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Third pitch off the belay.


This is a wonderful journey across and up the Lower Grotto Wall. The belay after the 2nd pitch is one of my favorites on the Pass, and the 3rd pitch will have you smiling from beginning to end!

P1: Climb the awkward, often wet, chimney to the slab above and traverse left towards the corner. You will find 2 bolts about 10' from the corner. This pitch is forgettable and can easily be skipped by walking around to the right and traversing back left on the slab to the same belay. The chimney does has some mildly interesting moves however. 5.8. 50'.

P2: Climb up the short corner and across the ledge to a sloping dihedral crux (5.8). Be sure to protect your 2nd after completing these crux moves. Traverse hard left and up to a 2-bolt belay on a small ledge. 100', lots of rope drag.

P3: From the belay, walk climbers RIGHT across out on the "diving board" and then up steep but juggy terrain into a right-facing corner. Go above this traverse right and into a left-facing corner to a 2-bolt belay at the top of the cliff. Incredible pitch! 100', rope drag.

Descent: Your best option is to walk off to the west (climber's left). Two 70 meter ropes will reach the ground as 1 rappel, but because of the overhanging nature of this section of cliff, multiple raps with shorter ropes is not possible.


From Cryogenics, walk right along the base of the cliff past the smooth shield of rock. The first pitch chimney starts just after the trail turns steeply uphill.


Full rack.

Photos of Grotto Wall Traverse Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Arriving at the second belay on Grotto Wall Traver...
Arriving at the second belay on Grotto Wall Traver...
Rock Climbing Photo: Heading up off the "Diving Board."
Heading up off the "Diving Board."
Rock Climbing Photo: Grotto Wall Traverse, 3 pitch 5.8.
BETA PHOTO: Grotto Wall Traverse, 3 pitch 5.8.
Rock Climbing Photo: The airy 3rd pitch.
The airy 3rd pitch.

Comments on Grotto Wall Traverse Add Comment
Show which comments
By Rob Scrivner
From: Denver
Aug 18, 2014

What a fun route. We went ahead and tried the first pitch, and sure enough it was "forgettable" as mentioned. Just skip it, walk out on the easy slab and find a good belay ledge lower down than you'd expect. Look for a nice easy chimney with some good hand-sized placements. We built our anchor in a totally wrong place, and when I started up P2, I was clipping bolts on what I believe to be Stand By Your Van. Someone else had already bailed from one of those bolts, so I threaded their quicklink, came back down, and found the right way.

P2 was a blast. Fun jamming, and an easy to protect traverse.

P3 was the definite crux pitch but absolutely phenomenal climbing. Big, scary moves on good terrain takes you to a fantastic little hand/finger crack with fun jamming. Another cool traverse takes you to one last awesome crack then the summit.

Really easy, basic descent to the west. Two 70m ropes would probably get you down from the chains, but the drag would be pretty miserable I imagine.
By Nick Wilder
Site Landlord
From: The Bubble
Sep 27, 2015

The third pitch is just superb. And beautiful.

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