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Kama Sutra 

YDS: 5.10- French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 160'
Original:  YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Richard Rossiter, Serena Benson, 1998
Page Views: 2,518
Submitted By: Ivan Rezucha on Aug 29, 2004

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BETA PHOTO: Left side of Sleeping Beauty.

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  • Description 

    The is the best of the trad crack climbs at Sleeping Beauty. It would be 3 stars if cleaner, but as is it is cleaner than the other crack climbs here. Rossiter calls the initial ceiling 10d. It felt about 10b to us--perfect, straightforward jams. I had more trouble higher up at the wide spot that Rossiter calls 5.9.

    Start: At the left end of Ledge 2 is a "gap" in the ledge where you either have to traverse on the rock and squeeze behind a tree, or drop down about 8 feet and climb back up. Just left of this gap is a hand crack through the ceiling. This is the route. Just left of this the bolted Lightspeed climbs the same ceiling.

    P1. The climb: Climb the ceiling on perfect jams and gear. Easier climbing follows the crack to where it gets wide. Use the #3 Camalot here. I thought the wide section was quite hard. I did a couple of fist jams. My partners used various other techniques. Rossiter says you can, instead, move left at 10c and up a flared hand crack at 5.9. I considered that.... 55 feet.

    P2. Above the wide section, pass a small tree and then follow a very fun, thin, 8-ish crack that angles slightly left. There are lots of scoops, etc. for your feet, so it's more like face climbing with the crack for gear. The crack is slightly discontinuous, but there is good gear when you need it. There are quite a few grass tufts in the crack, but they do not detract from the climbing. At the top, when the angle eases way back, get a directional and angle left to the anchors on Aerial Boundaries and a comfortable belay. 100 or 120 feet.

    Descent: Two raps from bolts with rings with a single rope or a single rap with two ropes.


    Doubles from green Alien to #2 Camalot, single #3 Camalot and #3.5 (#4 Friend). Single set nuts to conserve your cams. 20 draws including some long slings should be plenty. Tape or crack gloves optional for the bottom third of the climb.

    Photos of Kama Sutra Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Jonathan surmounting the pain of a bloodied thumb ...
    Jonathan surmounting the pain of a bloodied thumb ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Armin whooping it up linking the pitches.
    Armin whooping it up linking the pitches.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Pebby at work on Kama Sutra...before the flood.
    Pebby at work on Kama Sutra...before the flood.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Joan Johns retreats from Kama Sutra in yet another...
    Joan Johns retreats from Kama Sutra in yet another...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Kama Sutra from below.
    BETA PHOTO: Kama Sutra from below.

    Comments on Kama Sutra Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 8, 2015
    By Ron Olsen
    From: Boulder, CO
    Sep 12, 2004
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

    A long, excellent crack climb. A few burly hand jams through the roof, and an awkward wide section a little higher were the main difficulties. My partners with smaller hands (and shorter reach) found the roof difficult. The long, angling finger crack at the top was also fun.

    You can rappel with two ropes back to the ledge at the start. Rappel straight down Aerial Boundaries; don't angle the rappel back toward the start of the climb, or you risk getting a rope stuck on a ledge with loose blocks after you pull it.
    By brent pohlmann
    From: San Francisco, CA
    Sep 14, 2004

    Just make sure when you throw a rope over the edge of a cliff, you let the climbers below you know that a rope is coming...i.e. yell "ROPE!" , and maybe wait a few questions for a "CLEAR!".....even if you think no one is below you.
    By S. Kimball
    Sep 30, 2004

    After the many happy hands and feet that have scrapped up this fine climb; we can safely say this is barely 5.10, including the traverse left to avoid the angry wide section.
    By Pebby Johns
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    Aug 29, 2006

