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Unsorted Routes:

Natural Selection 

YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 150'
Original:  YDS: 5.11a/b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Tod Anderson, July 1992.
Page Views: 3,140
Submitted By: Peter Franzen on Jan 1, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (41)
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You will either love or hate this route, or love and hate it at the same time, as was the case with me. It's fun being on such a long pitch on good rock, but some of the climbing just isn't that fun (for me at least, you may feel differently). The bottom leads up slabs to a vertical section, which then turns into more steep slabs. The 5.11 crux is on a slab 1/3 of the way up, and although it is well protected, it's still freaky. The rest of the route follows interesting and slightly overhanhing rock for another 90 ft to the anchors.


The route has 14 bolts (yes, 14!), plus a 2 bolt anchor. The anchors are 150 feet up, so 2 50m ropes are enough to rap back down with.

Photos of Natural Selection Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: 1. Natural Selection, 11a/b. 2. The Nordwand, 11b/...
BETA PHOTO: 1. Natural Selection, 11a/b. 2. The Nordwand, 11b/...

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By Joe Keyser
From: Scottsdale, AZ
Jan 1, 2001

The first bolt is kind of sketchy... But, I thought the crux was really fun. A face climbing type move up to a sloper!
By Anonymous Coward
Jul 31, 2002

[Whoa], if I saw things correctly, that first bolt is WAY up there (20+ feet). It looked about as high as the second bolt on most of the other climbs here. And getting to that first bolt didn't look terribly easy (although I don't know for sure as I decided not to try it...)mike.
By Tod Anderson
Aug 9, 2002

It is actually pretty easy getting to the first bolt ~ 5.8. I ran out of battery power a victim of nicad abtteries, since corrected. If someone wants to add a lower bolt it won't bothe me.
By tobias Nitschke
From: CO
Jun 28, 2003

...way up there is right! (to the first bolt). Options for those that don't want to risk it on dirty rock: a) bring a small cam (3/4 inch)-- there's a placement in a vertical short crack that faces east, or b) climb up to the first bolt of Nordwand, clip it with a long sling and traverse right to Natural Selection's first bolt, then come back and unclip from Nordwand and you're on your way.

A few other bolt placements seemed off to me (not complaining, just saying). It's pretty run out in two different places, and the bolt in the middle of the crux is a bit tough to reach. Good exposure on this climb, and good for the leader's head! A bit more challenging as a lead than some others of its level, in my opinion, due to the erratic nature of the bolts. Definitely loved more than hated... hell, didn't hate it at all!
Aug 30, 2004

A 70 M rope, with stretch, with get you to the ground from the anchors if the ends are running direct. You cannot lower from the anchors with a 70 if the rope is running through the draws. Belay from the top, then rap.

I found the crux to be rather tricky. Perhaps I missed something, but I found it significantly harder than Radometer in the Red Zone and perhaps comparable to Eiger direct. Fun climbing, with an adventurous feel, at least for a sport climb.

There's a large hollow block before the first roof/ bulge.
By Carolyn
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 3, 2007
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

Unless I was off route a bit, there was some serious drag b/c of the meandering line; toward the top, the rope pulled down significantly. There's a serious run-out just prior to the crux, while this section wasn't the most techinical, I thought it was the most difficult b/c of the mental aspect. Communication with belayer was pretty difficult; walkie talkies would be recommended. Definitely loved and hated it. Character building stuff for sure.
By Mikeco
From: Golden, CO
Jun 5, 2008
rating: 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

I'll weigh in on the loving it side. A good long pitch of high quality climbing. It's interesting how it changes from slab to steep juggy climbing all in one pitch. The crux is definitely delicate - a truly committing steep slab move. I agree on the run out to the crux - kinda spooky. It's really the only thing on the route I don't like.
By Bruce Pech
Aug 4, 2009
rating: 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a

Rapping with a 70m rope is iffy. Some cords may reach the deck with stretch but ours fetched up just above the first bolt on Tierra del Fuego. However, a ledge system to the right of the bolt offers a 10'-15' 4th class downclimb.
By Mikeco
From: Golden, CO
Aug 26, 2011
rating: 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

Someone has installed a lower anchor on this route right after the steep wall above the crux, which is about where the most interesting climbing ends, anyway, so you can now do this with one rope without any problems at all.

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