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Loose Cannon 

YDS: 5.13b French: 8a Ewbanks: 29 UIAA: IX+ ZA: 30 British: E7 6c

Type:  Sport
Original:  YDS: 5.13a French: 7c+ Ewbanks: 29 UIAA: IX+ ZA: 29 British: E6 6c [details]
FA: Luke Laeser and Jean DeLataillade with some help from Dave Pegg: '96 or '97
Page Views: 4,272
Submitted By: Matthew NM on Jul 2, 2007  with updates from George Perkins

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (17)
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BETA PHOTO: someone pulling the crux of loose cannon / catapul...


Maybe the best line on the wall, marred only by the fact that the crux is particularly desperate. Starts right of Gangland and works up and right to a few crimpy and technical moves right to deposit you underneath the crux. At least 2 solutions to the crux exist. One very powerful, one very crimpy and still powerful. Climb to the top of the wall from here, work out right using the seam in the upper roof to clip anchors just above the "triangle".


8 bolts to chain anchors.

Photos of Loose Cannon Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Chris Ticknor on Loose Cannon.
Chris Ticknor on Loose Cannon.
Rock Climbing Photo: Chris Ticknor getting a belay from Daniel Trugman ...
Chris Ticknor getting a belay from Daniel Trugman ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Richard Boyle working his way through the lower po...
Richard Boyle working his way through the lower po...
Rock Climbing Photo: Chris E working his way out the undercling crack a...
Chris E working his way out the undercling crack a...

Comments on Loose Cannon Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 24, 2015
By Laeserguns
Jan 30, 2008

I started bolting this with Dave Pegg in like 96 or 97. He thought the rock was horrendous and went back to the limestone of Palomas Peak (a hotspot at the time) which was closer to his base in abq. Jean dela and I came back the next week and fisnished bolting it. We both spent a few weeks trying to send that weird crux before finally getting it.

This is definitely my favorite route at the dungeon!
By LeeAB Brinckerhoff
From: ABQ, NM
Aug 15, 2008
rating: 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c

The crux of this route by its self would be a V7 boulder problem and that would be starting from the ground. The solutions:
1-pinch left, heal hook right, grab undercling and stand for all your worth, possibly hitting intermediates enroute.
2-crimp right, undercling left, cross to jug, not bad if the crimp is good enough for you.
3-crimp right, undercling left, match, undercling left again, move feet up and reach, only if your short.
4-sloper left, pinch right, sloping edge left, undercling right, for those that lack the core to press out of the healhook.
As you can see there are a bunch of different ways to do this and probably a few more, but they are all hard.
By Wa3lt
Jan 1, 2009
rating: 5.13a/b 8a 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c

I probably tried this 20 times and never got it. The crux isn't *too* hard if you're dogging, but I was always just pumped enough not to be able to hold on when attempting the redpoint.

Excellent route.
By Matthew NM
Apr 7, 2009

Oh yeah, the crux is stinking powerful! Look at that guy's face in the picture! I think it's about as hard as the boulder problem at the start of dragonslayer, except that you've climbed 25 feet of not-easy terrain before getting into it, and then still have some challanging terrain after (like the reach up into undercling the seam at the top that I always felt like I was going to explode off but thankfully never did).

This was another comparison for me thinking dragonslayer easier than .13b, as in "Well, if loose cannon is .13a/b then dragonslayer is..."

This is my favorite climb at the dungeon and certainly one I was happy to finish.
By J. Albers
From: Colorado
Jul 13, 2009
rating: 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c

Question. When I lived in NM and was working catapult, or at least what Peter G. told me was catapult, I would go right after the crux (under a mini roof) and then finish with a dyno to the triangle off a small crimp and crappy foot...(instead of straight up and underclinging right to the triangle). Is this some sort of variation or what?
By LeeAB Brinckerhoff
From: ABQ, NM
Jul 13, 2009
rating: 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c

What I've been told is that what you were doing is a finishing variation. Catapult is the right hand start up to the shared crux with Loose Canon then instead of finishing at the triangle like most people do, you are supposed to traverse out the roof to the left past a few more bolts to a different anchor.
By J. Albers
From: Colorado
Aug 7, 2009
rating: 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c

Spoke with Jean about which route does what, and this is what he told me.

Loose Cannon: Left hand start, then finish with the right variation (dyno finish) at the triangle.

Catapault: Again, left hand start, but go straight up after the crux, then undercling out right towards the triangle. Just before hitting the triangle, move up and left out over the roof finishing on a high anchor.

Loose Cannon variation: Right hand start and then finish by going straight up and underclinging out right to the triangle.
By Laeserguns
Sep 2, 2010

Adding to the confusion... not sure if it matters which start (left or right) you begin on but I believe the left was the original for Loose Cannon. so, Loose Cannon: Left start, shared crux, to the pie wedge triangle. And, Catapault: Either start (I believe the right was the original), shared crux, to the higher anchor up and left. There is also a variation at about 12b/c that starts on Moat Jump, transitions into Loose Cannon, right of the shared crux, then up to the triangle anchor. Good fun. I miss that place!
By LeeAB Brinckerhoff
From: ABQ, NM
Jul 2, 2012
rating: 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c

After watching a kid from Santa Fe work this route last weekend I really feel that the crux bolt should be moved or have a fixed chain draw. The bolt end biner was constantly open when he was hanging and falling because of how it rubs on the rock.....Thoughs?
By J. Albers
From: Colorado
Jul 3, 2012
rating: 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c

Hmmm. I never remember having that problem with the gate opening, but that surely doesn't mean that it wasn't happening and I simply failed to notice. If I recall, there used to be a chain draw at the crux for a while, but that disappeared shortly thereafter (the chain was never there when I living in NM and a regular at the Dungeon between 2002-2006, but showed up one summer shortly thereafter...I believe it was gone the last time I was at the Dungeon in 2010).

