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Lower Blair III
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YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 50'
Original:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Mark Jenkins, Zach Orenczak, 2003
Page Views: 2,197
Submitted By: Steven Lucarelli on Apr 26, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (30)
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Thrutching. Photo by Danny.

Dirt roads reopened as of June 2014 MORE INFO >>>


I'm not sure why I got on this route, maybe because my partner backed off of it, so I felt obligated. Anyway this short, flaring offwidth felt quite difficult for the given grade. Maybe it was because of the strenuous start getting into the offwidth or maybe it was the crappy rock which was continually raining down as I struggled to the anchor. Either way, this route starts at a water-streaked face that turns into an offwidth after about 6'. The initial moves getting into the offwidth are the crux and are very awkward.


This is the leftmost, wide crack on the northeast prow of Blair III. The start is identified by a dark, water streak coming from the offwidth above.


This route takes #1 or #2 to #5 Camalots from what I recall. The smaller sizes are for the start. There is an anchor at the top but I don't think it was bolts.

Photos of Penetration Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Shot of the whole shabang.
Shot of the whole shabang.
Rock Climbing Photo: Opening moves.
Opening moves.
Rock Climbing Photo: Penetration, 5.9+. June 2012.
Penetration, 5.9+. June 2012.

Comments on Penetration Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 31, 2016
By Brian Story
May 21, 2007

This is a good offwidth. Maybe hard for the grade? Rock quality is bad as of May '07, but should improve with traffic. Gear up to 1 or 2 #5 Camalots.
By tom Jensen
Aug 26, 2007

As offwidths go, this is what you're looking for. Great training for the harder grades due to the consistency. Definitely hard, but then 9+ is ALWAYS hard at Vedauwoo. Sustained. I felt the bottom was easy compared to the thrutching that follows. The rock quality at the bottom is garbage but don't let that turn you away. Rock above is not well traveled so wear a long sleeve shirt for sure! A proud little grunt fest. I found smaller gear in the back (#1, 2, 3 Camalots) to be ideal pro so you could do it safely without a Vedauwoo rack. There ARE rap anchors at the top, but extend them a lot if you are going to toprope as the rope gets stuck in the chockstones at the top otherwise.
By Tom T
Jun 15, 2008

The comments on rock quality and the sustained nature of this route are spot on. This thing left me bruised and beaten. I trundled several loose rocks from the very top section. The large and somewhat secure chockstones at the exit are still pretty solid. I also needed bigger gear (#4 and #5 Camalot) because the back of the crack was very hard for me to reach.
By Jeff R.
From: UT
Oct 23, 2011

I climbed this route with my left side in the crack. Has anyone tried climbing it with the right side? My initial plan was the right side, but I could not figure out how to transition from the left side to the right after entering the crack. Seems like there could be more foot holds outside the crack, if one climbed it with the right side.
By Jeff R.
From: UT
Oct 23, 2011

Does anyone know what the bolted route is just above the anchors? It looks really fun! The first hanger was missing though.
By wehlhung1
Sep 9, 2013

Definitely a must do if you're looking to flirt with dirty climbing chicks, as the name lends itself to suggestive conversation.

Also, the guy in the photo in the Kelman book must certainly be a blood relation of Frankenstein?
By tdziedzina
From: Golden
Nov 3, 2014

Definitely wasn't prepared for Vedauwoo 9+! Awesome route.
By Geoff E. Mercer
From: Worcester, MA
Feb 12, 2015
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

Will be a classic when it cleans up a little. Awful, flared, sharp, and awkward is the name of the game! 2 distinct cruxes: the thin crack off the ground at the bottom and a slight bulge in the offwidth. A LOT tougher than the grade would imply. One of my favorite routes I have encountered here.
By Laurent Meillon
From: Golden, CO
Jul 28, 2015

Great route. Great name, great line, great grunting, hand jams in the depths, and very clean by now. Your instant classic of a giant boulder problem a la Vedauwoo. Will you penetrate this crack or will the crack penetrate you?

3 of us lead and cruised Intimidation just down cliff, which is rated just right as O.W. 5.9+ (although if you see the thread on that...). 3 of us did well on other 11s and 12s on same cliff. None of us could get a clean ascent on this sucker! We tried it right-side and left-side in. The wider middle section is hard, because it borders on squeeze-chimney, but the outer arm dangles out. Ideally you turn right-side in for the middle section, but switching around ain't easy because you have to give up on the deeper jams. I'm not one to support grade inflation and have a reasonable experience of both OW & the Woo. Fantasia is easier than this. Penetration is a solid 5.10 by Vedauwoo standards, like Thing of Beauty on Blair II or Penis Dimension at Reynolds.
By roy-roygers-mcfreely
Jun 11, 2016

Very tough. The bottom 10 feet or so is a boulder problem, after which point you can plug in a #3 C4, stick some deep jams, and get up in the OW. Then take a ride on the struggle bus to Pukeville. The worst thing about it for me is how frequently my heel-toes just slipped out and did nothing. I did so many bizarre jams on this thing ranging from head stacks to double chickenwings to arête humping.

Eventually one of those Voo thunderstorms rolled in and I had donated enough blood to the cause, so I aided to the first chockstone and did the last real section of OW, which was the only part that felt even remotely 5.9(+) to me.

Also, this crack was very clean and the only place I kicked out loose rock was up at the chockstones.

I brought (at the advice of a knowledgeable friend):
C4: 1x #0.75, 2 x #3, 1 x #4, 1 x #5, 1 x #6.
WC: #5, #6.

There is a smaller crack in the back that would eat C4 #2s and a few other cams around that size, but it might be extremely hard to place deep gear on this particular OW. You can aid the whole chimney with #5s and #6s if you can't finish.
By John Lombardi
From: Fort Collins, CO
Jul 17, 2016

I brought much more gear than what was needed. Two #1s, 1 #2, 1 #3, and 1 #4 was more than enough. I bumped up the #4 quite a bit but felt pretty safe doing so. The #5 could have been placed but was not necessary.

The anchor at the top was bolted, but it's those old-school bolts that you see at the Voo.
By Michael Hasson
From: Sausalito, CA
Jul 31, 2016

Seconding John, this route can be led very comfortably (gear never below your feet) with 2x #1, 1x #3, 1x #4 if you bump the #4 for 15-20 feet at the top of the pitch. It fits until the first chockstone, at which point the climb is slabby and you'd have to try to fall out. A great wide route that doesn't require any real wide gear. Was stoked to flash after belaying my partner. One of my favorite routes from our first trip to Vedauwoo.

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