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Angel Food Wall
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Beheaded Burro T 
Eigerwand T 
Fleeting Boldness T 
Foolish Man, Foolish Woman T 
Gobies for Gumbies T 
Group Therapy T 
Healy's Haunted House T 
Killin' Time T 
Lean Lady T 
On the prowl T 
Purblind Pillar T 
Rebel Within T 
Sandy Hole T 
Stilgar's Wild Ride T 
Tele-vision T 
Tunnel Vision T 
Unsorted Routes:

Purblind Pillar 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 900', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Karl Wilcox and Joanne Urioste
New Route: Yes
Season: Spring/ Fall
Page Views: 21,116
Submitted By: karl g wilcox on May 6, 2006

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Bomber pro on the last pitch!

RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone in Red Rocks is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. MORE INFO >>>


"Purblind" starts at the obvious crack system about 80 feet west and slightly up from the beginning of "Healy's Haunted House". Approach as for both "Group Therapy" and "Healy's".

Pitch 1 (5.7): Begin climbing the easy crack/corner system for about 20 feet to a ledge with trees and shrubs. Pass the vegetation on the right and continue up the stellar crack system until you reach the end of the crack at a sling belay (190 ft.)

Pitch 2 (5.8) From the sling belay head up and right along a crack/flake line below an overhang. When the crack diminishes, move right on white, slabby face to a bolt. From the bolt move out right on rounded holds to cross over a shoulder to easier ground. Scamper directly up for a few feet to a flat ledge below another crack system and the belay--takes 1-1.75 cams (85 ft.)

Pitch 3 (5.7) From the pitch 2 belay move directly right about 20 feet along a ledge to a water groove/crack system. Do not climb the crack/chimney system directly above the pitch two belay unless you plan on doing the 5.9 variation*. After traversing out right you will encounter a water groove/crack system. Climb this for another 30 feet or so and then traverse directly right onto the obvious brown face (a bolt protects the move out of the groove). Continue to traverse straight right--after clipping the bolt--on excellent holds until you reach the water groove/crack system that borders the right side of the brown face. Climb up this for a short distance and then traverse up and right a bit to a spacious ledge area below an obvious vertical crack system (150 ft.)

Pitch 4 (5.7) From the spacious ledge climb the obvious crack system to its end. The crack is very wide in places, but adequate protection can be had. When the crack ends, trend along a ledge system overlooking a large, brushy chasm/gully on your left. At the end of the ledge you will find a bolted belay anchor in white rock. This ledge is very comfortable for up to 4 people (180 ft.)

Pitch 5 (5.8): From the bolted belay head up the micro-crack system on white rock (a single bolt protects the moves off of the belay). Continue up the crack system and then traverse directly right up easy ground to another excellent ledge area below an impressive left-facing dihedral (120 ft.)

Pitch 6 (5.7-): From the large ledge head up to the base of the large dihedral. From the belay you will see a large patch of shrubbery blocking the entrance to a menacing off-width. Head towards the bush, but when feasible veer left to the face just left of the off-width. You will see a bolt at the base of the face, clip this and climb up over excellent 5.6 terrain to another bolt, from here traverse right into the crack (the bush remains inviolate!) and head up to a class four ramp that ends at the top (195 ft.).

  • 5.9 variation: instead of traversing right from the pitch 2 belay, go straight up the crack system directly above the pitch 2 belay. This pitch ends at a bolted belay anchor (80 ft.). From the anchor traverse right on easy holds to a water groove. Climb the groove up until just below a patch of diabolical scrub-oak (50 feet). Belay in the groove using a couple of large cams in pockets in the base of the groove itself. The next pitch ascends the obvious broad corner to the right of the water groove/now gully, with the small crack in its right side. A bolt protects the initial moves into the crack. Although this 5.9 pitch is good, initially it is somewhat friable, and not easy to protect. A Wild country Z3 cam (gray) protects the move above the bolt. After a few moves the crack widens to accept .33 to .5 cams. This is a technical pitch. Upon reaching the top of the corner and the end of the crack, traverse right around an improbable shoulder (strange mud-colored rock) and then up easy ground to end at the normal route pitch 4 bolted belay.


"Purblind Pillar" ascends a natural line to the highest vertical point on the Angel Food Wall. From just below the start of "Tunnel Vision" follow the climbers' trail that traverses right along the base of the wall. When you reach the massive, cavernous chimney that is "Healy's Chimney", the start of "Purblind" is just a bit further right and slightly up.

I spied this line years ago, while guiding-- I thought that it would make a nice alternative to the likes of "Tunnel Vision." In fact, in some ways this route is the premier line on the cliff, since it reaches the highest point, every pitch is good, and pitches 1,2,4,6 are stellar while the 5.8 sections are short but interesting. Upon completing the first ascent, both Joanne Urioste and myself were amazed that this line remained undiscovered for so many years-- hence the route's name!

