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Fifth Destiny, The S 
Fifth World, The T,S 
Free Willie S 
Geritol Generation T,TR 
Global Gorilla S 
Gull Whackers T 
Hands of Destiny S 
Hope and Pray T,S 
Is It Ready Yet...Moe S 
Isn't Life Strange S 
Joint Venture S 
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Nice To Be Here S 
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Reversal Roof S 
Ride My See-saw S 
Split Personality S 
Strange Times T,S 
Sundog S 
Talking Out Of Turn S 
Threshold Of A Dream S 
Triple Play T 
Tuesday Afternoon S 
Unfamiliar Strangers S 
We Don't Do Crack T 
Wine and Roses T 

Hands of Destiny 

YDS: 5.12d French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX ZA: 28 British: E6 6b

Type:  Sport, 2 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.13a French: 7c+ Ewbanks: 29 UIAA: IX+ ZA: 29 British: E6 6c [details]
FA: Bob Horan, 1987 (trad)
Page Views: 11,162
Submitted By: Sven Lavransen on Aug 26, 2001

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Bob Horan on 1st, trad ascent of Hands of Destiny.

Seasonal Closure MORE INFO >>>


This very excellent route permits you to climb in two pitches the very nice East face of the Animal World in Boulder Canyon. You may begin to climb by first getting up an easy ledge to the start of the climb. After only about 10 meters, there is the most difficult part to climb. After this, it is mostly 5.11 to arrive at the end of pitch number 1. The next section is very nice to climb at the 5.10 grade, and it has quite fine bolting for protection. For one whole week, I have trained for this route using the 4-plan. For me, to climb Hands of Destiny was to climb one of the best routes in Boulder Canyon.

This was originally climbed traditionally. It was retrobolted by Bob Horan who also added a second pitch.


This route requires that you carry many quick draws but it is not useful to carry any removable protection. We use two ropes in order to rappel from the top.

Photos of Hands of Destiny Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down on Hands of Destiny's three head wall...
Looking down on Hands of Destiny's three head wall...
Rock Climbing Photo: Mark getting the job done.
Mark getting the job done.
Rock Climbing Photo: BH, lycra clad and trad on Hands of Destiny.
BH, lycra clad and trad on Hands of Destiny.

Comments on Hands of Destiny Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Feb 8, 2017
By Sven Lavransen
Aug 28, 2001

This route, The Hands of Destiny, has given me a great satisfaction for the flash. We spent one week climbing in Boulder Canyon in order to prepare for this climb. Hands of Destiny was to be a good target for the preparation because it is of very good design. One can approach the difficult section with not very hard moves and so be rested before starting this part. After only 3 meters the difficulty comes again to only 5.11 (6c+) and does not again become more difficult. Our preparation allowed us to try many good climbs in Boulder Canyon, and many of these were very excellent routes. For my climbing, I feel that Hands of Destiny was the most special route of all. Our 4-plan was good, our preparation was well, The Hands of Destiny was a very excellent and nice climbing route.
By Anonymous Coward
Aug 28, 2001

Hey Sven, this isn't a forum for you to spray about every flash you do. We know you are a great climber, and Boulder standards are low. No need to keep telling us about it.
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Aug 29, 2001

Yeah, Sven, at least take a clue from the rest of us and make a nominal effort to disguise your spray as meaningful advice about the climb!
By Sven Lavransen
Aug 29, 2001

I see my American colleagues are fast to anger. Perhaps you should not have so much anger for my success as you should ask how much I must fail to reach my goal! With my friends in Bergen we train very hard to make the flash because we feel it is the best measurement for our climbing skill. So please do not take the offense for my success, I have had to climb so many routes for each one.
By Sven Lavransen
Aug 30, 2001

My thanks to Alan for his kind words. My goal has not been to "spray" for my own glory but to show how hard we must work to succeed with these very nice climbs that we have done in Colorado. It is pleasing to succeed on these very excellent climbing routes.
By Chris Archer
Sep 25, 2001
rating: 5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b

