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BETA PHOTO: A view from "Sinister" from the bottom. ...
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Park your car off of the main canyon road.
Description (2 or 3 in this one)
Sinistar is one of the older HelmetGate lines which departs a bit from the sanitized feel you get after climbing one too many lines on Melting Mud. Expect a bit of gnar, a (fair) bit of sand, big moves, ugly old bolts and an assload of fun and pump on this one.
The black rock at the bottom is Devils Castle-ish, the white rounded choss in the middle is reminiscent of Ibex's eroded caves, and the headwall feels like typical pockety HelmetGate.
The start is a bit in your face and the hardest moves on the route might be right off the ground (they won't feel bad at all when fresh). Clip the ancient bolt and make your way through blocky sidepulls and a few long moves until your reach the chossier rock/chossiest rock divide below the start of the overhanging section.
Catch a rest, ask for the protection of whatever deity you believe in and fire up the roof using jugs that have been defying erosion and gravity for way too long.
You might want to thread the 2nd bolt in the white section with a runner instead of clipping it, it's resting in a recess and would take a lot of torque if you fell on it...
Shuffle up and slightly right through a pumpy section of pancake pinching and sidepulls until you cross the ill-defined chossiest rock/chossy rock boundary and re-enter HelmetGate style climbing. Brush an unbelievable amount of sand from your hands, shoes and eyes, start breathing again and motor up the pocketed headwall to the longest set of chains you'll ever see (longer that Sasquatch).
Lower and proceed to dodge the sand avalanches the next climber will be sending your way if you're belaying - while trying not to fall of the slowly decomposing belay stance.
Did I mention this one is really good? GO DO IT.
Sinistar sits West of the pillar that marks the left end of the Melting Mud Wall. Approach as for Melting Mud, skip the last switchback and head West to a giant alcove featuring 3 layers of rock: compact black, sandy rounded white and brittle looking gray. Kinda like a layered cake. One that tastes like sand and choss.
Scramble up into the alcove looking for an old trinket bolt at the base of a steep blocky section of black rock. Look up and be scared. You should see another bolted line to your right. If you don't, you're about to get spanked on Septic Death
13 bolts to chains.
60 m rope only and you won't have much to spare.
another look at the 5.11 that travels through the ...
this one definitely was solid 5.11! steep, long, ...
Aug 13, 2009
could be my favorite line on hellgate.
liked the sandy stone layer - and its bolt that is starting to erode off the rock.
Its the shittiest, scariest, BEST climbing i"ve done outside of the desert. Must do!!
By Alec LaLonde
Sep 19, 2010
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
This is a really, really fun line. Pretty sustained and long, but with adequate rests. Better than Martinez Mind Melter, it's a steep jug haul through the roofs.
We did this with a 60m and it was just barely long enough w/ rope stretch. I'm not especially fat either.
By Spencer Weiler
From: Salt Lake city
Apr 11, 2012
Super good. I thought the first bolt was bomber. Rust means its solidified nicely into the rock. Which sandy pocket should I grab?
By Sam Miller
From: salt lake city, UT
Aug 11, 2012
By Cassidy Thomas
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Sep 16, 2016
I really did not enjoy this route. After the halfway point the rock quality is just terrible in my opinion. I was terrified pulling on some of those thin 'jugs'. It was like climbing up a wall of chalk. The rock is so soft that there are a couple bolts sticking out of the wall a centimeter or two, because the rock eroded away from around the bolt. I wouldn't recommend it at all, I'm definitely not going back to it. Lots of routes at hellgate get a lot better with traffic, this is not one of them. The rock will always just continually erode, not 'clean up' like the routes on the right side of the wall.