REI Community
Qual Wall
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
A Red Recollection S 
Block Party TR 
Crack left of Leftwing T,TR 
Espionage S 
Fahrenheit 23 S 
Great White Top Rope TR 
Leftwing S 
Long Time Coming 
More Choss Than Moss TR 
Nordwand, The S 
Now or Never S 
Nut Job T,TR 
Pocket Warmup S 
Purple Jeep TR 
Quail Stew T,S 
Schizophrenia S 
Secret Agent Man S 
Top Rope Hero TR 
Tramadol S 
Unknown S 
Unknown / "Meaner than Green" S 
Unlisted Number S 
Warm Up 1 S 
Warm Up 2 S 
Unsorted Routes:

Now or Never 

YDS: 5.11+ French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 24 British: E4 6a

Type:  Sport, 45'
Original:  YDS: 5.11+ French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 24 British: E4 6a [details]
FA: Jeremy Schlick
Page Views: 2,951
Submitted By: Chris treggE on May 24, 2007  with updates from SteveBacardi

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (24)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Luke Kiefer


The left line of bolts on the S.A.M. pillar, Now or Never traverses up and left with very cool moves from near the start of a Red Recollection. Crimpy moves take you up the steep face. It's definitely harder (12a/b?) to stay on the face and avoid the jugs to the left. Most stop at the first set of anchors over the bulge (same anchors for Red Recollection).


To the left of A Red Recollection.


Bolts. Please inspect bolts and use your judgement, as always, while climbing.

Photos of Now or Never Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Stewart Korte of the HWDAMF at the beginning
Stewart Korte of the HWDAMF at the beginning
Rock Climbing Photo: Sending "Now or Never" on a beautiful da...
Sending "Now or Never" on a beautiful da...
Rock Climbing Photo: Luke Kiefer
Luke Kiefer
Rock Climbing Photo: Vinny shaking out at the undercling.
Vinny shaking out at the undercling.
Rock Climbing Photo: Stewart Korte of the HWDAMF
Stewart Korte of the HWDAMF
Rock Climbing Photo: Now or Never starts just left of RR crack and clim...
BETA PHOTO: Now or Never starts just left of RR crack and clim...
Rock Climbing Photo: this line goes up the left face, left of the red r...
BETA PHOTO: this line goes up the left face, left of the red r...

Comments on Now or Never Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 7, 2015
By Rob Riggleman
From: Santa Barbara, CA
May 25, 2007

I think Jeremy's comment on the main page refers to this climb as "Now or Never". I tried it once last year and thought it was really fun.
By Tradiban
Jun 26, 2009
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

I've always had a hard time on this thing. I think a few holds have broken since first FA. Maybe harder now? Resist going for the left arete.
By Tom Petraitis
From: Evanston, IL
Sep 7, 2009
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

Now or Never can be viewed as two separate routes that share the same bolt line: Line 1 (the intended line) is definitely harder and shares the same terrain up to the 3rd bolt as Line 2, and then charges directly up the face past two nasty (un-chalked) crimpers steadfastly avoiding the arete. Line 1 could arguably go 5.12a or even12b; Line 2 moves left from the third bolt branching to a jug on the arete and then a huge flake which makes for a secure fourth clip hold. After reaching the arete you are in worry-free sub-5.9 city.

The shared lower face, though it looks harder, is maybe 5.11b.

Both lines are super fun, but it appears that the easier Line 2 gets all the traffic - evidenced by the chalk trail leading to the arete versus a chalk-less face directly above that third bolt into the harder Line 1. The bump in difficulty at this juncture is enough to steer most climbers to comforts of the arete.

A short ways into the direct line (Line 1) was a chunky undercling. It broke off (9/6/09). The piece was soft, rotted, and apparently unused for a long time -- suggesting that the direct line gets little or no traffic. Despite the now-missing chunk the direct line still goes nicely -- into a nice V5 boulder section just before the chains. Highly recommended!
By Tradiban
Mar 23, 2010
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

A hard time no more!

On the double under-cling you can make a crimp move or two for a left hand jug, then another jug to make the clip for a 5.11c effort OR after the double under-cling go right on to the face for a 5.12a effort.

Another possible variation is avoiding the left hand jugs altogether for a hard 5.12+.
By Remo
From: Madison, WI
Mar 26, 2010
rating: 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a

Super fun route! Bummer it's so short.
By ChrisFrayer
From: Platteville, Wi
Jun 7, 2012
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

I was a bit skeptical about a straight up variation. But it is pretty fun with a nice bouldery section and goes at 12- or so. Climb straight up from the third bolt avoiding the double undercling and juggy arete.
By ChrisFrayer
From: Platteville, Wi
Jun 8, 2012
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

Unfortunately the intentions of the bolter do not always pan out The bolts gives us a road to travel on and after enough ascents it evolves into the route. I am sure that you have seen this happen many many times. Better beta is discovered, holds break, new holds are found, etc etc. Check out the picture with 'Vinny shaking on the double undercling'. It would be a super contrived eliminate to call that hold off. Same thing above, one casually reaches over and clips the bolt from a shake out stance. The path of least resistance, (i.e. what one typically thinks of as the route) climbs to the left of the bolt line after the third bolt. The climber is never out of reach of the bolt line and it feels very natural. I only thought about going straight up, throwing in a v4- boulder problem, after reading the comments online. A fun little problem, but the route is better to the left. Currently, this is a very nice 11c route with a 12a eliminate variation. It sounds like you are trying to relive the glory days - props on the bolting and climbing the harder line (many of us will climb it both ways and ave fun doing so!).
By Tradiban
Jun 8, 2012
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

With over 100 years of beautiful tradition from OG Jones to Yvon Chouinard, YOU ARE DAMN RIGHT I'm LIVING IN THE PAST!!!
By JJ Schlick
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jun 8, 2012

No Chris, I'm not trying to relive anything, living plenty as it is. The evolution of a route after it's established is a process unto it's own. And although I feel attached to these lines, their is certainly no feeling of ownership on my part. However, that certainly doesn't mean we can't establish a few facts, and get the history straight. If folks know that the FA of this line was done straight up, without moving to soft stone on the arete, maybe they would be a little more interested in doing it that way. Style is a personal matter, while the FA is history. And it will be a sad day when climbers don't care about how the route was done.
By ChrisFrayer
From: Platteville, Wi
Jun 8, 2012
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

JJ- Happy to hear you be livin. I agree 100% with your last comment and enjoy hearing the historical perspective. However, going straight up and avoiding the obvious jugs is not the route. It is an "eliminate", "variation", whatever you want to call it. Either way is fun, but let's be honest, calling the double undercling to the left of the third bolt and the jugs higher up off is extremely contrived. Not trying to be contentious, just my honest opinion.
By JJ Schlick
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Nov 18, 2013

I suppose it's a matter of semantics more than anything, however I got a chance to sneak out here on a recent visit. I'd have to climb it again to know if I'm making any sense.
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Jun 7, 2015
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a

I've climbed this line probably 25-30 times over the past 8 years, including a number of variations. A neat one climbed yesterday was starting on the sugary bulge way below the boulder you usually would stand on to start it and climb directly into the normal start (5.12-). It's quite something to already be a bit pumped at the usual starting holds.

Regarding the intended line, I will say that I usually climb with the large undercling to the left near the 3rd bolt. It flows nicely and has great moves. I have on occasion climbed it straight up the face avoiding the undercling and the jugs to the left and found it hard and somewhat of an eliminate IMO, but an excellent addition for someone wanting a crimpy 5.12 to do. Many thanks to JJ for his work.

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