Good job. What's the 4-plan?
By Sven Lavransen
Sep 25, 2001

This plan is nothing. It just how my friends in Bergen and I train for the flash. For many years we feel that the flash is the best way to show that we are improved in climbing. For us to flash this takes a plan and a strategy that we call 4-plan because it is based on 4 routes taken 4 times. For illustration I can use Hands of Destiny. We pick this route to be the goal for the flash because it is a quite nice route. We train by climbing 4 routes of nearly the same level and on the same type of climbing rocks. These are not tried to flash but only to red point. When 4 are done we try the flash route where the goal is now to flash. If we do this 4 times then we go to the next higher level. If we fail in the flash then it is necessary to try again on a new choice. We feel that if we must change the climbing rocks, then it is likely to need to begin the 4-plan from the start. All of this is only so that we may focus the training and not to drift too much from the goal to improve. Some of my climbing partners can make the red point at the 5.14 grade but this needs many tries and many failures and we think that to flash is maybe a improved way to measure our success. In the last week after a long trip to Utah and to Rifle in Colorado we came back to Boulder for another training but I think many climbers in US do not want to hear this.
By Sven Lavransen
Oct 15, 2001

So to be for the flashing most ready, climb if you can the 4 routes of the most similarity. And on the route not falling the moves is best. So for Vogue flash I do 4 14a flash after 4 13d flash redpoints!
By Sven Lavransen
Oct 16, 2001

The comment next to last was not my own. Perhaps it has been unwise to share my experience on this site. Many of the climbers in the US are very hostile to other climbers (not just myself!). Soon I am to return to my job in Bergen where I teach skiing, and I will remember my good experiences climbing in Boulder. I think it is sad that so many climbers in the US do not so much enjoy the climbing as they enjoy feeling good to be better than other climbers. In Europe, where we have very many good climbers, there is more enjoyment of the climbing sport so this has been a big surprise for me in US. Perhaps more of my US friends will learn to take pleasure in the climbing sport, then everyone will feel welcome here.
By Anonymous Coward
Oct 17, 2001

Dear Sven, I think what American climbers got annoyed with is the selective nature of routes that you profiled, which all appeared to be flashes. Perhaps if you had added routes which you had more trouble on or were able to supply more helpful information than "quite fine bolting" or "short crux", people would not take offense. It's not that American climbers hate climbing, they hate what is called "spray," the gratuitous offering of info designed to make the sprayer look good. Describing a route has nothing to do with whether you flashed it and that news is of no help to someone who wants to know about the climb. It has nothing to do with where "there is more enjoyment of the climbing sport" but a lot to do with perceived attitudes and how you clearly wanted to talk only about flashed routes. I for one would be more impressed with descriptions of harder routes which require larger commitments of time and energy to succeed on. All that said, flashing Rainbow Wall is impressive. Best wishes, A. Coward
By Richard M. Wright
From: Lakewood, CO
Oct 17, 2001
rating: 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c

Bob D"Antonio makes an important point here and one that came up for me while climbing in California during the last three weeks. We ran into a visiting gang of hardcore Brits who were very much aware of and spent some time contrasting it with the web site What I took away from their comments was the degree to which what we write here becomes visible throughout the world. In other words our comments have become very public. For that reason, I would suggest that if you write it here comments and route descriptions should contain information and ideas that you are willing to have placed in the public view. Think twice before adding spray, sniping, and vituperative dissing of other climbers.
By Fred Knapp
Jul 15, 2002

13a? Dream on. This is a great route. But let's be real--it's probably 12c in bad conditions. --Fred Knapp
By Willie Mein
Sep 3, 2002

Here is some additional info that some may find useful (regarding the route) that has nothing to do with Sven.

A 60m (200ft) rope will allow one to lower off or rappel off the 1st pitch anchors. A 50m rope won't make it to the ground. However, it would be possible to lower/rap to the anchors of Animal Instinct on the right and rap off those rings with a 50m cord.