The descent is easy: from the top, go south and slightly uphill through some lovely pine trees to the obvious gully/chasm that head down and east. Eventually you will intersect the "Tunnel Vision" descent (watch for cairns). Follow the cairns...


Standard rack: nothing larger than a 3-inch cam is needed. Paradoxically, a medium slider nut (gold color) is useful for protecting the start of the wide crack bit on pitch 4-- but a small cam will also work (look for a small horizontal fissure!). The 8,9,10 hexes are also useful. A 60-meter rope is mandatory. The route can be rappelled from pitch 1 with two 60-meter ropes. Retreating from pitch 3 or higher would not be advisable.

Photos of Purblind Pillar Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch belays
BETA PHOTO: Pitch belays
Rock Climbing Photo: Lessons in trad climbing:  use your feet
Lessons in trad climbing: use your feet
Rock Climbing Photo: The start of pitch 5. Mike on lead.
The start of pitch 5. Mike on lead.
Rock Climbing Photo: topping out on the P4. nice bolted belay ledge!
topping out on the P4. nice bolted belay ledge!
Rock Climbing Photo: Purblind Pillar; pitch 1 marked
BETA PHOTO: Purblind Pillar; pitch 1 marked
Rock Climbing Photo: Deb starting the crack of P4. Pretty wide in place...
Deb starting the crack of P4. Pretty wide in place...
Rock Climbing Photo: One of the many beautiful views you get when climb...
One of the many beautiful views you get when climb...
Rock Climbing Photo: Topping out on Purblind Pillar.  15 Feb 2015.
Topping out on Purblind Pillar. 15 Feb 2015.
Rock Climbing Photo: We were on Group Therapy and I took this picture o...
We were on Group Therapy and I took this picture o...
Rock Climbing Photo: I've moved across the beautiful ledge to the water...
I've moved across the beautiful ledge to the water...
Rock Climbing Photo: On knobs at the start of the fifth pitch.
On knobs at the start of the fifth pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: The face climbing crux on the second pitch.  Todd ...
The face climbing crux on the second pitch. Todd ...
Rock Climbing Photo: The wide section at the start of pitch 4.
The wide section at the start of pitch 4.
Rock Climbing Photo: The 6th pitch.  The first bolt is just above the t...
The 6th pitch. The first bolt is just above the t...
Rock Climbing Photo: The start of the easy, straightforward descent (wa...
BETA PHOTO: The start of the easy, straightforward descent (wa...
Rock Climbing Photo: The upper section of pitch 4.
The upper section of pitch 4.
Rock Climbing Photo: Cool arch near the base of the Purblind Pillar.
Cool arch near the base of the Purblind Pillar.
Rock Climbing Photo: climbing buddies of 20 years on the last pitch of ...
climbing buddies of 20 years on the last pitch of ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Larry seconding the climax of the route
Larry seconding the climax of the route
Rock Climbing Photo: The third pitch, with the two bolts marked in red.
The third pitch, with the two bolts marked in red.
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike following up the fun pitch one
Mike following up the fun pitch one
Rock Climbing Photo: Barry on traverse of P3. Big holds, just feeling a...
Barry on traverse of P3. Big holds, just feeling a...
Rock Climbing Photo: Clint on the 3rd pitch of Purblind Pillar.
Clint on the 3rd pitch of Purblind Pillar.
Rock Climbing Photo: Deb at bolt of P2
Deb at bolt of P2

Show All 35 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Purblind Pillar Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 21, 2017
By Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi?
From: Vegas
May 26, 2006
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Thanks to Karl and Joanne for putting up this amazing route!
I'm sad to say, I liked it better than Tunnel Vision, and Group Therapy.

The views from this climb are beautiful, and all of the pitches were a blast! The descent is straightforward, and makes for a nice, but somewhat long walk off. You may want to bring your approach shoes up.

Note: With a morning start, we were in direct sunlight for the entire climb. My tongue was hanging out by the time I reached my pack. The route gets shaded in the afternoon, so a later start would be better this time of year if you are desperate to do this 4 star route on a hot day.
By Mike McGlynn
From: Henderson, NV.
May 30, 2006

This is really a wonderful route! The climbing has a lot of variation with hardly a foot of it that is boring. The views are spectacular. I absolutely agree with Gigette about the water on this route. I had 3 liters in my Camelback, and, even though I thought i was conserving it, managed to go through all of it by the end of the fourth pitch. It made for a very dry finish and walk off.

Just one note I would add to the description: On the sixth pitch, when the beta says to go up towards the bush and then clip a bolt to the left, the bolt is at least 2-3' below the bush and quite a ways, 8-10', to the left of the crack. I knew it was supposed to be there, and, even though I was looking for it, almost missed it because I wasn't looking nearly far enough left and was looking for something directly in line with the base of the bush.

