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YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a

Type:  Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 105'
Original:  YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Bob D'Antonio and Kelly Baldwin
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 204
Submitted By: Ron Olsen on Sep 3, 2003

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (8)
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BETA PHOTO: Left side of Sleeping Beauty.

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  • Description 

    Approach from the Beer Can Trail and go left along the base of Sleeping Beauty Slab. The trail climbs up to ledge near some small pine trees. Go right across the ledge to a obvious, wide, black crack. The route starts here. Climb the thin hand (with gear) crack (just left of the black crack) up a near vertical slab. Reach the first bolt and then place gear under a good flake. Climb up short, left-facing corner to a good ledge. Follow the line of bolts up a cool black face making several hard moves to a overhang. Climb on small holds past the overhang and up the clean face to the anchor. Excellent slab climbing on solid rock. Be careful lowering as a 60 meter rope just makes it to the ground!


    Medium gear for the lower section and 11 quickdraws for the bolts. A two bolt anchor will get you to the ground.

    Comments on MLK Add Comment
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    By david goldstein
    Sep 14, 2006

    Rapping w/ a 60m rope got me to the 2nd bolt. The lower part of this climb seemed like a moss fest so you're probably better off starting w/ Wings of Desire. The upper part is probably great if you're a true slabmaster (pure smearing w/ minute sloper "hands") -- I found it much harder than Mind Bender & aided it. Also, there is a somewhat scary move getting to the crux, mantling above a vertical flake which you could fall onto if you blow the move; the clip after this move was also pretty dicey @ 5'7".
    By slim
    Sep 13, 2010

    Basically what Goldstein said, other than recommending the Wings of Desire start (which blows). The route wanders too much to be great, hard to avoid rope drag, as the rope wants to run behind some flakes. Several dicey clips up high. Some nice rock on it, but also some crappy rock and lichen.
    By Mark Rolofson
    Oct 16, 2012
    rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

    My intent on Labor Day was to first climb "Wings Of Desire". After climbing the start of that line to its 5th bolt on a sloping shelf, I clipped a 6th bolt only a few feet away up right. Then I continued straight up the face. I got to hard moves at the 11th bolt and fell off a couple times before dogging to the anchor. I thought this is desperate for 5.11b. My partner had a similar go. We then realized that we were on "MLK". It is possible and recommended to start with "Wings Of Desire" to climb "MLK" with just quickdraws for bolts. In fact, looking up from the base of "Wings" the obvious direct line up the face is the upper part of "MLK". "Wings Of Desire" goes left at 5th bolt up easy run-out terrain. "MLK" climbs straight up a left-facing corner to a good ledge. Then up the face along a precarious, detached flake its top. From here, climb a steep slab face passing a tiny roof. Some exciting climbing! 14 bolts / ring anchor (with "Wings" start). This is an excellent climb with bolts in the right place. Good job, Bob, on the route but not so good on the info in your guidebook. If you do the crack start of "MLK", it seems like the obvious line is to join "Wings" at its 4th bolt on a sloping shelf & continue up to its 5th bolt, then continuing straight up "MLK".
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Jul 24, 2016

    If you are below 6', the moves are going to be proportionally harder here and there.

    If you are below 6', several of the clips are going to be even more proportionally difficult.

    If you are anything between 5'0 and 6'6", however, the ledge fall from the crux headwall onto the flake/ledge is pretty much (if not precisely) the same... and if you are short, you'll likely blow the clip and fall from up there with that much more rope out.

    Ditto the above for me. I was one more person trying to do Wings of Desire and getting suckered directly up on this one. Felt pretty hard for 11b. I'm not sure if it is 12a or not, what I can say is that it stays insecure for quite a while, and that adds up to something. You just have to stay on the whole time and focus, I guess.

    I didn't manage the OS, so yeah, my ankle and wrist are sore. Like I said, the ledge fall is the same for everyone.

    BTW - a rack from 1.25 to 3" cams might inspire more confidence on this route for shorter climbers in a few spots where there is some space between bolts, and then you can't reach from the good stances besides.
    From: Nederland, CO
    Oct 23, 2016
    rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

    Challenging OS! we intended to climb Wings and wound up on MLK unknowingly. Started on Wings, skipped the 4th bolt, and went straight up on the steep slab to the 5th (?) bolt for MLK and finished straight up. The crux is thin and will test your footwork/creativity/tenacity. We lowered on a chopped 70m rope that got us to the ground with a few meters to spare. Our cord is probably <60m.

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