I'm not a huge fan of chain draws, but in this case, it may be preferable to moving the bolt and having to patch a hole and add a new one (even if the hole is patched well, it will still likely be a little unsightly). I would decide whether to add the chain draw based on whether the bolt is in the right place for clipping or not. If the bolt is indeed in the ideal location as is, then perhaps adding the chain is the right thing to do. Moreover, chain is probably preferable because it will last longer and if I recall correctly, the draw hangs over an edge that will chew away at a fixed fabric draw. I would, however, make one important suggestion regarding installing a chain draw because the previous chain draw was a shiny-a$$ eyesore.

Thus it would be ideal if somebody took the time and money to do the following:
1) use plated or galvanized chain so that it doesn't leave an ugly rust spot in the future
2) prep the chain using an etching agent; places like Home Depot will sell a product specifically for this...usually phosphoric acid. Finally, spray paint the chain to match the color of the rock (the etching part will greatly increase the amount of time before the paint chips off from brushing against the rock.)

There, that's my long winded opinion. Thanks for soliciting input from the community Lee.

EDIT: I would surely not argue if the chain was stainless, though I would still argue that etching and painting it would help keep the shine down. And as far as the fixed draw on Moat Jump is concerned, I would vote that it is not needed at all. The reason for the fixed draw on Moat Jump has nothing to do with the bolt end part of the draw, rather it has to do with the draw hanging over an edge; this can easily be solved by using a one foot draw instead of a quick draw (this is what I did every time I climbed it...which has to be close to a hundred). In contrast, the problem with the draw on Loose Cannon cannot be solved with a different length draw and that is, from my perspective, the reason it is alright to add a fixed chain.
By LeeAB Brinckerhoff
From: ABQ, NM
Jul 3, 2012
rating: 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c

Why not just use stainless, it is more muted, not so bright and probably is close to matching the color of the rock. The other advantage of chain is that whatever is used to attach a draw to the hanger gets chewed up and can flip (just look at the bolt end biner of any quick draw that has been well used) cutting the inside of a nylon sling leading to breaking QD (this has happened in a number of climbing gyms around the country). The edge that the sleigh runs over is what leads to the gate opening since the biner is pulled in flat against the less than vertical section of rock that the bolt is in. It seems to me that the bolt is in a good spot. We'll see what others have to say.

In addition, if the draw on Moat Jump is going to stick around, that should also be upgraded to something more durable, steel is real (sorry, bike reference).
By Eric Whitbeck
Jul 4, 2012

A consensus is nice, but if it is a safety issue and it is sport climbing so it should be safe, than I think Lee should just fix it. Who cares if a bolt is moved four inches? Especially if he is willing to do it. There is a similar bolt at Tres that I should have fixed years ago, but instead it just sits there with the draw hanging over an edge.
By Eric Whitbeck
Aug 26, 2012

There is no chain draw but if the underling move is a show stopper you can probably clean that bolt off a nearby anchor
By LeeAB Brinckerhoff
From: ABQ, NM
Aug 27, 2012
rating: 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c

It is not that the move is a show stopper, though it is the crux, it is that when seeing people hang on the bolt the top biner rubs on the rock in a way that opens the gate.
By Eric Whitbeck
Aug 27, 2012

I certainly hung, but was too concerned with the moves to actually look at the biner. The description describes a chain draw. If it is dangerous it should get fixed because people certainly fall there. I am guessing the chain draw that used to be there was for convenience, but also serves a better purpose: to keep the biners from breaking. That would suck. Add a chain draw Lee. If nothing else it will give people something to argue about when they are bored at their desk jobs.
By George Perkins
From: The Dungeon, NM
Sep 24, 2015

I've been falling onto Loose Cannon's crux bolt all summer long without any unclipping or carabiner breaking events, and I haven't heard of any such events from other Dungeon regulars (there hasn't been a chain draw for at least the last 7 years, and most of the time since 2002). If you prehang draws (best done by climbing Gangland to the Loose Cannon finish), you could put a locker on this bolt.

It is somewhat annoying to clean when you can't do the crux move (the easiest way is to climb Gangland and swing over from the Gangland anchors), as you can't cheat through it, you have to do the move.

edited with the below:
(I'm a wuss who can't climb this, but I hang out here a bit, and my understanding is..) There's obviously a bit of disagreement & confusion about the names, which I'll add to, with best intentions:
  • The right hand direct start (typically called "Catapult", possibly improperly, but shown as such in the guidebooks) is harder than the left ("Loose Cannon") which was bolted first.
  • The right-hand finish to the triangle is the original; the left-hand finish to the Original Gangland roof-crack traverse right to the triangle is considered slightly easier, and is more popular now (and the guidebook photos sort of look like they show this finish rather than the rightside line).
  • They all share the vicious crux move (V7, maybe V6 with perfect beta) at Loose Cannon's bolt 5, with 5.12 climbing before and after, so I do not know how or if the ratings differ.
  • You might hear some locals yap about "Arkenstone", to refer to the roof extension, usually after the right-hand start, thereby creating the hardest sustained climb at the Dungeon- per Luke and Jean, this is the full "Catapult" (it's described as such here), but Peter G. and other climbers worked on it simultaneously, thus the confusion and possible duplicate names. If you just want to work the roof extension without climbing the Loose Cannon crux to get to it, you can get there from Gangland, as well.

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