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The Great Escape 

YDS: 5.12b/c French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: IX- ZA: 27 British: E6 6b

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch
Original:  YDS: 5.12c French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: IX- ZA: 27 British: E6 6b [details]
FA: Mark Rolofson and Alan Nelson, Sept. 1994
Page Views: 14,123
Submitted By: Nate Weitzel on Jan 1, 2001

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This is one of the test pieces of the Wall of Justice. It climbs through the biggest section of the roof on amazing holds. Unfortunately, getting to these holds requires pulling a tough sequence off underclings to a sloper hold. Once you gain the roof jugs, enjoy twelve feet of huge holds until you try the lip of the roof. Here is the routes crux, and I will let you experience this fun problem for yourself. Just remember, it is only one more hard move to the anchors, go for it!!!


8 bolts with permanent biner anchors. Eds. some of the draws have been disappearing.

Photos of The Great Escape Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: D. Hyland by EGK.
D. Hyland by EGK.
Rock Climbing Photo: Picture of Micah Stocker climbing the great escape...
Picture of Micah Stocker climbing the great escape...
Rock Climbing Photo: Charley on a lap of Hanging Judge.
Charley on a lap of Hanging Judge.
Rock Climbing Photo: Making a roof clip on Great Escape.
Making a roof clip on Great Escape.
Rock Climbing Photo: Daniel finishing up the Great Escape.
Daniel finishing up the Great Escape.
Rock Climbing Photo: Ben Randolph finishing his escape.
Ben Randolph finishing his escape.
Rock Climbing Photo: Moving through the jugs on the roof in the dark.
Moving through the jugs on the roof in the dark.
Rock Climbing Photo: Geting over the roof, pumpy yet satisfying.
Geting over the roof, pumpy yet satisfying.
Rock Climbing Photo: The Great Escape in Clear Creek Canyon.
The Great Escape in Clear Creek Canyon.
Rock Climbing Photo: Adding a bunch of pics from the a couple nights ag...
Adding a bunch of pics from the a couple nights ag...
Rock Climbing Photo: Photo taken by Mike.
Photo taken by Mike.
Rock Climbing Photo: Lettin' 'em cut.
Lettin' 'em cut.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pulling out of the roof. Photo: Danielle Meyer.
Pulling out of the roof. Photo: Danielle Meyer.
Rock Climbing Photo: This this photo was taken by Mike.
This this photo was taken by Mike.
Rock Climbing Photo: Jables starting the crux.
Jables starting the crux.
Rock Climbing Photo: Photo taken by Mike.
Photo taken by Mike.

Comments on The Great Escape Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 24, 2014
By Nate Weitzel
May 4, 2002

There are now two fixed chains on this route, on the last two bolts. I discovered the one fixed chain, and decided to fix a second one to alleviate a problem with getting off of this route. By clipping the anchors at the top of the climb, it causes some terrible rope friction if you want to clean your draws, and is tough on the rope. Now, if you are so inclined, you can pull the roof, go up and touch the anchors, then jump. You will take one of the greatest swings around, and have two fixed chain draws to catch you. This also makes cleaning the draws much easier. Just a thought to add a little more adventure to the redpoint of this one!
By richard magill
Oct 2, 2002

A total blast.
By Anonymous Coward
Nov 25, 2002

I noticed that some of the holds on the steepest part of roof were flakes. To be honest, I was a bit nervous pulling on them. Do you think they are safe?
By richard magill
Nov 26, 2002

I've done this route several times without any problems. And I've seen bigger and heavier climbers pulling on this flake without incident. This route has probably seen hundreds of ascents.

Of course, there are no guarantees. At least it is very steep and if you reef the flake off, it won't hit anyone (except maybe the climber).
By richard magill
Nov 26, 2002

Cleaning choss, loose flakes, and other dangerous stuff off a route can't be considered "manufacturing", even if you have to clean it with a prybar. It is completely different from drilling a pocket, because pocket-drilling is done strictly to facilitate climbing, whereas prying crap off a route is simply safe and responsible.

Incidentally, I think this route is one of the best routes in the canyon - great job!
By micah stocker
May 12, 2004

Gear Alert
[The first bolt on the roof, before the lip, looks crappy, too. It looks like the hanger is about to pull right off the bolt. This could be the result of repeated king swings from cleaning this route. If someone know how to do this I will donate the bolt. I think replacing it with a 3/8 inch Metolius bolt is the way to go.]
By Anonymous Coward
May 23, 2004

Gear Alert
I have climbed on the route a few months ago and the bolt seemed to be pulled out a decent amount. Does anyone know it still is that way or if it has been fixed. If not, and it know one minds, I would be willing to replace it with a 3/8" SS double expansion fixe on my next trip to that wall. Let me know what you think.

