REI Community
Rock Of Ages
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Black Tie T 
Brain Stem S 
Celestial Gate T 
Center Dihedral T 
Days of Heaven T 
Desolation Angels T 
Greensleeves S 
Hats Off T 
Heavenly Daze S 
Multiple Blues T 
Nameless Demons T 
Original Sin T 
Pitch Perfect T 
Rope Rider T 
Telekinesis S 
Wasp, The T 

The Wasp 

YDS: 5.12d French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX ZA: 28 British: E6 6b

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 95'
Original:  YDS: 5.13a French: 7c+ Ewbanks: 29 UIAA: IX+ ZA: 29 British: E6 6c [details]
FA: Topher Donahue
Season: Spring, Summer afternoons, Fall
Page Views: 15,688
Submitted By: Alex Shainman on Mar 1, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (33)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Cody Scarpella on The Wasp.

Seasonal Closures MORE INFO >>>


The Wasp may be THE best single pitch, trad, granite route of its style and difficulty in Colorado! There are a couple single-pitch routes in CO that come close, but this is a unique gem combining great rock, super aesthetic moves, and great pro. In my opinion, California fine-grained granite has always catered to more memorable crack pitches than almost anywhere in CO, except for this very spot (and parts of the Platte).

A word about ratings. …I had heard a couple comments from climbers who felt that The Wasp does not warrant a 13a rating, and to be honest, neither did I. But...I did not onsight it, and I completely sieged the route by fully inspecting gear placements and moves on rappel. How can anyone accurately rate a climb? It is so subjective and with any climb there will always be many factors that will obviously affect the perception of difficulty. At the time I redpointed this route, I knew a couple climbers who came close but only 2 climbers who had onsighted it, and I am assuming each was a true onsight. To onsight the Wasp without ANY prior knowledge of the moves OR the gear placements is an awesome accomplishment. En route, there are some cryptic sections and a couple of moves where you must bear down, but in general the climbing is more cerebral, and there are no “stopper” crux moves. On the other hand, the gear requires some thought in a few placements, but as a whole the route protects beautifully. Every climb is different. The Wasp was for me “easy to learn”. I believe this would be the same for most. Nonetheless, it is a worthy and challenging climb whatever you decide to personally rate it.


Located on the upper tier of ROA between Greensleeves and a Tommy Caldwell 13- fully bolted route (which is left of a Topher D. torturous corner route) is The Wasp. Start at a flake that becomes a straight in crack. Near the middle, the route zigs left and zags right to a rest before the last leftward stretch to the top and the bolted anchor.


Bolted anchor, one pin (last piece), an assortment of standard and "offset" nuts through the size range but mostly in the medium range, double cams from Metolius #0 TCU through flexy WC Friends #2.5 (three 1.5 Friends), and runners including double-length. Double rope technique could be helpful due to the zig-zagging nature of the line.

Photos of The Wasp Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Cody Scarpella on "The Wasp".
Cody Scarpella on "The Wasp".
Rock Climbing Photo: Cody Scarpella on The Wasp.
Cody Scarpella on The Wasp.
Rock Climbing Photo: Cody Scarpella on "The Wasp".
Cody Scarpella on "The Wasp".
Rock Climbing Photo: Alex on the Wasp!
Alex on the Wasp!
Rock Climbing Photo: Halfway up with a long way to go.
Halfway up with a long way to go.

Comments on The Wasp Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 12, 2017
By Joe Collins
Jun 29, 2007
rating: 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b

A classic and memorable pitch of "hard" trad. Well-protected throughout, but the gear at the crux requires a bit of tinkering to get it right. Comparing to another local testpiece of similar grade, it is not as hard as The Evictor, but YMMV.
By Cassidy Hill
Jul 7, 2008

No single move as hard as the crux on Evictor, but overall a more demanding route both mentally and physically. This route is super technical, and it stays on you until you clip the anchor. Perfect rock in a perfect setting rock climbing doesn't get much better than this.
By MauryB
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 14, 2008
rating: 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c

Amazing route! Don't know why you would want to mess with doubles though, a single rope is fine.
By Dusty
From: Fort Collins
Oct 7, 2008
rating: 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c

Spectacular route. Great movement, good gear, perfect location, and a desperate mantle to finish it up.
By DonP
Jan 8, 2009

For some video beta check out Heidi Wirtz's segments throughout Front Range Freaks, and don't forget to vote for Heidi for the Inspiring Soles Award!
By Ol Toby
From: CA
Nov 22, 2010
rating: 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b

Without a doubt, one of the best pitches I've done.

While there are some good rests and no single stopper move, the pump stays on you.

4 stars for movement, aesthetics, and setting.
By Scott Bennett
Jun 9, 2011

One of the best pitches I've ever done. Anywhere.
By Casey McTaggart
From: boulder, co
Apr 12, 2013

Anyone been up there this year and know about the snow/approach/etc?
By Andy Hansen
From: Longmont, Colorado
Jul 16, 2014
rating: 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c

There is currently an RP and 0.3 Camalot fixed below the crux. Awesome route.
By WadeM
From: Golden, Co
Aug 18, 2015

No fixed gear is present except the pin at the top.
By Jesse Huey
Sep 23, 2016

Was up there the other day 9/18/16 and think our group left some gear. It was dark, and I think it was left on a ledge... some ultralight cams, (0.5, 0.75, a little blue Metolius, and a Grigri, at the least...). Please PM me if you found it, I will totally give you $ or a cam as reward! Thanks,

By michalm
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 5, 2017
rating: 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b

Incredible pitch. I might suggest traversing at the good crimps before the piton instead of going straight up. I did not (do-oh) and took an enormous whipper from just above and right of the pin with absolutely no holds to clip from.

The final mantel is fun but didn't feel nearly as hard as the upper or the lower crux.
By alix morris
From: Estes Park, CO
Jun 22, 2017

Soooo good! Like really, really, really AWESOME and beautiful. Great rock. Tons of feet... awesome gear (especially if you sort it on rappel)! You don't have to place any nuts to sew it up too!

Highly encourage everyone to get on it even if it's not a grade you usually climb. You will surprise yourself. With good footwork, it isn't very powerful. It's a ballet!
By michalm
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 26, 2017
rating: 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b

The Wasp gets my vote for the best single pitch in the Front Range. Sport climbs don't get much better than this!

This route seems much harder to onsight than to redpoint after a little gear tinkering due to the technicality of the movement and fiddly nature of the gear. It was definitely safe to lead ground-up but much easier (and less demoralizing) to send after a quick TR recon.

No gear larger than a #1 Camalot is needed, and I would suggest bringing a red mastercam for up high (fits better than a 0.75).

There was no rope drag with a few strategically-placed shoulder-length slings and quickdraws.
By Darren Mabe
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jun 26, 2017

^When did the Wasp get fully bolted Mich?
By michalm
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 12, 2017
rating: 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b

It climbs like a sport route....

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About