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Footloose 'N' Fancy Free S 
Lance T 
Monster Crack T 
Scarecrow T 
Sword in the Stone T,S 

Sword in the Stone 

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

Type:  Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 180'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Webster and Coyne, 1976
Page Views: 1,494
Submitted By: Ben Glover on Apr 10, 2003

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (4)
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  • Description 

    1st: the name is via Bob's book (I think I've seen others floating around).

    SitS is located on the west side of Kindergarten Rock. Find the black, scarred outcropping containing Scarecrow and Monster Crack, then move 30 feet or so right of the right edge. Be looking up for an obvious line of pins heading straight up the rock (that's Footloose and Fancy Free). The ramp to your left (heading up the outcropping) is Lance. If you take a broad look at the face of the rock up and left, you'll note it's got a lot of green stuff on it. I'm no biologist but I believe that's lichen. Get an idea of the overall size/shape, because you'll be traversing above it.

    Climb the first 3 to 4 bolts of FaFF. If you clip the fourth bolt (not a bad option) use a double runner, at least. I prefer a runner long enough to make the fourth bolt redundant to clipping the 3rd. At this point look left and perhaps slightly up. There are 2-3 pins between you and the rock outcropping WAAAY over there. Fortunately the climbing is fairly light. Sadly there is some rotten rock along the way. Feel free to sink cams in between the pins. They (most likely) will be lobe down, so plan accordingly.

    Once you hit the outcropping, head up (the easy and obvious route being between the outcropping and the rock proper). If you're using a 50m rope, you can climb onto the outcropping and see the anchors for Scarecrow. Unfortunately you'll probably end 20 feet shy. Climb back down into the gully and set an anchor (so bring some extra gear!). Your second can lead the last 20 feet.

    Not a great route, but if you're intent on topping the outcropping w/o getting a pump on Monster Crack this is a decent option (Lance, below you, is a bit of a stinker). Positive holds make this a lot of fun, but the sketch factor of the loose rock on the traverse hold it back.


    At a minimum bring a rack of draws, a few long slings, and some large gear (to protect the balance of Lance). Optionally it may be wise to bring some small to medium cams to protect the traverse.

    Per Bill Olszewski: 4 pins up and 2 on the traverse.

    Getting There 

    From the GOG staff June 2017: please approach from the South end of the formation, near the Kindergarten Wall.

    Comments on Sword in the Stone Add Comment
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    By Chris R
    Aug 22, 2003

    After climbing this line, I considered just going over to Centers for Disease Control to have them check me for any bird-crap related illnesses.Upon reaching the 3rd bolt and beginning the leftward traverse, every hold had to be wiped clean of accumulated bird droppings. My partner got bombed slap on the cheek with a fresh one.Except for the first 20 ft., the climbing was not all that great; I have no intention of ever repeating this bomb.
    By Dan Russell
    Aug 24, 2003

    Yeah, but isn't that first section good? I don't recall the bird crap but I do recall looseness (fun, Garden looseness).
    By Chris R
    Aug 25, 2003

    Having only climbed it once, Dan, I don't know if bird crap is seasonal or what. It was like a layer of paint in early August.Also, as an afterthought, Bob D'Antonio's Garden of the Gods guidebook shows 4 bolts protecting the traversing section of this line. We only found two, so either the guidebook is wrong, or the other pins pulled, or they are well-hidden. The two remaining pins protect the traverse adequately, although a fall far from either pins would be a horribly painful pendulum. The edges are all very sharp and would grate off hunks of flesh.
    By Dan Russell
    Aug 29, 2003

    Chris, I don't remember how many pins were on the traverse, but two sounds about right. You're right about the fall - if you fell from parts of that traverse you'd be pretty torn up! Just watch what you pull on I guess, huh?
    By Phil Lauffen
    From: The Bubble
    Jan 4, 2010

    I blew a hand hold off this 15 feet out from a pin... pretty exciting. I'm lucky I didn't fall. Test EVERYTHING and then don't really trust it. The first 4 pins were fun, after that it wasn't.
    By Bill Olszewski
    From: Colorado Springs, CO
    Jan 5, 2011

    Just lead this today, 4 pins up and 2 on the traverse. Not so sure I'd say 2 pins on the traverse was adequate, but I loved the sketch factor they created. Took gear but didn't like any placements on the route; didn't find any placements on the upper section of Lance, but it's an easy chimney with nowhere to go but up.

    I loved this route - runouts, old pins, lots of loose flakes (definitely test everything and watch your balance and footwork) - this is Garden climbing!
    By Phil Lauffen
    From: The Bubble
    Jan 6, 2011

    Yo Bill, go get on Over the Rainbow and rewrite my route description! I may just not be suited for Garden of the Gods climbing! I'd like to think there's a great route buried under that choss.
    By Bill Olszewski
    From: Colorado Springs, CO
    Jan 7, 2011

    Hey, Phil, I'd love to, but I'm not sure it's possible for me to "man up" to that extent! Ha ha. Maybe if I find a badassed and fearless climbing partner. I think there's a big difference between hard, Kindergarten sandstone flakes that tend to leave solid, square edges when they break, and soft North Gateway sandstone flakes held on by fairy dust, lol. As a matter of fact, I think if anyone spent a little time on SitS intentionally breaking loose flakes, it would be a real solid climb.
    By Bill Olszewski
    From: Colorado Springs, CO
    Jan 7, 2011

    To find the rap anchor: once you get above the last chimney of Lance and into the bushes, look to your left for a 6' pinnacle. Go through the notch on the far side of the pinnacle (north side) onto a big ledge. The anchor is on the face to your right.

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