The first bolt is about 25 ft off the ground. One can protect the easy 5.8 loose block intro without additional rope drag with a cam (1.5-2 Friend) and a long (1.5 shoulder length) sling. Although this is not necessary, I prefer to minimize the risks when possible.

After the blocky start, this route is very well bolted with easy clips. There is also some additional fixed gear that is helpful when working the moves or just hanging the draws. Hands of Destiny is excellent, with great 5.11 climbing, despite the crimp fest crux.
By Chris Lee
Dec 1, 2002

Maybe I really suck, but I think a hold has been broken. I was up there recently and it was really hard to clip the third bolt. Anyone got any info? I could see a scar where a longish hold might have been to the right of the third bolt. The only hold there is now is a pinch above the bolt.
By Rui Ferreira
From: Longmont, CO
Jul 2, 2003
rating: 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c

Hands of Destiny is still intact, perhaps the broken hold above the third bolt is on the new route to the left of Hands of Destiny. This new route is still "shedding".
By Anonymous Coward
Oct 13, 2003

I agree with Fred Knapp. There is no way this route is 13a. No move is harder than 12c, and it's not at all sustained. It is a very good route though.
By David Benson
Nov 16, 2003
rating: 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b

Great line, but I'm amazed that three different guidebook authors grade it so dramatically different. Hate to say it, but this is much closer to 12c than 13a.
By Joe Collins
Mar 17, 2004
rating: 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b

I think the Rolofson rating of "12c/d" is about right on. The "c/d" for the height dependent nature of several moves in the crux section. Don't think you have this climb in the bag if you get through the lower section... the top seam/slab is tricky and hard.
By D. Rivers
May 3, 2004

Hands of Destiny was rated 13 a/b in Rossiter's Boulder Climbs North. He lists the gear then as small stoppers, TCUs plus four pins. Just maybe it felt a little harder placing gear than it does now with all them safety clips.
By George Squibb
From: Boulder, CO
May 5, 2008
rating: 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b

Onsight and hanging the draws it felt closer to 12d to me (I can't really climb slabs anymore - too much time in the gym - so I had to try a little). Though not very hard, it's sort of challenging to put the puzzle together onsight. The final slab is desperate: no chalk, licheny, and I had to use my feet - thought I might blow it there! A little scary getting to the 1st bolt too...good route for BoCan.
By Aeon Aki
Dec 6, 2010
rating: 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b

Great position, solid rock, and varied movement with technical and mental cruxes. Don't cut yourself short by traversing right to the Animal Instinct chains, it's not over! Some rope work would need to be done to manage the rope drag if trying to link all the way to the top but you get pretty good value after finishing P1. Classic Boulder Canyon sport climbing!
By Curt MacNeill
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 10, 2012

This climb is rad! Tried it a year ago and could never figure out the crux despite sending many other climbs of higher difficulty. Just returned and figured out the crux sequence in a few minutes. Pretty thin and devious face climbing with a techy crux. My advice to everyone is to do this climb when it's cloudy and cold. This wall bakes in the sun all day and is extremely hard to do when it's greasy. The crux won't even feel possible if it's hot, perhaps why I could never send it in the past. Great route, though! Don't cheat yourself by stepping out right and clipping the chains of Animal Instinct like some people do. The climb ain't over til the fat lady sings! The slab up top demands your attention. Do it and smile the whole way, the face climbing on this route is some of the best I have been on. Brilliant!
By ethan climbs
Apr 15, 2015

If you were climbing this route on the evening of 4/11 and left something behind, I grabbed it. Send me a message letting me know what it is that you lost, and I can get it back to you.
By Jack Sparrow
From: denver, co
Feb 8, 2017
rating: 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b

This is one of the premier lines of Boulder Canyon. A true face climbing granite testpiece. I've climbed a lot in Bo Can, and I feel like Hands of Destiny is what it's all about for Bo Can rock climbing.

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