This deserves to be a real Red Rocks classic climb. In my mind it has it all over Tunnel Vision any day of the week. Thanks Karl and Joanne.
By Matt McMurray
From: Castle Rock, CO
Nov 13, 2006
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I climbed this in a 3-man party last weekend and had a great time. A very fun route with some great climbing. A couple suggestions I noticed compared to the route description:

P2- The flat ledge seemed much closer than 85 ft. This led our group to climb higher to determine if the ledge was further up.

P4- I found it hard to protect the wide crack, which led to some long runouts. I missed the horizontal fissure, obviously.

P5- I believe that it was this pitch... there is a small roof as you near the end of the crack system that provides an option of going right or left. The chalk led me to the right, which eventually rejoined the crack line but resulted in A LOT of rope drag. Our third climber was ascending a fixed rope and took the left variation. We agreed that both variations seemed of equal difficulty, but going left resulted in less drag.

This is a wonderful line, and the descent was also very straightforward and enjoyable. Follow the cairns, and bring your hiking shoes!

By meo
Jan 5, 2007

I enjoyed this route for the beautiful exposure and the solid rock at the moderate rating. I thought pitch 3 was only about 100 ft. no where near the 150 ft stated to the belay. Also you could easily use up to a # 4 Camalot on picth 4. It took three of us 9 hours car to car. Over all I'd say it is probably the best climb on the Angle Food Wall:)
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Mar 21, 2007
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R

A good route- especially if Tunnel and Group are packed.

Couple of notes:

Bring a #4 Camalot- its good to have. We didnt have it and i certainly could have used it, esp on the 4th pitch.

The route is run-out in many places, so be prepared for that. The climbing is not necessarily difficult, but the route is new, so the rock is still a bit sandy in places.

The second pitch is 50', not 85'.

The crux of the fifth pitch could get harder over time as the footholds are somewhat suspect. I tried it by just smearing and found it to be decently hard for 5.8.

We completely missed the last pitch because we forgot to turn right and instead climbed a beautiful varnished crack on the headwall to the left of the dihedral- it was quite fun and after a few ascents will clean up nicely- it's probably 5.8 or 5.9, although its a bit loose in places right now.
By Greg Barnes
Mar 21, 2007
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R

Fun route! Needs a bit of traffic but generally pretty clean. As John said, we missed the last pitch but the crack on the black headwall at the top is great fun (I was hoping he would decline the lead but he cruised it instead!).

Notes: pitch 3 is 80 feet, not 150. I ended up about where one of the climbers is in one of the photos (about 50' up the next pitch just below the overhang) before realizing that the pitch length was way off and I had better set an anchor where I had any pro at all.

The sling anchor on top of pitch 1 is pretty good, but not super bomber. I didn't find any really good backup pro either.

After doing the traverse around the corner on pitch 3 (after clipping the bolt), you gain the groove and go up it a few feet, and then there's another bolt back over left that is easy to traverse to. It protects a fun steep move or two before stepping back right to the flat ledge.

Good route, I liked it more than Group Therapy, but I think Tunnel Vision is higher quality.

I thought the start of pitch 5 after the bolt was pretty hard and spicy for 5.8! Before the bolt I didn't dare use several knobs out of concern that I'd snap them off. But I've been climbing a lot of granite lately so maybe I'm just paranoid about sandstone!
By Brandt Allen
From: Joshua Tree, Cal
Mar 23, 2007

Just did this route yesterday; my third route on Angel Food Wall and by far the best.
I agree the anchor at the top of pitch 1 is less than inspiring; bolts would be nice. I backed it up with a #3 Camalot in a slot just above the slings.
The friction crux at the bolt on pitch 2 was, for a Joshua Tree slab climber, barely 5.7. Perhaps because I wasn't fully warmed up yet, I thought the first pitch was harder.
I got lost on pitch 3 (my fault). The 5.9 variation goes up from the left side of the ledge. I went up the crack/gully off the right side of the ledge, then thought I was on the 5.9 variation, came down, went right some more, realized I was wrong, broke a foothold coming back, then my partner spotted the bolt and all went well after that. I too wondered about the second bolt on that pitch.
On pitch 4, yes a #4 Camalot would be very nice. I had used our #3.5 at the belay and #3 in a pocket low on the pitch. A couple of hexes kept it from being a complete solo!
On pitch 5 I used the knobs (the bigger ones) for footholds and thought the crux was one 5.8- high step move from the position of the climber in photo #16 above.
The climbing between the bolts on pitch 6 was easy but absolutely spectacular! A great finish to a great route!
By Chris Owen
From: Big Bear Lake
Apr 17, 2007
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

A classic route which I enjoyed tremendously. Part of its appeal is that it has a couple of traversing sections. My favorite pitch was probably the 2nd, which I suppose is the crux pitch - a smeary traverve above a huge amount of exposure. I put a #4 Camalot to good use on several of the pitches, and for a belay on P2.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
May 1, 2007

I found this route fun with no bad pitches. But I still think Group Therapy is the best climb on this formation.

