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Hourglass Diversion 

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

Type:  Trad, 5 pitches, 650', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Jorge and Joanne Urioste, John Rosholt 1978
Page Views: 3,232
Submitted By: Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi? on Apr 1, 2006

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BETA PHOTO: Hourglass Diversion. Belays marked.

RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone in Red Rocks is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. MORE INFO >>>


An awesome and exciting climb, with beautiful views of Juniper Canyon, especially Rainbow Wall!

Climbs the first two pitches of a climb called The Nightcrawler
(Jorge and Joanne Urioste route, FA, also in 1978).Pitches 3-5 are the climb Hourglass Diversion.

Pitch 1:
Climb up the low angle, broken up cracks on white rock. Protection scant on the initial moves, but climbing easy. Veer slightly left to catch a steeper crack. Follow the crack for a ways, then traverse about 8 feet left, to bolted anchor. (below the obvious varnished wide crack and chimney)165ft.

Pitch 2:
Climb and wiggle up the stellar chimney (you will find intermittent protection opportunities in the deep corner of the chimney). Climb up to a right facing corner to bolted anchor. 140ft.

Pitch 3:
Traverse right on a low angle ramp to the base of a thin, steep crack. No fixed anchor. 80 Ft.

Pitch 4:
Climb up the thin crack. Protects well. Watch out for hollow flakes. No fixed anchor. 80 Ft.

Pitch 5 and Pitch 6.
Climb the continuing crack system on varied climbing to the top. No fixed anchor. 270 feet. 5.8

From top of the route, hike and 3rd class up a bit, then head left to eventually end up at the Gunsight Notch descent.


Approach as to Brownstone Wall.

Note: See beta photo by George Bell of Brownstone Wall.
Also see Gunsight Notch descent beta photo on same page, by Larry DeAngelo.

Climb starts down and right of the distinctive Hourglass feature on Brownstone Wall on white rock.

Descend (walk-off) the Gunsight Notch descent.
From the top of the climb it took us approx. 15 minutes to reach the start of the Gunsight Notch descent, then another 20 minutes or so, to our packs, near the base of the climb.

The Gunsight Notch descent is a blast in itself! There's a rap anchor (chock-stone) about two thirds of the way down, but you can do an easy butt slide down the hole instead. I suppose if there is more water flowing down, then you'd want to rap to avoid getting soaked in the hole and/or doing a "Slip-n-Slide."


We used a standard rack to a #3 Cam. , but I noticed a couple of spots where bigger pieces would be handy.
Bring a good selection of nuts and
plenty of long runners.

Photos of Hourglass Diversion Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Brett leading pitch 3.
Brett leading pitch 3.
Rock Climbing Photo: Note the distinctive Hourglass feature on Brownsto...
Note the distinctive Hourglass feature on Brownsto...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jonny nearing the anchors atop pitch 2, after lead...
Jonny nearing the anchors atop pitch 2, after lead...

Comments on Hourglass Diversion Add Comment
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By Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi?
From: Vegas
Apr 2, 2006

If there are any 5.10 leaders in your party, their eyes might light up when they see the beautiful blank looking, varnished face with some bolts on it,directly above the bolted anchor atop P-2. This starts the third pitch of The Nightcrawler.
Of course, my eyes quickly averted to the 5.4 ramp. Can't help it, it's the hiker in me: take the path of least resistance.
(Maybe if you climb The Nightcrawler 5.10B, you can write a nice description on it?? Pretty please, with a cherry, I mean, bolted crux on top.)
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Oct 3, 2008
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

be aware that there is a fair amount of loose rock on the crux pitch of this route- making it a bit more exciting than the grade would suggest. i didnt think it was hard 5.9, but a fresh 5.9 leader may not like the bad rock.

also, its better to not stop at 80' on pitch 4, but instead continue up to about 110' where there's a very nice ledge. this also allows you to finish the climb with one more pitch of 200' or so (maybe a few feet of simul-climbing, but nothing hard or scary).

also, the ramp is currently coated with a nice layer of bird crap that is unavoidable as you climb up it. nasty.
By JoeAllen
Mar 29, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

From the summit of Hourglass, there is a two bolt anchor 30' to the left. We rapped with double ropes 200' to the top of the Nightcrawler tower. If you have double ropes, there is no need to hike off.

We climbed The Night Crawler, rapped back to the top of pitch 2 and climbed Hourglass.
By Sherri Lewis
From: Sequim, WA
Oct 29, 2014

We really enjoyed this route and can't believe it sat for so long on the ticklist. Definitely will be repeating it now that we know how fun it is. It had exciting moves and interesting features throughout.

The crux pitch was a bit heady where the crack pinches down, forcing you to trust fragile face holds without gear for a short stretch, but the moves are there and you soon get back to crack goodness.

We combined the crux pitch with part of the next one, continuing up the finger crack to a comfortable ledge below a wide alcove. (Can't remember how long this combined pitch ended up being, but I am guessing no more than 150'?)

Breaking it up this way, you could do the remainder of the route in one long pitch with perhaps a few feet of simulclimbing, but we stopped at the base of the short 5.8 chimney to avoid rope drag. There is a nice little ledge right here with a bush you can anchor to. This last chimney is delightful finish to an overall great climb.

We had doubles up to #3, single #4, and single #5. A less conservative leader could go much lighter but we appreciated the larger gear, placing the #5 on P2 of Nightcrawler, the start of the crux pitch of Hourglass, and found another spot for it on the 5.8 pitch.

We opted for the Gunsight walkoff rather than carrying two ropes for rapping Nightcrawler. Finding the summit can be tricky if you are not familiar with the terrain at the top, as you have to traverse a few exposed ledges up and left and do about 100ft or so of 3rd class scrambling to gain the red ridge which connects to the white rock summit you see off in the distance up and left. Head towards the white sandstone summit, (you don't go all the way to the top of this) and follow cairns which wrap around it's shoulder leftward, then drop down to find the Gunsight Notch entrance under the large fallen tree trunk.

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