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Trial & Terror 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 7 pitches, 1000', Grade IV
Original:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Karsten Duncan, Andrew Gomoll - March 22, 2008
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 1,815
Submitted By: Karsten Duncan on May 15, 2008

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Beware of rock ninjas at pitch 4 belay

RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone in Red Rocks is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. MORE INFO >>>


The Basin Wall was originally named in the red guide by Joanne Urioste. This route is the first to our knowledge on the formation.

Trial & Terror goes up a right diagonally running crack system to above a prominent roof and then follows weaknesses back and up to the top. No bolts or drills were taken on the first ascent of the route so all anchors are natural and several pitches are longer than 200ft. In addition to its lengthy and tedious approach, long pitches, and natural anchors, the route has several sections of delicate face climbing with decent run-outs. While the moves are seldom that difficult the nature of climbing, remoteness, lack of retreat options, lengths of approach and descent make this a serious route. The climbing is varied from incipient cracks to angling chimneys to fantastic face and crack climbing. Overall, a fun route.

Pitch 1: 230ft, 5.9
Begin at the far left (south) side of the wall on a small tongue of white rock just left of an offwidth crack. Climb up past a bush and through some interesting and sparsely protected climbing. Continue up the crack until reaching a stance in the corner.

Pitch 2: 230ft, 5.9
Continue up the corner crack climbing past a small roof on the left. Just past this roof make an improbable traverse up left out of the angling dihedral on face moves. Continue up an easy featured slab above (5.6) until you reach a small stance.

Pitch 3: 220ft, 5.9
Move straight up from the belay over several ledges to get to another long right angling crack system. Continue up this crack until you reach a small white rock ledge.

Pitch 4: 150-210ft, 5.9R
Continue up the crack system on this crux pitch. The dihedral above the belay arches right and becomes a long, small roof. Put on your burl-out hat and continue up and right under the roof on face moves protecting in the roof above when possible. Exit the dihedral/roof onto a small ledge. Belay here or traverse right for another 60ft to a good ledge.

Pitch 5: 80-160ft, 4th Class
Move as far as possible to the right (north) on the ledge system and belay in a small corner.

Pitch 6: 195ft, 5.8+R
From the belay move back left climbing up face moves. Keep moving left past one crack to another thin crack. Move up this crack as it widens to a hand crack. When possible traverse left on face holds protecting where possible for 60ft. Move up 15ft on a short steeper section and belay on black plates reminiscent of Armatron.

Pitch 7: 130-200ft, 5.6
Move up and left finding the easiest path over a short steep section and up easy climbing above.

Pitch 8: 400-500ft 3rd & 4th Class
Climb toward the base of a bushy gully above. Continue up the gully and arête on the right to the summit.


Approach: 2-3 hours
I prefer parking & starting at the First Creek trailhead as I use the first creek descent from the top of Wilson. You can approach using one of two gullies leading up on the south end of the east face of Wilson. Both can be found in Handren’s Guide on page 92 as the approaches for the Blue Diamond Ridge or seen in this picture.

Option 1: The north gully option is described in the Handren guide as the approach for Blue Diamond Ridge. You would just continue up the gully past the start of the B.D. ridge and generally stay on the right side until reaching the main ledge below the Basin Wall. Once on this bushy ledge traverse to the far left side to find the start of the route.

Option 2: The South gully option you begin as the approach for the Mass Extinction Crag in the Handren Guide. Continue up the gully to the right of Mass Extinction. Cut right (north) out of the gully just before a deep, dark, chimney. Climb a few hundred feet up 4th and easy 5th class climbing that connects back into the gulley above the chimney. Continue up the gully to a saddle on the right. Drop down (northwest) and traverse straight across to the Basin Wall.

Descent: Any of the Wilson descents will work. The easiest in my opinion is the down the slabs and into First Creek, downclimbing a short red buttress to get into First Creek proper.


There are no fixed anchors.

Pro: set of doubles to #3 camalot with a few optional bigger pieces

Photos of Trial & Terror Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Drew finishing up the long traverse on pitch 6.
Drew finishing up the long traverse on pitch 6.
Rock Climbing Photo: Another shot of the airy 6th pitch.
Another shot of the airy 6th pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Drew climbs the crazy face on pitch 4.
Drew climbs the crazy face on pitch 4.
Rock Climbing Photo: Gomoll climbs the long 3rd pitch dihedral
Gomoll climbs the long 3rd pitch dihedral
Rock Climbing Photo: Topo for the upper pitches.
BETA PHOTO: Topo for the upper pitches.
Rock Climbing Photo: The lower pitches of T & T
BETA PHOTO: The lower pitches of T & T

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