The third pitch now seems to have two bolts. There is a second bolt 10 feet above and to the right of the first. It is easy to climb past it on the right and miss it. You can move back left and clip it, but it is in a strange place. The fifth pitch involves stepping on some large knobs which seem about to bust off, but I suppose they are solid. It is easy to belay too high at the end of this pitch and miss the sixth pitch. You need to move right immediately after reaching the first large ledge (after 100 feet).

From our fifth belay, we couldn't see the notorious shrubbery, but moving down and right it soon came into view. The first bolt on this pitch can't be seen until it is in your face as it is right above an overhang. This bolt was actually about 20' directly above the belay, but not visible. The second bolt is about 20' above the first. This last pitch is pretty cool and the walk off is easy.

If you start early, this route is in the sun all the way. A later start would be shadier ...
By Josh Audrey
May 25, 2007

don't want to sound like the black sheep of comments, but i think you could get by just fine with a doubles rack to #3 camalot. really want to do the two variation next time for sure.
By jblackattack blac
From: las vegas, nv
Oct 4, 2007
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

This route takes a great line up the Angel food wall and was a lot of fun. The two cruxes are both face moves that required a little bit of thinking but nothing exceptional. Careful leaving the 4th belay, the knobs are sketchy and if you break one off before reaching the bolt you will most likely land on your belayer. I agree that there were a few run-out sections so keep that in mind as well.
By Easy-E
From: Durango, CO
Nov 25, 2007

The first pitch is great. The 5.9 variation was good, not the best rock though. We toped out on the fun crack to left of the actual route and a large boulder filled corner.
By Debbie Vischer
From: Loveland
Mar 10, 2008
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Great route. We started at 11:30 and had NO sun all day. It's pretty north-east facing, so don't expect much this time of year. Although pretty protected from wind.

All the pitches were fun and had their unique challenges, from chimneys to cracks. Definitely some runout in P6 (think I placed 2 pieces of pro only!).

We topped out in the dark (nice views of Vegas!). I'm sorry, but who ever said the walk-off was easy is WRONG!! Talk about scary. Very sketchy and very steep. Never did find the rap bolts. Took just under 2 hours to get back to the car. Only thing that saved our butts was the cairns. Thank you, thank you, thank you to those wonderful people that placed those.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 10, 2008

"Easy descent" in daylight does not imply "easy descent" at night, especially if you've never done it before. Any descent can get much harder in the dark and/or when you are off route. The descent is easy in the daylight by RR standards, anyway. We didn't do any rappels.
By sqwirll
From: Las Vegas
Mar 23, 2008

Debbie-It's a walkoff, what rap bolts do you speak of?
By Brian in SLC
From: Sandy, Utah
Mar 24, 2008

"Debbie-It's a walkoff, what rap bolts do you speak of?"

I think the guidebook mentions a bolted rappel and my bet is that its the rappel off the big ledge to the looker's left (climber's right) part way down the "walk off". Its the big ledge marked with cairns (and you walk across and around to the left on, to an airy location with a rap anchor, one I'd noticed on a prior climb). Not sure what the rappel leads to. As mentioned, its a fairly easy and straightforward descent, and one I'd not care to do in the dark (!).

I think its a grade II route (not a III as mentioned in the description). The cruxes are short and not sustained for the grade and the climbing goes very quickly, with little route finding. This is really a "less than half day" type route. Most capable climbers should be able to knock this out, car-to-car, in under 6 hours.

We also backed up P1's sling wad with a #3 camalot. Rack: I'd suggest a single rack from 00 TCU through #3 camalot. We took and placed the #4 (once, on p4, just to justify using it) but its not really required. Missed the first bolt on P3, and didn't bother clipping the second (no need as a good cam to the right in the crack protects that area and it would have added rope drag unless a long sling was used). On the P3 traverse, found good horizontals for small TCU's (00 and 0 I seem to recall). The P6 first bolt is just visible from the flat ledge belay in profile over a bulge. Knowing to head left from the corner when it gets steep helps (Handren guide nailed the description for this pitch).

Strange, given the comments above, but, I thought the P2 crux was kinda thin and at least 5.8 (sandy soft rock too), and, the P5 crux 5.8 pretty light (ie, more like 5.7).

Great route. Every pitch was fun and memorable.
By Lynn S
Apr 6, 2009

Fabulous route for the grade, I enjoyed each pitch, a must do. For a relatively new route I thought the rock was great, just use common sense with some of the inviting looking flakes. Nice stances/ledges for each belay.

Pitch 2, very different character from the other pitches, friction traversing right on the softer white rock. There is a cool looking hourglass feature just left and below of the bolt on the pitch. Do not pull out on the feature, just pinch the lower portion of the hourglass, move your feet right and clip the bolt. I think if the hourglass gets yarded on, it will snap and change the rating/character of that pitch completely.

