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The Hitchhiker 

YDS: 5.11c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 24 British: E4 6a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 125'
Original:  YDS: 5.11c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 24 British: E4 6a [details]
FA: Darren Knezek
Page Views: 3,546
Submitted By: Perin Blanchard on May 12, 2012

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Nearing the top.


A long, long route by Maple standards, this line will leave you exhausted and feeling like you just ascended three pitches with several cruxes.

Begin by using big, positive holds past the first bolt to a ledge. A tricky, strenuous crux awaits up a vertical section to another "ledgy" bit and a good rest.

Another cruxy section to another rest. Another cruxy section. Another rest. Repeat.

The total bolt count on this route is 25 plus anchors, although several of the bolts can be profitably skipped (the route was equipped ground up by Jason Stevens, presumably using a Willy Stick which accounts for the closely-spaced bolts).

You may also want to reach down and unclip some of the bolts once you get a higher bolt clipped because, near the top, you're pulling up a lot of rope and the less drag the better.

Note that the route is longer than half a 60m rope. A new, 70m rope barely reached (there was about 2 feet of rope left on the belayer's side when the climber was on the ground). There is a midpoint chain anchor to accommodate shorter ropes.


When you emerge from the short trail from the road you are directly in front of the black water streak. This line is the first route to the right of the water streak.


25 bolts, chain anchors. Two of the bolts can be easily skipped (bolts two and seven—although don't fall skipping bolt two before clipping bolt three). You may choose to skip others higher up.

There is also a chain anchor midway up the route that can be used to lower off the rope with a single 60m rope.

Photos of The Hitchhiker Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: move after move after move after move...
move after move after move after move...
Rock Climbing Photo: Doug Dickens moving upwards on the 28-bolt line.
Doug Dickens moving upwards on the 28-bolt line.
Rock Climbing Photo: Telephoto shot of The Hitchhiker 5.11c
Telephoto shot of The Hitchhiker 5.11c
Rock Climbing Photo: The Hitchhiker 5.11c from the road
The Hitchhiker 5.11c from the road
Rock Climbing Photo: The Hitchhiker 5.11c
The Hitchhiker 5.11c

Comments on The Hitchhiker Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 8, 2017
By KipHenrie
From: Farmington, utah
May 12, 2012
rating: 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a

OK. So heres the deal. I thot I was a pretty good 11c climber, but wait this is 3x longer than most the climbs I get on. It wasted me on my Flash attempt. You have to change your mindset on this one. Break it up and dont hurry yourself. If you see a rest, big or small, take it. And frankly just enjoy it little by little. I think it took me around 40 minutes with the rests I took. With a little patience, and a steady belayer you will send with a big smile on your face.

Thanks Jason and DK for your vision on this route. Just a super classic.
By Cowboy Roy
From: SLC, UT
Jul 7, 2012

I agree with the first comment. I decided to try this to save some energy on semi rest day, this things is crux after crux and trying to gun through it is burly. compared to other routes in maple of this grade, hitchhiker is way harder, maybe i have no endurance though.
By the schmuck
From: Albuquerque, NM
Jul 13, 2012
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

Good route, but beware...A 70 meter rope does NOT reach the ground. A group of Canadians in front of us tried lowering with a 70, and the rope did not reach (about 15 feet short). Trusting MP, I thought that they had a short 70. I tried lowering with my 70, and was about 15 feet short, and had to yard back up to the mids (a pain in the ass). I was later told that the Hitchiker is 38m long, not 35m. Just be prepared to lower from the mids unless you have 80m.
By bheller
From: SL UT
Jul 13, 2012
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

I climbed this route on 7/9/12 and my 70 meter rope perfectly lowered me to reach the ground, and this was still with the other end of the rope still clipped in an running up through all the draws. Fun route, glad I climbed it.
By the schmuck
From: Albuquerque, NM
Jul 23, 2012
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

Not sure what to say. Either the Canadians, us, and the party that we spoke to afterwards all have short 70s, or you have a long 70. I even unclipped the draws on the lower, and still did not reach.
By John Ross
From: Wasatch Front, UT
Jul 27, 2012

Here is Perin's 70m rope hanging from the chains on The Hitchhiker. Perhaps all 70m ropes are not equal, but this rope was perfect for doing the route in one pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Perin's 70m rope hanging from the chains on The Hi...
Perin's 70m rope hanging from the chains on The Hitchhiker
By Kurt Howes
Jul 28, 2013

70 meter rope conundrum; Probably not all 70 meter ropes are exactly 70 meters. I think also that skinnier ropes, and certain ropes in general, will stretch more than others. Just throw the ends from the upper anchors and if they're within 10 feet of the ground then go for the single rap because you'll get the stretch toward the bottom. I wish I would have done the single rap.
Route is great; harder moves (11.c) being within the first 1/3 of route and upper part just being fairly sustained and continuous but still 11-.
By Riley Rollins
Jun 8, 2014
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

What a cool line! I agree with what has been said above: milk the rests that you are given, really take your time and recover completely. There are probably 3 good spots throughout the route that will allow you to recover completely if you can keep yourself and belayer patient. Run where you need to, and camp out where you need to. My 70m rope did not look like it would stretch enough, but the midway anchors work well enough, so 1 rope is sufficient either way. Enjoy the ride and remember to take your time!
By Mort
Jun 18, 2015
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a

And my 70m did not reach yesterday. Lower twice or be prepared to downclimb. I did from the 3rd bolt, but clipped straight in from bolt-to-bolt since they are so close.
By Mort
Jun 22, 2015
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a

I love enduro routes and this wall in particular. Did most of the routes here and thought the grades were about right or even a little soft. However, this one felt fully 11d, just to the first anchor. I talked to at least a half dozen other people who felt the same. Maybe something broke?
By Luke Bertelsen
From: Tucson, AZ
Oct 4, 2015
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

I have done this route several times now with at least two different "70M" ropes. Both reached, but not by much. It's also worth noting that while this climb does have 26 bolts on the way to the chains there is often one at your shin and one in front of your face so the bolt spacing is pedestrian to say the least. Only mentioned here because if you don't feel like racking that many draws on your harness you can likely skip a few here and there and save your self the weight.
By clive curson
Jul 6, 2016
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

What an excellent route. Really enjoyed it. Yip, my new 70m rope just reached the ground from the very top, having unclipped all the draws.
By Miguel D
From: SLC
May 14, 2017

We were able to lower to the ground with our single 70m rope (Edelrid Racer 9.8mm) with about 2ft to spare.

Great route, milk every rest you find
By Jason Halladay
From: Los Alamos, NM
Jun 8, 2017
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

Another experience with a 70m that reached (just barely with stretch and a few key draws unclipped)...BD 9.2mm rope.

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