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YDS: 5.12b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6b

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 50'
Original:  YDS: 5.12b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6b [details]
FA: Gordon Douglass, Mindy Shulak
Page Views: 4,098
Submitted By: richard magill on Jan 1, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (41)
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Thomas Holmes working on getting established in th...

Located in a National Forest Fee Area MORE INFO >>>


If I were to list off a handful of the top middle 5.12 sport routes I've ever done, the list would probably start out something like this:- Rifle's "Pretty Hate Machine"- Cal Dome's "Ginsu"- VRG's "Mentor"- Cave Rock's "Fire in the Hole"- AF's "Helix"

Strong enough endorsement?

Anyway, if you find the Black Magic cave, you can't miss Helix.It starts on the left side of the cave and spirals up into a hole.Great fun!


6 or 7 bolts to anchors

Photos of Helix Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Single digit weather for the new years day send.
Single digit weather for the new years day send.
Rock Climbing Photo: What a fun route!
What a fun route!
Rock Climbing Photo: In the good hole and onto the underclings
In the good hole and onto the underclings
Rock Climbing Photo: Resting on the slab before the steep cave business...
Resting on the slab before the steep cave business...
Rock Climbing Photo: Court yarding off the flake to lunge for the hole
Court yarding off the flake to lunge for the hole
Rock Climbing Photo: Clark, transitioning to the center of the cave. (N...
Clark, transitioning to the center of the cave. (N...

Comments on Helix Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 25, 2017
By Neal Carroll
Oct 12, 2004
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

I STRONGLY disagree with the proposed quality of this route. It does not deserve to be included with the aforementioned group of my estimation. Truly an unpleasant undertaking.
By d-know
From: electric lady land
Jan 28, 2006
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

poo choss weird dirty
By Gordon Douglass
May 19, 2006

Neal - I did not know you did not like hand jamming that much. The Helix is a TOTAL classic!

Gordon Douglass
From: Winston-Salem, NC
Jul 20, 2010

Not chossy or dirty in the least. Great route.
By Flacker
From: Lander, WY
Aug 15, 2012

I disagree with all these comments, fun route (but not classic), no choss, dirt, or hand jams, but hand jugs and rope drag
By Thomas Holmes
From: Utah
Aug 15, 2012

There are two hand jams in the roof, if you place your feet correctly you can get a surprisingly good rest. This route is unique for sure, but not poor in quality. If your not well versed in different styles of climbing (not saying i am) I would imagine this route would give you trouble. I had to place double length draws on the first four bolts to avoid rope drag.

Slab, jugs, buckets, crimps, jams... and its steep.

Awesome climb.
By Mark SLC
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Sep 3, 2012

Amazing. Couple observations...the flake was a bit spooky. Wouldnt want to be yarding on if it comes down on the rope. Probably fine though. As for the route- 12b? We found this stout. Getting off the flake - even on the dog, even to make the next clip and hit the roof pocket- was pretty damn tough and a huge move. My partner who is shorter and stronger couldn't even make the move. Maybe something broke here or we just botched the sequence. Or we just need to get stronger. At any rate I think most 12b leaders will find this a tough tick. Pretty pumpy to boot.

All in all, the most unique and one of the best routes in the canyon- if not anywhere for sport. The rock looks like a choss fest, but isn't. Plenty clean. And yeah I could see how someone who can't jam would probably not be a happy camper
By dbrown
Sep 4, 2012
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

Great climb! Like Thomas said if you hand jam there's a rest before the move to the hole. Tape gloves help. I've done the climb with hand jamming and without, but when there's a beautiful hand jam in the middle of a roof... you just gotta use it!
By nathan williamson
Apr 30, 2013

Fixed gear was as old as me. We put up a few new draws. Great classic route.
By Halley13
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 8, 2013

When else have you gotten to spiral your way through jugs in a steep cave? This route is just plain FUN! Classic or not, this route is worth the burn.
By Spencer Weiler
From: Salt Lake city
Sep 14, 2013

Spectacular. As good a sport route as any I've done, certainly the most unique. Hand jams are everywhere. in the flake, in the hole, in the lieback pockets at the end, then a double toe hook to clip the chains. Francis and Crick would be proud.
By Leify Guy
Jul 29, 2014
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

I think the term "ultra classic" is a perfect description of this awesome route!
By Matt Reeves
From: Orem Ut
Sep 22, 2015

I have got on this climb a few times and it is a little above my pay grade but I still think it is an ultra-classic. At my job at Mountaniworks I have met 3 different people who de-sheathed their rope on old fixed draws. Even though this climb is a project for another day for me I decided to try to make it better for the rest of the guys. Today I replaced every fixed draw on the Helix Route with Petzl DJINN STEEL AXESS draws. Steel should last a long time and the gate is aluminum so they still clip like champs. Enjoy, all those that climb harder grades than me.
By Tristan Mayfield
From: SLC, UT
May 2, 2016
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

Awesome route! If you're worried about the drag, skip the 8th and 10th draws to clip the chains. They're really close together anyway and a fall would just swing you out into space.
By Matthew Colemere
From: Alpine, Utah
May 30, 2017
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

Finally sent this thing after a good amount of tries. Such a unique route with some awesome movement, especially through the crux. Thanks to Matt Reeves for the fixed Djinn draws, they are great and inspire a lot more confidence than the older draws.
My favorite route up the canyon, and I think every AF climber should give this thing a try at least once because it's one of a kind! Super classic.
By Lee Robinson
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 25, 2017

I think it may be the hardest 12b Ive ever been on, grade seemed sandbagged. I also didn't think its even in the top 50 for best routes at AF. It was cool the shape it takes. If you don't hand jam at the crux the move was harder than 12d. In my humble opinion anyway.
I wished we had used our time to climb at billboard.

The approach beta is way off now too theres no log jam and we didn't see any pipe crossing upstream. Park about 100 feet up the road from where the road goes over the stream and cross the creek to the trail.

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