The crack system on pitch 5 looks a bit intimidating from below but it is actually pretty easy, great holds everywhere you need them.

Doing this line allows you to watch the masses on Group Therapy and Tunnel Vision, while enjoying the solitude of Purblind.
By ekamm
Apr 27, 2009

did this climb again on Sunday 26 April. The slings at the top of Pitch 1 have been removed. It's very easy to build an anchor here though. There used to be cairns starting at the top which guided the descent--however, from the top to about 1/3 of the way down these have been knocked over, so the top part of the descent is a little tricky (for me, even though I'd done it once before). Go down where there is a dead tree spanning a short ~ 15 foot drop. Trend to your right thereafter. After about 10 minutes of down climbing, there is a green sling with a rap ring marked by a cairn. A one 60 m rope repel (watch as this barely reaches) gets you down to much easier terrain. Cairns mark the descent thereafter which is fairly easy.
By meghan c.
From: el paso, tx
Jan 11, 2010

Most excellent and varied climbing, but just one question: Can someone explain the logic behind the "Your F#cked" sticker found on the first bolt of the 5th pitch. The bolt was solid and the moves were safe and pleasant. Banditos? Not sure why, but I felt the need to gnaw it off with my teeth - even more the reason I wish to know its intended purpose.

-Mildly perplexed.
By Neal Douglass
From: Lubbock, TX
Mar 24, 2010

Climbed this route with Jason Martin. This was a fun route, great views and quality climbing. We finished the route And found an additional 3 pitches above the exit ramp.
By smassey
From: CO
May 17, 2010

It is quite easy to set up the p1 belay at the little rooflet about 20' below the "sling belay", thus skipping hanging from an uninspiring block. the stance is small, but adequate, and can be set up with a #2,3 camalot and a blue alien, or some combination thereof. As long as you are extending your placements properly, it doesn't add any significant rope drag to p2.
By Sherri Lewis
From: Sequim, WA
Oct 26, 2010

Since this is the first route I have climbed on Angel Food Wall, I don't know how it measures up to its neighbors but I can say that it was a worthwhile, quality climb. Something interesting on every pitch; struck me as sort of like the 5.8 version of Birdland.

The slopey, slab traverse on P2 was exciting. It's all there, but the blank look of the face definitely makes you think and move carefully.

On P3, there are two bolts on the face after traversing over the water groove. (route description mentions only one). We only clipped the lower of the two before continuing the traverse to climber's right to follow a short crack to belay ledge. The second bolt seemed to be in a strange place to be of much use.

We did this route on a windy day in October and found it to be sheltered and comfortable.

For the descent, make sure you trend up and towards climbers left to catch the descent gully. We mistakenly followed a line of cairns which led us quite a ways along the headwall to the right before realizing our mistake and having to backtrack.

We didn't leave packs at the base. Easier to hike straight to car from bottom of gully.
By JMo
From: Tucson, AZ
Mar 13, 2011

what a great route! obviously everyone solid at the grade is happy on 4th pitch OW running it out a little, so ignore this unless you are, like myself, a beginning trad leader. but if you are tentative at the grade, a #4 AND an even larger piece would be great on P4. after i downclimbed to get the 4, so i could walk up with it, dropped it, downclimbed to the last piece to get it, and then climbed a good 20 feet off that piece, i learned the 4 was too small above the original spot i placed it. at that point, i'm not gonna lie, i was wishing i brought my #6. i know every competent leader at the grade will say this is insane, i'm a wuss, etc etc. that's fine, just ignore this. but just in case you, like me, are wanting to make the climb as cozy as possible, bring your 4 and something bigger.
By Justin York
From: Phoenix, AZ
Mar 21, 2011

GREAT route! Every pitch was so much fun. Highly recommended.

The only thing I would mention is that P3 seemed shorter than the description above. Thinking it was 150 feet, I kept going beyond the big ledge beneath the vertical crack system and ended up at a much less comfy belay. I would say 100 feet for P3, giving a P4 of about 180 feet as mentioned.
By Cunning Linguist
Aug 21, 2011

Yeah, bring a wide piece if you don't want to solo the wide pitch. Probably a single 4-6 would make it reasonable. Pretty fun. Saw this one getting put up a few years ago from Tunnel--anyone that thinks that hand drilling is less noise pollution than a ten second Bosch whirr needs to hear DINK DINK DINK DINK DINK DINK DINK DINK DINK DINK DINK DINK DINK DINK DINK for most of a six or seven hundred foot route. My ears are still ringing. Worthwhile, interesting route-crosses so much terrain, I'd call it contrived, but you won't have a bad time on this one.
By Canon
Dec 8, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

felt the crux was the sandy traverse on P2. The rest of the climb was uneventful. I probably wouldn't go back to climb it again.
By Floridaputz
From: Oakland Park, Florida
Apr 9, 2013

