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Armory Wall
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The Pike 

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

Type:  Sport, 2 pitches, 180'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Todd Offenbacher, Doug Workman
Page Views: 689
Submitted By: Refuge Jared on Sep 11, 2016

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BETA PHOTO: Leading the first pitch


The 1st pitch of The Pike starts vertical but with super juggy holds and very quickly transitions to a low angle 5.5 or 5.6. Generously bolted nonetheless. After possibly the most difficult move of this pitch (5.7 or 5.8), the bolt line finishes at a ledge and a big dihedral with mussy hooks on the Left wall and a rad vertical crux on the Right wall.

The belay platform isn't perfectly flat but the rope can easily rest on the ground if positioned with enough care. From here you can hear call signals from the top anchors unless it's quite windy; make a signal plan. Also the routes here are quite condensed, so consider using names before call signals to avoid confusion from other climbers calling on the West end of Armory Wall.

2nd pitch begins with the 5.9 crux wall. Well protected, dead vertical with a few pockets and cracks to work with up to an exit Right of a small roof. Pretty fun! After the crux continue out of the belayer's view at a low angle with a juggy arete Left of the bolt line and various crimps to the Right.

There's about a 10' juggy low angle run out from the last bolt of the 2nd pitch to mussy hooks at the anchor. You can carefully top out here for mind-blowing panoramic view looking into the Carson Valley on one end, just shy of North Lake on the other, and eeeeverything in between.

Rappel down. Coil each end of the rope to throw it down the low angle sections of each pitch for a cleaner rappel. Find the least featured, most straightforward and vertical way down the 1st pitch to avoid snagging the rope when you pull it.

Choose your own adventure:

-Going up
If you want to skip the 1st pitch on the way up and you're a confident 5.8 leader you could consider backpacking the rope to the start of the 2nd pitch by soloing from War Hammer's start through a juggy low angle route toward the vertical bolted crux wall of The Pike. There's one 5.8ish move right below the crux wall before you reach the anchor.

Theoretically, it's possible to start climbing at the start of War Hammer all the way to the anchor of The Pike's 2nd pitch with a 60 meter rope, using your choice of bolts for protection along the way but the trade off would be increased rope drag and less effective communication from top anchors to belay.

-Going down
You can bypass the rappel down the 1st pitch by rappelling from the top anchors to the Amory Wall's "platform." Rappelling from the midpoint of a 60 meter rope you can lower to just 5 feet above the start of War Hammer and finish on a short downclimb on great jugs. If you choose to do so, confirm of the location of the platform beforehand, and mind the end of your rope!


Most South West edge of Armory Wall. Starts just Left of a tree. Keep in mind, the start is maybe 5.6. You won't see any 5.9 climbing until the 2nd pitch.


10 bolts and mussy hooks at anchor of 1st pitch. 11 bolts and mussy hooks at anchor of 2nd pitch. Well protected crux.

Photos of The Pike Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up from the anchors at the top of the 1st ...
BETA PHOTO: Looking up from the anchors at the top of the 1st ...

Comments on The Pike Add Comment
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By Melissa Thaw
From: Merced, CA & South Lake Tahoe
Jul 5, 2017

This is a super-duper fun route! Mostly 5.6ish, very well bolted. It is a great area to practice clipping bolts. Amazing views. Lots of cool features - cracks, face-grabs, little ledges . . . The low angle made it too hard for me to link the pitches - more fun to do them separately. Thank you for putting these routes up! SOOO fun!
By Mark Christy
Sep 27, 2017

Agree with everything Melissa said. This is a perfect route for a new leader. Well-bolted for those who like ample protection.

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