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Helm's Deep 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Sport, 85'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Jon Stewart, Mark Deffenbaugh, Kevin Rauch
Page Views: 2,864
Submitted By: Toby Butterfield on Sep 12, 2010

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BETA PHOTO: There are more bolts and an anchor higher up, not ...


Pretty sustained, somewhat pumpy and not terribly technical, this route is a good way to get the blood flowing and get warmed up for the rest of your day.

The classic way to start this route is to simply step out over the gap from the comfortable belay ledge to the wall and start climbing, but if you screw it up you'll fall on the horrible impaling tree stump six feet down. If that seems too sketchy you can always start to the left and traverse to the first bolt.

If I had to pick out a crux I'd say it's between the second and third bolts, but frankly it's all pretty similar. Good rail-pulls the whole way up and a very slight overhang make for a solid, sustained route.


Look for a line of bolts above a gap between the wall and the rock promontory--that's Helm's Deep.



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Rock Climbing Photo: Helm's Deep
BETA PHOTO: Helm's Deep

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By Eric Schnepel
From: Portland
Feb 4, 2011

Solid warm-up. Purple and gold BDs fit perfectly in a couple horizontal slots between the 4th and 5th bolt. The gold is almost unnecessary however, as it is placed within 1 or 2 moves of a bolt. Wouldn't be terrible to lead this without gear if you are solid at the grade.
By Colin Parker
From: Idyllwild, CA
Apr 22, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I felt this route goes comfortably with just the BD .5 in the obvious horizontal b/w bolts 4 and 5. In addition, you can start the route from the ground below the step across. There are a few sidepull flakes that help you get started and then you can traverse left to the first bolt. As for the crux, there's a bouldery move near the 2nd bolt that is the greatest challenge for most people, especially those with limited reach.
By another Chad
May 13, 2014

Great route description. Never have placed gear on it either but if the grade is near your limit then it might be worthwhile.

By Micah Klesick
From: Vancouver, WA
Jun 28, 2014
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

FYI, the FA has added a bolt to the runout between bolts 4-5 where gear would have been placed. Again, this bolt was added by the FA.
By Topher Dabrowski
Apr 14, 2015
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

A nice ring jam works well through the crux.
Take note that you are belaying from a narrow pedestal and not on the ground level.
By Mitch Jacky
From: Portland, OR
Dec 13, 2015
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

I am amazed that I haven't fallen off the ledge into the crack or down the hill. It's only a matter of time before someone does...

That being said, this is a phenomenal climb though it is a bit heady for a 5.9. Lots of rests and good movement make for an enjoyable route.

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