REI Community
Jabba Buttress
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Better Eat Yo Wheaties  S 
Blue Light Special T 
Bush & Dirt Crack aka Pseudo-Cenotaph aka I Need a Shower T 
Dune  S 
Face To Nowhere T 
For Better Or For Worse S 
I Need a Batholith S 
In Mesopotamia T 
Jabba the Hutt Levitates T 
Odale'! S 
Offwidth Crack T 
Pale Skinned Nebraskan (submitted as (Enter) Sandman) S 
Steve Likes Offwidth T 
Three Open Books T 

I Need a Batholith 

YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 70'
Original:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Skyeler Congdon and Sam Feuerborn
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 2,837
Submitted By: Skyeler Congdon on Dec 14, 2010

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (14)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [3 people like this page.]
The sunset moments after the FA.


Boulder up the blunt arete aiming for a U-shaped hold, clip a bolt, and mantle onto the sloping ledge. Clip three more bolts where the arete steepens. After the forth bolt, make a committing move straight up and stay on the arete (the further from the last bolt the easier it gets).

The third bolt looks worse than it actually is. There are amazing jugs that make the clip a lot easier than you think it will be.


This is left of Three Open Books by 10 feet.


5 bolts.

Photos of I Need a Batholith Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: I Need a Batholith.
BETA PHOTO: I Need a Batholith.

Comments on I Need a Batholith Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 15, 2016
By Skyeler Congdon
From: his van
Apr 12, 2011

This route is still waiting for a second ascent! Plus, it has yet to see a pure, ground up ascent.

I'd really like to hear what the Durangatangs think of this route. I thought it was great fun but definitely a heady lead.

I'm considering adding a bolt (or two) to this line, despite the ethical leanings of some of you. But something tells me the peanut gallery that threw a fit over the Black Arete won't mind as much if this route got retrobolted. It's pretty easy to be "bold" at the 5.8 grade.

Also, I originally rated this 10d, but it may be a sandbag. Be great to get a second opinion.
By Tim Kuss
From: Durango, CO
Apr 13, 2011
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

Hey, I did this route today and had a good time. I toproped it many years ago and decided against the work/expense. But clipping your bolts, I found it to be worthy.

I would add a bolt at the start, even though it's easy, just to mark the route. And I would add a bolt at the finish, if you want people to ever do the route. With all the lichen (get's wet), the rock will always be a little soft and dirty, so the it's likely that holds could break. Some pro is nice in that case. No comparison to The Black Arete, which is slightly more iconic.

In my opinion, if you rap bolt a route(assumption), you should make a sport route, not a trad route. Pre-inspected runouts are bogus.

I thought it was 5.10. Hard to tell on a solo rig sometimes with the extra hassle of the self belay.

I need a batholith is a way better name, too.
By Skyeler Congdon
From: his van
Apr 14, 2011

Thanks for the comment and insights, Tim. After getting on it again for the second time, I agree that a bolt above and below the three already drilled would be nice, it would definitely make the route more accessible.

Sam and I had hoped to drill the bolts on lead, but it would have been so sketchy there would've been no point in clipping anything! But I agree that drilling from lead is badass.

Tim, do you remember what you told me when you walked up during the FA of Martyr's Crown? I suggested adding a bolt to the upper runnout, and you said "Too late, the FA is already done" (paraphrase). Maybe you were being slightly sarcastic? At any rate, I took it seriously, and Martyr's Crown remains an extremely heady, maybe even dangerous lead.

Since we are not following "rules" when we establish routes but rather developing routes based on our personal ethical beliefs and preferences on style, on both routes I have tried to limit the number of bolts a) because in my experience climbing at East A is fucking scary - at any grade, and b) because I value the headspace needed to run shit out. Mostly though, I believe that bolts should placed at a bare minimum to make a route safe (i.e. a bolt at the crux)

Why are pre-inspected runnouts bogus? Is the Prophet bogus or any other FFA on El Cap? Or Air City, Black Sheep, and other hard routes in the black that were worked on TR? I would encourage future strong climbers to improve upon my style by leading both of these routes on-sight, but climbers have the option to TR first if they so choose.