Purblind Pillar is another great Red Rocks gem. This takes a proud line up the higest point on the Angelfood Wall. I liked the mixture of crack, chimney and face climbing. Considering all the white rock it's cleaned up quite nicely and is pretty solid. It takes a little route finding skill and that adds to the adventure. I really liked pitch 2, this has to be the best on the climb. The bolt on pitch 3 actually makes you think that you should go straight up instead of continuing a rightward traverse. I loved P4, a couple of very nice chimneys and a full rope in length. The crux of 5 was also pretty cool. As Mr Bell says above, I was a little confused finding the start of P6, It's hidden from view when you hit the ledge, go right. The 5.6 face climbing on the last pitch is really fun. You are front and center on the Angelfood wall looking down from the highest point, just awesome. I will keep going to RR if I can keep finding climbs like this one.
By Joshua Brainerd
From: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Apr 16, 2014

Climbed on 4/13/2014 and no there were no slings at the anchor on P1. It is a small ledge and you could miss it. I continued up thinking I was still on P1 and went left up the crack instead of hitting the traverse to the P2 bolt. This is a possible harder alternate but was a bit too hard for me (maybe 5.9 or 5.10 for a move or two). P2 is really short.
By Chris D
From: the couch
Apr 28, 2014

First, the description of the route from the FA party is one of the better bits of beta I've gotten on MP. Top notch, except for the oft-noted discrepancy on the length of P3, which is unfortunate, since it's sort of important. P3 is right about 100 feet long. Pay attention to where your middle mark is on a 60m. That's assuming you started from the massive ledge after the P2 slab. You'll finish P3 on a sloping but substantial flat area right at the start of the deep, wide crack of P4, which is a big pod (maybe two feet wide?) above the belay.

What a fun climb! Don't show up thinking this is some obscure route on a popular wall that you're going to sneak up on though. Yesterday (a beautiful Sunday), we were at the start of the climb around 9:30am with a party above us, and THREE more parties behind us. We later met a party of two in the parking lot who were the only people on Tunnel Vision all day. Maybe a fluke, but I doubt it.

Some notes:

You scramble up some 40 feet or so of amazingly featured rock that is very steep third class to get to the rope-up spot.

P1 - I didn't lead, and don't remember enough about to comment on.

P2 - This is easy slab. Maybe it's the exposure, maybe it's just that people don't climb slab, but it's easy. You don't even need to know how to smear. Just keep looking for the flat landings for your feet. They're all there. The "hourglass" pinch hold means you don't even have to deal with any no-hands climbing thru the "hard" part. Sews up with small cams before the bolt. 5.7 This is 5.6 at Big Rock, 5.4 at Tahquitz. Not trying to be a jerk, just saying. You can lead the slab finish at Tahquitz above Lunch Ledge? You will cruise this pitch.

P3 - If you want to know where to go, look for the bolt, which is not totally obvious. There's a huge, wide, complex gully to the right of the belay ledge. You cut across this. Don't go up it! The party ahead of us tried to, and as a result, we passed them. I talked to the leader when he got back to the bolt by the hueco, and he said the gully was fine, "if you don't mind downclimbing potato chips" which I thought was pretty funny. On the other side of the gully is a big hueco with a bolt right next to it. Head there. If you climb straight up from this bolt, the second bolt makes total sense. If you traverse right, the second bolt seems out of place.

P4 - The idea that you'll be "soloing" this pitch if you didn't bring a #4 is pure foolishness. If you brought triples of C4s #1, 2, and 3, you could place every one of them, as the wide crack constricts in regular intervals to a hand-sized splitter. I got suckered into bringing the big stuff by all the beta here, and boy did I feel like a dummy. I placed the #5 about 5 feet into the pitch to get it off my harness and it ended up walking into the crack and tipping out, creating considerable drama and delay.

This pitch is mostly low-angle climbing on very secure holds. If you're even just breaking into leading 5.8, you're going to feel totally solid on this. With a rack up to #3, you should get a piece every 20-30 feet or so, but you won't feel like you need it. From the belay described above, it's a full 60 meter rope to the bolted anchor on a SUPER ledge with a spectacular view at the top of P4. The view from this ledge is stupendous. Outstanding fun pitch. Also, I would say that calling this pitch "offwidth" is deceiving. Yeah, it's offwidth, but saying so implies that you need to use offwidth techniques, which you never do. Sort of like supertopo calling a pitch a "lieback" pitch just because it's a corner with a crack. Don't mean you gotta lieback it.

P5 - The only 5.8 climbing on the route, and it's brief, right off the deck. The knobs at the beginning of this pitch that people above are concerned will fail are still suspect, except for the larger ones, which are more than enough to go at .8. The matrix that the knobs are in is a little soft and sandy. From here up, the route becomes continually more fragile.

