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The Honeymoon is Over 

YDS: 5.13c French: 8a+ Ewbanks: 30 UIAA: X- ZA: 31 British: E7 7a

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches, 1000'
Original:  YDS: 5.13c French: 8a+ Ewbanks: 30 UIAA: X- ZA: 31 British: E7 7a [details]
FA: Tommy Caldwell
Page Views: 1,897
Submitted By: Tank Evans on Aug 14, 2015

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Midway up the first 13- pitch on the Honeymoon is ...

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The Honeymoon is Over is one of, if not the, most difficult routes on the Diamond. Although the Full Dunn-Westbay is technically rated higher (14- vs. 13c), the Honeymoon packs more of a punch (4 5.13 pitches) than the Full DW (1 pitch of 5.14-). I found the Honeymoon to be a generally harder day out mentally and physically than the DW, but the crux pitch of the DW is harder than any one pitch of the Honeymoon. This comparison highlights the complexity of rating multi-pitch free climbs with a single number.

The Honeymoon was established by Eric Doub in the 1990s, who worked the route for a number of years. Eventually, Eric passed the route off to a young Tommy Caldwell who fired it, practically onsight, in the summer of 2001. Tommy went up one day in early summer to attempt it and managed to free-climb the route through the crux 13c pitch with 1 fall until being forced to retreat due to wet rock. He came back in August and fired the whole route with no more prep in between attempts. Tommy's effort on the Honeymoon is one of the most impressive alpine free climbing ascents to-date given the extremely technical and difficult nature of the climbing and his almost on-sight ground-up style.

I did not have such good style and opted to rappel in over a couple of weekends....

Pitch breakdown:

Approach pitches: climb the first 2-3 pitches of Eroica, depending on how you break it down, to the base of the 11c stem corner on Eroica.

Pitch 1 (11c): climb the technical 11c stem corner of Eroica, and belay at a hanging belay at two bolts where Eroica traverses left.

Pitch 2 (13-): continue up the thin corner to a bolt below a small roof/overlap. Traverse right under the roof to a crack out left, and then punch it over the roof to a fixed hanging belay at 4 fixed stoppers (green Camalot backs up the belay).

Pitch 3 (13c): climb an ultra technical, thin RP seem with a 8 inch offset off the belay for 30 feet to easier climbing and some bolts. Follow the bolts to a small overlap and traverse right to a hand crack. Climb the handcrack up to a bolt out left on the face, and execute a difficult face boulder problem to a ledge stance.

Pitch 4 (13-): make difficult moves off the belay left to an undercling traverse, and follow this to a small corner. Climb the corner to a bolted overhanging boulder problem, followed by easier climbing to Table Ledge crack.

Pitch 5 (13-): traverse right to an obvious, hanging flake system with bolts. Lieback up the flake system past a couple of difficult sections to a bolted belay on a ledge.

Pitch 6 (12-): climb the dirty crack for ~130 feet to a small dihedral ~30 feet from the top of the wall. Execute a 12- boulder problem, clipping a fixed pin and a bolt, and then continue to the summit on easier climbing.


This is one route right of Eroica and shares the start with Eroica.


Double rack from a blue Alien to green Camalot, a single red Camalot, a yellow Camalot, and a double set of RPs.

Photos of The Honeymoon is Over Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at the last pitch of the route. The rou...
BETA PHOTO: Looking up at the last pitch of the route. The rou...
Rock Climbing Photo: The '13b' pitch. Strenuous traverse along the unde...
BETA PHOTO: The '13b' pitch. Strenuous traverse along the unde...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down at the crux pitch.
BETA PHOTO: Looking down at the crux pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch breakdown of THIO. Pitch lengths are approxi...
BETA PHOTO: Pitch breakdown of THIO. Pitch lengths are approxi...

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By j wharton
Aug 15, 2016

The belays have changed! See details below:

Eric Doub did an incredible job envisioning and establishing this route, and Tommy's FA style is remarkable. Someone is going to have to flash, or onsight the route to better his effort! Given the traffic it's received recently and the way it's cleaning up, I think this route is one of, if not the best, hard alpine rock route in the lower 48.

However, last year after redpointing the route, I felt several of the belays were in strange spots and needed to be moved, especially the hanging belay atop the first 5.13a pitch, which besides being extremely uncomfortable, really wasn't at a legitimate stance.

After getting the approval of other people that have redpointed the route, this season I added a two bolt anchor at a no-hands stance halfway into the second 5.13 pitch. (Look for a crafty heel-toe to drop your hands.) With this new anchor, I re-redpointed the route as three longer 5.13 pitches, instead of four shorter ones.

The route is much more pleasant now for both leader and follower, and the belay points feel more natural. It doesn't change the grade (perhaps it's ever so slightly harder), and you can easily do the route as it was first done if you choose.

The pitches are now slightly different than Joe's description:

From a belay in the Eroica corner, climb all the way through the "ultra-technical corner" to the new two bolt anchor, located just after a small rightward traverse. 35 meters 13c-ish.

Climb layback jugs off the anchor, to a tricky boulder problem on tiny holds. Skip another two bolt anchor (also not really a no-hands), and continue past the next two bouldery sections, all the way to a fixed gear anchor at Table Ledge. 30 meters 13b-ish.

Continue as Joe describes, although you no longer need to downclimb to begin the final 13a pitch.
By Tank Evans
Aug 15, 2016

Fantastic! This is a far better pitch breakdown. Additionally, it eliminates the danger of cratering on your belayer on the second 5.13 pitch as it was previously, which as I remember it was a real possibility depending on how crafty you are with thin gear.

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