Well that was maybe a little too long-winded. What can I say, I like these ethical discussions. It's better than back when we use to just talk shit on these pages...;)
By Tim Kuss
From: Durango, CO
Apr 14, 2011
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

Yeah, that was a totally sarcastic comment as we had just been through the awesome Contortionist debate. I still haven't done Martyr's Crown, so I can't say much about how the runouts feel to me. I did boulder up to the first bolt and back down-that was cool. If you think it needs more bolts, that's up to you.

Your values, when it comes to the mental aspect of scary routes, are much like my own. But climbing has become so diverse in that different segments of people have different points of view. That's why these debates are so interesting. I like hearing those points, and my ethics are always evolving.

Pre-inspected runouts are bogus because a first ascentionist shouldn't expect people to onsight (with the associated risk) what you have "cheated" on. Sure they can go toprope it first, but that's far less than ideal. Once someone climbs the route onsight, that's the FA. Leo Houlding totally copped out on The Prophet. He went aganist his ideal of the ground up ascent. If they had spent a few more years on it, maybe they would have got a legit ascent. By going to the top for recon, they admitted that the route was too hard for them. These are all professional climbers who have to produce something like a magazine article.

Or they just got sick of the time and (mental) energy involved. That's exactly why sport climbs came to be.

So I Need a Batholithstill awaits a "pure" ascent as you posted earlier. I lead it yesterday, but I tainted it by toproping it many years ago. It's all shades of gray. It's all theory and idealism.

I've done tons of headpointing. It's for my personal satisfaction. I try not to do FAs in that style anymore though. But if I do a runout route on lead, everyone else has to match my style. It's much more cut and dried that way.

In the end, you make the route like you want it. As time goes on, and more people do the route onsight, the pre-inspection style becomes less and less of a consideration.

Talk about long winded....
By Tim Kuss
From: Durango, CO
Apr 15, 2011
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

So, I came up with some specific examples to more sharply illustrate my point of view:
When I was climbing this route the other day, I got to a point a bit past the third bolt, where I stood on one foot for quite some time- kinda scared and wonderin' what to do. This is a stance where a guy drilling on lead would naturally have fired in a bolt (I sure wanted one, just then).

But alas, the decision was made whilst hanging on a rope, thus creating an artificial runout. So, now, as long as we're making things artificial, why not rat-a-tat a groovy sport route that a thousand dorks from Fort Lewis can thrash up?

Weee! Then they can help themselves to the 'biners you've so generously left at the anchor, for the convenient lowering goodness of the community. And they'll be all "Yeah, ya know that .11a over by Three Open Books? Such a cool route, dude. I think Sam and Skyeler put it up. It was sick!"

There's more great examples up at Lemon: I think it's one of the harder routes there- yer sport climbin', clippin' bolts, but then it gets kinda run-out, and yer passin' all these nice stances, but no bolt! Yer just going "What a shitty route, there's no reason for these runouts! The fukin' guy was hangin' on a rope fer Chris' sake, coulda fired in tons of bolts, but no, I gotta be here climbin' this thing all scared, freakin' out on a sport route fer shet's sake! What a cheap bastard! What the fek is that asshol tryin' to prove?"

Where if a dude had lead the dam thing, you'd be like "This dude was mofekin' badass, what a great route, I'm gonna try an' be bad like Bachar! Yeah!" And you'd rock it out and be proud.

So, like I said before: more bolts = more popular. As it is now, it might be in danger of falling into obscurity. But who knows? We could hype it up on MP, Durango Sandstone, maybe get fome famous hot chick to climb it, take pictures, send in the article to Rock & Ice, Climbing Mag...might get a few more takers?

All kidding aside, man, it's cool like it is and it'll be cool with more bolts. Word.
By Skyeler Congdon
From: his van
Apr 16, 2011

You make good points, Tim, and I should put it out there that I'm not opposed to this route getting more bolts (but secretly think it would be lame ;) haha.

