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Thunder Road 

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

Type:  Sport, 2 pitches, 205'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Vernon Pinney, Dennis Laughlin-1985 Ground Up
Page Views: 372
Submitted By: Mike Housiaux on Aug 3, 2015

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (7)
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Thunder Road-- 5.9+--All the way up this big spur-...

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Starts low on the buttress and works up through dirty holds with good bolts where you need them. Easy climbing with nothing too thought provoking. The crux of the climb comes at the bulge mid way up. You get a good stance below and then fire through the thin crystals on the bulge with bad feet. 1 or 2 moves and its over. Go up to the awkward and at times uncomfortable belay anchor that looks like it could be replaced. Its rusty and its 3 old handmade hangers with chain.


Steeper climbing right off the anchor follow the flake/chimney with a couple of fun exposed awkward moves above clipping nicely spaced bolts to the easier " arch " of the buttress. Anchor on top you could likely rap off with one 60m rope to the north with a bit of downclimbing. Or 1 70m is plenty.


11 bolts anchor mid way up and anchor on top.

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Rock Climbing Photo: Thunder road follows the arete all the way to the ...
Thunder road follows the arete all the way to the ...

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By Jimmy D
From: Rapid City
Feb 24, 2016

I think for the time being this route warrants a few words of caution. The start is pretty junky (lots of lichens and some lose stuff) and the first bolt is pretty high up.

To start this route scramble up about 30ft or so until you get to the birch tree. I think the best place to belay is down about 8ft to the right of the tree, so you can see your climber. I would recommend slinging the tree with a double length to protect the start, as a fall before the first bolt would send the climber and the belayer tumbling down...

All the bolts are old 1/4" button heads... they are probably just fine, but It adds some extra spice IMO.

You can rap with a 60 from the midpoint anchor, but its close, KNOT YOUR ENDS!
By Mark Orsag
From: Omaha, NE
Jul 12, 2016
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

This is a great, great route but with a few surmountable problems. I second the astute comments of JH and can add a few more things. We did this whole thing differently-- as one monster enduro pitch using a 60m and some simul-climbing.This was done because of the poor state of the midway anchors. Leader decided he didn't want to use, and when I got there I saw why...One of the bolts there is loose and they are REALLY rusted. We rapped from top anchors using two ropes, but it was in three stages as opposed to one continuous rap. There are some convenient ledges if you bear down right into the gulley. Did this so things didn't get too twisted up and risk a big pendulum. Rope still had tendency to run somewhat precariously over some sharp-looking crystals. Had to flick repeatedly to reposition. Most of the climbing is fun 7/8ish, but there is one short powerful section that clocks in a good bit harder. Sort of an adventure sport route and an absolute unforgettable classic if approached with foreknowledge and the right spirit...

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