P6 - Fun, wacky climbing on pretty crispy rock. There's still a lot to be cleaned on this pitch. Watch what you pull/step on.

The descent is a breeze, and one of those great descent gullies where it would have been so easy for there to be a 20-foot chockstone to plug the whole thing up, but there isn''s like a staircase, but damn, i would NOT want to do it in the dark! Ha!

Have fun!
By Idaho Bob
From: McCall, ID
May 9, 2014
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R

Climbed May 8 with Jen. Good, sporty climb, but runout in many places. The 5.7's are stiff, compared with other Red Rocks route and more "athletic". Added some spice to pitch 2 by climbing directly up from single bolt. We had both MP and Handren beta but could not find the pitch 6 start w/bolt. Perhaps it was furthur left. Perhaps someone who has found it could comment,
Found a weskness to the left of the blank wall, then traversed right to a small pine with rope scars and trimmed branches. Up from there, 5.7R then 5.5R, on somewhat fragile rock. A lichen pitch. Ended exactally on top of the formation, adding to our puzzlement as to where the standard P6 was.
By Chris D
From: the couch
May 18, 2014

Idaho Bob:

This is a photo of me leading pitch 6 taken from the top of P5.

Here's a link the "original" version of the photo, if you're into detail.

By Steve Jones
Nov 23, 2014

The 2nd bolt on pitch 3 is right where it should be to reduce rope drag. It's about 15 ft above the 1st bolt and 3 ft right, in light tan rock. Fun moves getting to it. This, plus some slings, allows you to link p2 & P3.

Great, natural line - thanks Karl and Joanne!
By Gordon Larsen
From: St. George, Utah
Oct 29, 2015

Climbed this route for the first time Oct 22, 2015. Pleasantly surprised by the quality of the route. Nice belay ledges. Took our approach shoes up with us and it made the walk-off more pleasant.
By Ryan-G Gittins
From: San Diego
Feb 18, 2016

Really fun route with a good amount of variety. I think it might be a little spicy for the a new 5.8 leader at points. In contrast to what others have said, the 5.8 slab on P2 is, in my opinion, definitely solid 5.8, and nothing like 5.5 slab finish off Lunch Ledge at Tahquitz. I've led that dozens of times and never paused once, while I paused for quite a bit on second on Purblind P2. Good thing is that you're super protected by the bolt. And while none of the upper wide pitches require true off width climbing, a 5.8 leader would probably be spooked but the run outs without larger gear. On P5 make sure to swing a hard right after the right-facing corner/crack. All in all, a really fun climb with diverse pitches, great belay ledges, and cool position.
By chuckdrew
From: Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Mar 30, 2016

Thank you Mr Easter Bunny who left Easter eggs at the belays! That made my day. Not only was it great to come across a stash of candy, it also let us know we were not off-route. You're my hero.

The route was really fun. Much better than Tunnel Vision and Group Therapy IMO. High quality rock with spacious belay ledges, less groveling, and more exposer make this my favorite route on Angel Food. We climbed in a party of three and the large belay ledges easily accommodated me and my fat friends. The pitch lengths in the route descriptions were a bit off but the belay ledges are pretty obvious. I brought a 4 and 5 Camalot which really helped on pitch 4. The descent was easy, follow the cairns back and left to a gully - if done correctly you should not need to rappel during the descent but there was quite a lot of evidence that people had rappelled parts of the gully.
By Peter Lewis
From: Bridgton, Maine
May 4, 2016
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

This is a really nice route, and along with the others nearby (Tunnel... Group...) makes this little wall a wonderful place to climb. Each pitch was interesting, the climbing was consistently between 5.5 and 5.8, the cruxes were very short, the gear was mostly excellent, the belays were quite comfortable (especially at the top of p.4) and there was no junky mileage. The route goes very fast and is really a casual outing: a great "semi-rest-day" route. A couple of route notes (and yes, I'm reiterating previous comments): the P.1 sling belay is indeed less than ideal, and the suggestion of belaying 10 feet below the threader is a good one. One P.2 (pretty casual smearing, if you're used to that sort of thing), after the bolt, the easiest finish is straight right for about 10 feet, and then up. With each step to the right the holds get better. On P.3, after you clip the first bolt, the easiest thing to do is go straight right across the patina face and then up the corner/crack about 15 feet (all big holds, don't put in gear); at this point look out left about 10 feet for the second bolt, which looks like it's in a strange place. It's actually perfectly placed to protect the pitch and minimize rope drag. Step over, clip it, and then head up to the belay. The big crack on p.5 looks intimidating, but it's just a hike. Sure, bring a #4 if you like, but don't worry, there's plenty of other stuff. On P.5, above the bolt (and the next cam placements), a step left on good feet will make the one crux move easier; then just scamper up and make a belay (right at 90 feet) on the low-angle ledgy stuff. It seems that people get lost on P.6, but Jerry's description is perfect. The first bolt is about 40 feet up and 15 feet left of the big yucky corner (look at the photo by Chris D. in the comments above; the climber has just clipped the first bolt), and the second bolt is about 40 feet above the first; don't worry, the holds are huge and secure. Things taper quickly after that to 5.0 moves in a huge chimney and the top. The walk-off is pretty short and casual by RR standards.
By briksmith
May 23, 2016