    There has been extensive work done recently on this spectacular crack. Along with the trail work to the approach being done, there are now new anchors at the tops of the first and second pitches. The new anchors on the first pitch are even with the anchors on Lightspeed. This pitch is about 75 ft. long. The finger crack on the left has also been cleaned (again) and offers an excellent alternative to the off-width. The second pitch has been cleaned to open the crack for solid jams and placements. This pitch is about 100 ft. long. The route is high quality in excellent rock and deserved the attention given to it over the last couple of weeks (inspite of the adverse weather conditions at times). Kama Sutra is wholly deserving of three stars !!!
    Pebby Johns
    By Ben Collett
    Sep 19, 2006

    It seems that there is a 3rd variant. Realizing that my rack would not afford me any protection in the wide section, I traversed right past a lone bolt just below it and up a crack on the right. It was quite fun, well protected and not too dirty.
    By Ron Olsen
    From: Boulder, CO
    Sep 19, 2006
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b


    The variant you did is a new route by Richard Rossiter and Pebby Johns called The Tree of Life.
    By Ivan Rezucha
    From: Fort Collins, CO
    Oct 1, 2006

    Why cut the tree down to place the new convenience anchors at the top of P1? The tree is clearly visible in Ron's beta photo. What remains now is a 6" stump, 4-6" in diameter. I assume it was cut to make pulling the rope easier, but as there is another descent that has worked just fine for the 8 years this climb has existed, the tree should not have been chopped.
    By Richard Rossiter
    Oct 4, 2006
    rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

    "Assumption is the mother of all fuck ups." Wisdom from PULP FICTION.

    This 4-foot-tall tree was removed because it was totally in your face at the top of the off-width, totally wrapped around you at the only possible belay and was being slowly destroyed by people belaying and climbing the second pitch. I could not stand to see the slow mutilation of this ill-fated Douglas fir. Perhaps you can think of it as a mercy killing. For the record, I dearly love trees. THE MEMORY OF TREES. THE TREE OF LIFE.

    In their own way, trees are better things than any animal or human that ever walked the face of the earth. When is the last time you were attacked or robbed by a tree? Do you have locks on your doors because trees exist?
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Jul 11, 2008
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    I'll have to second Ivan's thoughts here. The bottom felt 10a at hardest, and Pretty solid- I placed gear expecting hard moves, tehn just cruised it. But then I got higher to the wider section and slowed down quite considerably- fighting in and out of the back of that crack for fist-jams. I walked the #3 camalot up because I didn't have anything else bigger than hands with me. One move Felt like 5.9 up there.

    If I were to do the climb again, I'd take cams from 1/2" to 4" (one each) and a double set of stoppers- this thing EATS large stoppers and I only had 1 set.
    By Alison Conrad
    Aug 25, 2009

    I give this route 5.9. Bottom part was not 5.10d- cruiser hands. The upper wider part was a bit trickier that warrants a 5.9 rating. Fun and well protected. Not as grungy as it looks.
    By Timothy
    From: Fort Collins, Colorado
    Sep 5, 2012

    Soft. 5.9. locker hand jams down low though
    By claytown
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jun 26, 2013
    rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

    A good climb overall and a great crack climb by Boulder Canyon standards, even if the wide part is a little dirty and wet. I agree with some others that this is more like 5.9+ or maybe 10a.
    By R Sather
    From: COLORADO
    Sep 19, 2015
    rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    A great crack route in BoCan. We linked this in one pitch with a 70m. Five ten... 10a... who knows...? It was a fun romp nonetheless!!! Wide section was fun, so not to be missed if at the crag!
    By rkrum
    From: Colorado or somewhere else
    Oct 8, 2015
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    Some traffic would be really nice on this one. As it is now, it isn't bad, but it would be one of the better pitches in the canyon at the grade if it cleaned up a bit. Cruiser hand crack roof, fun bit of wider climbing at the top, what more could you ask for?

    And there is no way this thing is any harder than 9+ at the absolute most. IMO, the lower hand crack felt 5.9, maybe 9+ if you can't jam hand cracks, the wider section 5.8ish. My hands are slightly smaller than average for whatever that's worth.

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