Ed Rhine
By micah stocker
May 25, 2004

[The bolt is still in bad condition as of yesterday. If you replace the bolt make sure you leave the chain behind. Good luck, and thank you for helping to keep climbs safe.]
By Anonymous Coward
Jul 6, 2004

Thanks for posting those pics Mike. I'm sitting in a restaraunt in Barcelona and was thinking about the last project Micah and I worked before I left. Thanks for the cool surprise. Oh yea, I also want to say thanks a pant load for spelling my name wrong. Cheers! Wyatt
By Anonymous Coward
Sep 11, 2005

I was working this route last week and left some draws on it. Someone took the bottom three I had hanging, just wanted to give a heads up. Other than that really fun route.
By chris deulen
From: Merriam, Kansas
Oct 15, 2005
rating: 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b

I would say the most exciting route on WOJ. skipped the 4th (or 5th?) clip (wherever the crux is). A bit scary, but I did fall on it once, and it's a clean fall. The ending is one of the easier ones as far as mantles go; plenty of holds, just keep it together.
By Ben Randolph
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 16, 2006

Super fun climb. The crux for me was getting into the underclings. I found a good crimp up and left of the last bolt that made pulling the lip easy.
By non
Apr 2, 2007

The 2nd to last bolt before the anchors (fixed chains) is still in bad shape, but the proximity to the previous and next bolt should keep things safe when it comes out. You may get pelted in the face with a chain though...the bolt just after the undercling crux has a loose nut that should be checked and tightened before weighting.

This is a fun route with bouldery moves. The right skills will allow you to skip some of the holds and make your static, climbing friends piss and moan. I'm guessing the frequent forum downraters do not have these skills. Either way it seems fair at 12c.
By Nate Weitzel
Jul 5, 2007

I have added a third fixed chain under the roof. This should provide some additional protection if cleaning the route from only the fixed chains, since the bolt under the roof (now middle chain) seems a bit suspect. I do not have the knowledge to replace a bolt without really messing up the rock, but this bolt may well qualify for some help.
By j gatchalian
From: denver, co
Sep 7, 2007
rating: 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a

What a great route. Those roof jugs felt great. Fell pulling the lip on both my 2nd and 3rd burns. Those last few sloping crimps don't feel so good with a pump. Can't wait to get back and tick this one. Classic, for sure!
By Darren Mabe
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jul 29, 2009
rating: 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b

Some updates...

Rock Climbing Photo: Bolt replacement Great Escape 7/29/09
Bolt replacement Great Escape 7/29/09

  • replaced the bolt at the second chain, along with a new biner.
  • tightened the quicklink on the first chain, wasnt even closed.
  • replaced lower-off biners with some freshies.
By Jay Samuelson
From: Denver CO
Jul 31, 2010
rating: 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b

What a sweet route! The exposure is great for such a short route! Great climbing throughout, and the name is perfect for the finish. I would recommend the victory whip as well.
By chipacles
Aug 2, 2010
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

Apparently I used a sort of "cheat," pulling off a horn out left instead off both underclings, though how one is supposed to know that the horn is off is beyond me. I think moving off both underclings would up the difficulty by a letter grade, though...but I've yet to try it. Next time I'm there.

That said, it's a lot of fun. Once you pull the crux, then there are some HUGE jugs on the roof to a sort of burly lip. Great movement, tons of fun, get on it!!!
By Jay Samuelson
From: Denver CO
Aug 7, 2010
rating: 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b

Hey Chipacles, I use the undercling horn out left as well. I think people just say that's cheating because they went with the terrible option of using those horrible underclings! Either way, it's a great bit of climbing, but I would say let's leave the 'cheater holds' to the gym....
By ChanVan
Jul 18, 2011
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

Agreed- to not use the horn out left (if you can reach it) seems silly...using it makes it a 4-star 12b while forcing yourself to not use it makes it contrived 12c- whatever floats yer boat.
By sesser125
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 16, 2012

Today I replaced the 2 old biners at the anchor as well as donated a draw to the hanger two below the undercling section. Get after it.
By Curt MacNeill
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 19, 2012

A really good route. Climbs steeper than it looks with a feeling of exposure from being above the river. Super fun jug hauling which felt pretty powerful especially through the last 2 bolts in the ceiling. Gets shade most of the day with the exception of the very top which can make pulling the lip on slimey holds more challenging and fun. If you feel the grade is soft(as with all mp downgraders), I recommend campusing the final 2 jug sections in the ceiling or climbing with a watermelon strapped to ur harness......

Oh yeah I forgot, you should never clip the chains and jump once ur established over the lip. It's way better on your rope than lowering and is great fun!
By BrianWS
Aug 4, 2012
rating: 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b

So Much Fun.
If the left pointing horn before the crux reach is indeed on, calling this route 12c would be a bit of an ego stroke. Slammer felt much more difficult and spot on for the grade.
Do not let the grade deter you from trying this climb - a solid 5.11 climber can easily do all the movements, but stringing them all together would be the challenge.
By slim
Sep 12, 2012

I'll be sure to send an urgent memo to the permadraw fairy....
By jarthur
From: Westminster, CO
May 8, 2013

Since when has the "cheater" horn vs. the double underclings on this route ever been the crux? Anyone that's ever done this route knows that the crux is pulling the mantle at the top when you're pumped.
By Michael Hauck
Jun 24, 2014

Bad draws and aluminum carabiners have all been replaced as of today, 6/24.

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