Hello, I did this route and dropped my helmet cam. It screwed onto a post on my helmet, and got unscrewed as I moved my head near the rock. It is most likely shattered, but has anyone seen a video camera on this route? I think I dropped it from about the top of pitch 4. Post if you've seen a JVC camera. Thanks.
By phylp
From: Upland
May 31, 2016

We did this route yesterday (Memorial Day) and found it a lot of fun - it's now one of my new Red Rocks favorites!

When we reconned the sun/shade situation on the previous day, it did not look like the route went into the shade until about 2:30. So when we went up to the wall we were not sure whether we were going to do Group Therapy or Purblind, and brought along the #5. Despite temps in the high 80s, there was a nice little breeze so we decided to go for Purblind. I placed the #5 five times and it wasn't essential but it was quite useful. Placed one nut the whole route, I wouldn't bother with nuts at all next time. My rack suggestions: singles #3-#5, doubles in cams below that, no nuts. Some pitches took lots of medium, others lots of larger - it all got used at some point except the ball nuts. The photos and descriptions others have posted were really useful for route finding - thanks!

There was always gear exactly where you needed it. I felt like the runouts were on quite easy ground (5.4-5.5?).

Great gully descent! We saw an entire bighorn sheep carcass on the descent, horns and skull still there, with still a little skin/fur. We did not see a video camera!
By Scott360
From: Las Vegas
Oct 16, 2016

Good climb, worth doing. Below are a few thoughts to add to what others have contributed.

Protection: single rack of cams (.1-4), DMM HB offsets, extra 120cm and 60cm slings. Used the slings several times for anchors, precluding the necessity to break out my cordelette. Placed the HBs a few times, including one above the bolt on P5 and one for an anchor. The #4 cam was useful a few times, including setting up anchors. The length of the X4s made placement easier.

Approach: We stashed our packs where we wouldn’t have to double back to the base of the climb to retrieve them—quicker exit.

P1: About 10’ above the water-knotted green webbing is a good ledge to set up your anchor—good stance and good place to thread a pillar for a quick anchor set up. This pitch is a fun 5.7.

P2: The smearing moves are a nice bit of spice. While the whole climb is fun, this is the crux pitch. Crux section is maybe 10’-12’. Sporty lead.

Linking P2 & P3: If you like heinous rope drag, link them. Otherwise, don’t.

P3: If you don’t go right at the first bolt and go up instead, you’re off route. However, about 80’ up from the bolt is a stellar flake (5.10a?, 40 feet?) that has a bolt about 10’ up. (BTW, I had linked P2 & P3, and the rope drag was atrocious.) When we inadvertently climbed this the previous week, we bailed. Once atop the flake, the climbing was much tougher with non-existant pro for the first 20’-25’. Remembering that “discretion is the better part of valor,” we bailed; rapped off a small tree. While aggravated we were off route and had to bail, we all (two parties of two) agreed climbing the flake made it worthwhile.

P5: Start is fun, but not nearly as sporty as P2 of Lotta Balls. The may-pops (knobs) are solid, and hand- and foot-holds are there when you need them.

Walk-off/descent: Took us about an hour from the top to where we stashed our packs, and then about 20 minutes back to the car.
By butlerbt
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 26, 2016

The 5.9 variation adds a very nice corner pitch. Recommended!
By Nick Drake
From: Newcastle, WA
Mar 28, 2017

Did this as my first route at RR and had a blast. Great variety of movement through the pitches. The smearing on P2 was an interesting wake up for coming fresh out of winter in the gym, not hard by any means just grabs your attention.

I led P4-6, we brought a #4 and it was still on my harness at the end of P4. I found a horizontal on the left wall where it first kicks up that took a brass nut nicely. Lots of options for pro on this pitch if you look around. Run it out on the lower angle stuff to cut back on drag. Really didn't take much wide crack technique at all, almost all face moves/stemming.
I plugged either a green or purple C3 in before clipping the bolt on P5, it was only one move but nice to know I protected the belay if I blew it. Fun moves there, wish it continued longer.

Route took about 4hrs at a casual pace. Descent was straight forward, but I do recommend approach shoes over trail runners for some mandatory smearing.
By Leslie Kim
Apr 21, 2017

This was a great route for a couple of "new to trad multipitch" climbers like us. Routefinding wasn't too bad. However, the crux was definitely the twilight descent, and finding our packs in the dark. Although the sun on our backs was very welcome in late November, the short winter days made trying to find the base of the route at the end of the day... thrilling.

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