Sam and I ran up there at 1pm in mid-December hoping to put the route up before sunset. We weren't trying to put up a 'death route,' but also we didn't have much time since we drilled by hand. We spent a lot of time discussing where to put bolts to produce the bare minimum of safety. By the time the third bolt was finished, the sun was setting. So we roped up quick and sent it, but it was dark by the time Sam tried to lead it.

Does this thing really need more bolts? Probably, but it would be nice to hear more opinions. I think that if you've put your time in at Sailing Hawks climbing highballs and you've led routes like Stoneage Struggle, Betty, Dogs of Doom etc., then this route would be a logical next step.

About the "artificial run-out:" Yes, I see how that could be frowned on, and how some climbers would be upset at dealing with a run-out I "cheated on." I don't necessarily think I cheated, since I didn't even know if or how the crux would go (with a bolt below my feet).

But here is my point: I wish I could have attempted an on-sight of this route. I would be psyched. As the route developer, I lost the chance to get a true on-sight, but consider it a gift to future climbers. Is that delusional? Maybe, but there are a few of us around who prefer proud leads- even if they are ethically questionable.

Leading this route as it stands today requires the same mental strength that leading the first pitch of Journey Home. JH is not for everyone, and neither is this route.

Maybe we can retro bolt it on lead....
By Tim Kuss
From: Durango, CO
Apr 18, 2011
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

For the sake of keeping out conversation going, and for the record:
Stoneage Struggle- hand drilled from stances starting at the bottom.
Betty - hand drilled, on lead.
Dogs of Doom - led ground-up, no bolts.
Journey Home - started at top, hike down gully, led from bottom.
All are examples of trad routes, done in traditional style, as opposed to a sport route which is typically drilled on rap and well protected.

I don't think most people care about the "artificial" runout. They will either appreciate the challenge (I did), or they won't. And for sure, any additional routes at our nearly climbed out areas are gifts. Perhaps it is a better route with a bit of spice. More opinions would be great.

By the way, that second bolt looks like a cheapo from the picture hanging department at City Market? I don't know but that wouldn't be a gift if someone snapped it and hit the deck.
By Xander Wyckoff
From: Tucsies
Apr 20, 2011

Hey, thanks for the new route, guys. I'm jazzed to get on it!
By Sam Feuerborn
Apr 21, 2011
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

Xander, you should get after it, man. I did it yesterday, and it was pretty rad. We added another bolt down low and hope to add another up high today (the hole is drilled). Still some run out up top but no ledge potential, and it's maybe 5.5.
By Skyeler Congdon
From: his van
Apr 22, 2011

The retrobolting is complete! The route now has a bolt protecting the start and the finish. The spacing of the bolts still adds a little excitement, but it is no longer sketch. As I stated in the description, the third bolt is scary looking, but so far no one who has led the route commenting on it being too far.

Tim, it's great hearing how the routes I mentioned were developed. I can't believe Betty was done ground up! That is fucking burly.

Betty was one of the first routes at East A I did, and I was pissed! I didn't know whether it was done ground up or top down, so I assumed whoever bolted it purposefully put a bolt AFTER the crux, thereby making it super sketch (maybe holds have broken?). I figured the FA'ist was a dick ;) Now I realize it was due to the ground up style of the FA.

I guess part of what got me into so much trouble with my development style, was mistakenly thinking that the bolting at East A was done to promote boldness, and not as a result of drilling from stances.

Take Barney's Crack for example: super classic line, but you climb some harrrd move before the first bolt, which is high. I don't own a stick clip (lame), so the onsight attempt was spicy. Now, I assume it was bolted on lead, but for all I know, it was drilled off a piece on the Squeeze, and made sketchy on purpose.

But either way, it still makes for a sketchy lead. When I look back at the climbs I've done here, its one sketchfest after another. So when we were deciding how to bolt Batholith (and Martyr's) I wanted to maintain that feeling in these new routes.

But by rap-bolting, we put bolts were they were absolutely necessary, to allow for runnouts on the easier terrain (the 5.10- climbing on Batholith, and the 5.11 climbing on Martyr's), but a bolt protecting the crux from a ground fall.

