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John's Wall
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Alberta S 
Amazon T 
Bulges T 
Easter Rising S 
From Aldo to Abbey T,S 
Houston S, The S 
Nose, The S 
Route 66 T 

The Houston S 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 55'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: John Joline, ~1980
Page Views: 1,228
Submitted By: George Perkins on Apr 10, 2008

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Racing shadows on Houston


Houston S is the rightmost bolted line on John's. It's cleaner than most at John's Wall, and fun climbing.

The start is shared with a mixed bolted/trad line (Amazon). There's a thin crux between the 2nd and 3rd bolt, which is harder for short people. Angle left on crimpy basalt climbing. The anchor is shared with Easter Rising. Also, rated 5.8 in the old guide.

'Taos Rock' shows a bolted 5.11 variation to this climb, directly climbing the thin face between Houston S and Easter Rising. The lowest bolt on this variation is missing now (not sure how important it is).

Interesting note re: the original name (S, not 5), by JJ below.


This is the rightmost bolted line on John's Wall.


5(?) bolts to a 2-bolt anchor. Optional #0.5 or #0.75 cam or tricam.

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By Brett Brotherton
From: Arvada, CO
Jan 3, 2009

Did this climb on 12/31/08 wall is climbable on a warm winter day recommend late morning we got there about 1 and sun was starting to go behind other side of canyon. I only recall there being 5 bolts to anchor chains. Crux is definitely between the second and third bolt. Between the third and fourth bolt you can place some gear I used a .5 and .75 camalot in the horizontal cracks a red tricam would probably have been better but it was on the ground.
By John Joline
May 1, 2010

Re "Houston 5"

The actual name of this route is "The Houston S" ["ess"]. Way back in 1980 or whenever it was, I started up this new route, and Bill Johnson, in conversation from below, used the phrase (in some forgotten context), "...not used to this." I misheard and yelled down something like, "What was that about the Houston S?" -- hence the name. We created a small guidebook to the area and somehow my hand-written "S" became a "5" in later guidebook(s).

-John Joline

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