The Trad Warrior
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The Trad Warrior is a route that has ascended into notoriety amongst Moab locals: Rumor has it that climbers across the canyon watched as Tom Gilje took repeated, enormous whippers while putting up this route on lead. Because of this, Gilje's reputation, and probably a fair bit of exaggeration, I had heard that it quite possibly hadn't received a second ascent. Certainly there are plenty of climbers capable of walking up to this thing and onsighting it, but given that I'm a pretty big chicken, I spent a day on it TR solo before my ascent on lead.
Surprisingly, given the name, the route has ten bolts... but if you don't bring a few finger- and hand-size pieces, you're going to be hating life. Even so, there is potential to sprain an ankle here or there, but overall the route is quite safe. Kudos to Gilje for his vision and impeccable style in establishing this amazing pitch.
The Trad Warrior climbs up a gently overhanging panel of orange water-streaked rock and is rather isolated from the other main Mill Creek areas. Access is from above: fix a line to rap down to a spacious belay ledge two hundred feet off the canyon floor, and take a lead line with you. Climb up fairly easy rock to a first crux move stepping left. Good rests lead up to a second crux sequence above a short hand crack. Above this is another marginal rest, followed by a deceptive traverse left, a good shake, and a techy crux sequence up a beautiful black seam. This is followed by another good rest and finally some rad bear-hugging to the top-out on the rim.
This is a great route but may need some brushing as it doesn't see much traffic. Gilje didn't rate it, and no moves are probably harder than V4/5, but I thought overall it was a tad harder redpoint than The Wasp in RMNP, but with a similar tech style, so I'll call it 12+ here and give Tom Gilje, whose routes I enjoy, a big "thank you" for his many climbing treasures.
Ten bolts. I also used a 0.5 Camalot (long sling), a blue Alien (long sling), and a #2 and #1 Camalot.
Jun 24, 2009
Fun Facts of "Trad Warrior"...
Yes, TG did take repeated 30+ whippers on this route. This is for sure. I watched 'em.
"Trad Warrior"...though now a gear supplemented bolted routed, was, as i recall (of this I am however not 100% sure), FA'd by TG sans bolts (thus the 30 footers) but then, in true master first ascentionist style, he retro'd it so it would actually get climbed! TG's MC routes are notoriously spicy without being dangerously dangerous. Really, quite an art!
Also as i recall, he originally called it 12b... ;-0
By Steven Lucarelli
From: Moab, UT
Mar 11, 2014
rating: 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
This route deserves more than 4 stars! One of the best pitches I've done in Upper or Lower Mill Creek, or anywhere for that matter!
From: Flagstaff AZ
Sep 13, 2014
My Boy Turk, a transplanted Moab local just sent this masterpiece last week, and he's only been climbin about 4 years!