I got tons of shit for doing this:

and for the most part I agree. But I think there is still value in this approach since I didn't actually headpoint either of these routes. But I agree that it will be lame if people start "developing" routes by getting them ruthlessly dialed and then adding a insufficient number of bolts.

But on this route, Sam and I both onsighted/flashed the runnouts, while the middle section was TR'd once the week before to see if the rock was good.
By Tim Kuss
From: Durango, CO
Apr 22, 2011
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

You can not claim an "onsight" as you were able to pre-inspect certain/any holds as you rapped on past. Any form of toprope pre-inspection or prior knowledge is a "redpoint" or if dangerous/runout moves are present it is a "headpoint", especially if rehearsed. Kinda my definitions anyway.

Some of the bolts used are not 5 piece Rawls or Petzl. I'd like to know what they are?

By the way, you can clip the first bolt on Betty before doing the crux. Ya jus' gotta figure that move out.

Also, the first bolt on Barney's Crack was drilled whilst standing on that little edge. It is a no hands stance. It was one of the first routes I led with my new power drill. I didn't consider it sketchy. I noticed you gave Barney's Crack three stars (super classic?) and this route four stars. Really? It's like 25 feet of climbing. Is it really as good as Durangotan, Watch Crystal, any other route at East A?
By Sam Feuerborn
Apr 22, 2011
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

Tim, quit being such negative Nancy, go lead the route. Enjoy it or not, but the horse is dead.
By knowbuddy Buddy
Apr 22, 2011

Fun route! This was the first time I had climbed it, and I thought it was still heady even with the new bolt up top. Mostly it is because the lichen was scraping off under my feet above the fourth bolt and it's not the most comfortable stance. My buddy and I both put it up today and thought that it was a lot of fun and will more than likely get on it again soon. The new bolts will definitely encourage more people to get on it and enjoy it.
By Skyeler Congdon
From: his van
Apr 24, 2011

Tim, you're right, LOOKING at the holds in the runouts definitely blew the on-SIGHT!! Actually, technically it was a "brownpoint", since I pooped my pants a little bit above the crux...I think Sam managed a "clean" ascent...haha.

And no, this climb is not 4 stars. I'm guilty of over-hyping my routes (you would really like The Icarus Line...). You busted me. But when compared to the other 5.10 sport routes, I think 3 stars is legit. Just my opinion as a biased rap-bolter.

And about the bolts: almost all are 3/8" x 3 1/2" 5-piece Rawls. The first bolt on Martyr's Crown, and I think the one in question on this route is made by Fixe:

I didn't mean any disrespect in bringing up Barney's Crack (which IS 4 stars, fo sho). The point I was trying to make was that it's not easy to tell which 12s were done ground up and which were rap-bolted. Maybe if you are bored with all this rain, you may want to add to the guidebook or on here the FA histories, which I find super inspiring. The fact that Barney's and Pandora (and many more?) were done ground up is incredibly proud.
By Tim Kuss
From: Durango, CO
Apr 24, 2011
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

Hey Sam, sorry that is neg.nelly. You are absolutely entitled to your opinion. 'Cause that's all star ratings are. We all want other people to get on our routes. But Really? Or maybe you're talking about my critique of y'all's ignorance of climbing terminology- just callin' it like I see it, yo.

I soloed the route. I said I had a good time. This horse has been getting whipped and beaten since climbing began, and I think it will live a long and wretched life. Beating the horse is half the fun though, right?

See man, Knowbuddy thought it was cool. It will get tons more traffic now.

I didn't take your comments as disrespect, Skyeler. I've had other requests to include FA history, and I agree, sometimes knowing who and how the FA was done can be interesting/inspiring. I used to think it was a bunch of crap, solely to feed the ego of the FA party, so I never included it. Also, I'm incredibly lazy, and that would be a lot of extra work. Plus, I think the quality of the resultant route is more important than the FA style. I might give that a shot though.
By Kevin Hadfield
From: New Castle, CO
May 7, 2011

Onsight.... Mediocore.
By Nolan Robertson
May 15, 2016

I would not recommend for a beginning leader. Decent route once, I will stick with warming up on Dr. Doolittle, though.

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About