|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 500', Grade IV|
|Original:||YDS: 5.11+ French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 24 British: E4 6a [details]|
|FA:||Shaun Reed & Brad Wilson|
|Submitted By:||Shaun Reed on Jul 18, 2014|
|Comments on Undertow (free)||Add Comment|
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Aug 16, 2015
|This is a really fun line. Thanks to everyone that put in the effort to make this a climb, free and aid. We decided to climb the route knowing that the last pitch was wet. You can get a good look at the whole route from the top if you walk down far enough The last belay is under the roof out from under the waterfall, but once you start climbing, it's a full on swim to the summit. It was a mix of free, aid and French free to get up that pitch. In retrospect, I would not climb it wet, holy fuck was it wet.|
By Jesse Huey
Jul 26, 2016
This is one of the best multipitch granite routes I have seen in Colorado. Reminded me of the steep corners of Squamish. Maury Birdwell and I got up there yesterday, 7/26/16, and were able to send this rig with no falls, but I had already climbed the first three pitches earlier in July with one fall on pitch 2.
My comments to add. The start is super confusing. There is a fixed (something) in a steep crack to the left (just left of the most right corner). I took that and then had to traverse right to the route. I then had to back clean the corner to do the first pitch without drag. That was our first trip in there, when the bottom was soaked. The way to do it is to go direct up 5.8 with no pro. That wasn't an option my first trip in, because it was super wet. I would propose a bolt there for that reason.
The last pitch was totally soaked, as in a waterfall, but we were still able to free climb it at probably 10b or so. I wouldn't not do it because it is wet up there.
Lastly, I think it is safe to add a letter grade to each pitch.
HUGE props to the FA team and the vision! Thanks for such a worthy addition to the wall. I am betting I climb this route 5 more times before I am done with it!
As for gear and beta: No. 3 was taken but not placed once. double set is fine to #1 Camalot. We placed a #2 Camalot maybe once, but it wasn't necessary. I would maybe bring an extra finger tips to fingers-size piece. Bring a couple double lengths or extra slings and less draws.
From: Colorado Springs
Aug 1, 2016
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
The route is amazing and super clean.
PITCH 5 NEEDS A BOLT - the first ascensionist beta for the pitch is incredibly unsafe for a ground up attempt where you might fall.
Pitch 5 needs 1 bolt down and to the right at the end of the roof for the safety of the first and second. This would pull the rope off the arete and make any falls at the crux safe for leader and follower.
For the leader, I placed "3 shoulder length slings clipped together" under the roof - sounds ridiculous, because it is. You are then firing the pitch's 5.11 crux with gear extended to be 10 feet below you, while you are a solid 5 feet out from the wall and at least 5 feet to the right. You will be lucky if you only break both ankles as the fall would be incredibly awkward as you slam back into the corner. Placing gear when you turn the roof undoes the point of the slings and will pull the gear into the crack and make it irretrievable while sticking the rope, so don't count on that as a plan. Assuming all goes well, you clip the yellow Alien and extend it as well, the rope still goes over the roofs sharp edge but at a point where it's just slightly less sharp than a serrated knife.
For your second, bring prussiks, and don't fall. My second popped entering the crux right after cleaning the cams in the middle of the roof. She ended up dangling 5 feet out in space, and, to both our horror, when the rope bounced against the edge it cut the sheath. Imagine seeing that with the entire Black Wall below you. A bolt would have stopped the bounce against the arete besides protecting both the leader and follower at the crux. As this was done at every other corner passed on the route, it makes no sense why a bolt was not added here.
The climbing on this route is classic and great. Hopefully the 5th pitch is made safe.
By Shaun Reed
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 7, 2017
|Regarding the addition of a bolt on P5, I have been talking to friends that have done the route, and it sounds like the general consensus is to add a bolt. We considered this when we were establishing the free variation, but I was hesitant to place a bolt next to a crack. However, this really is a special circumstance. If the belay was right above the sharp lip, I don't think it would be an issue, but since you have to traverse left immediately after the lip, cutting the rope is a real possibility. Before I go up there and add a bolt next summer, I wanted to see if anyone (who has climbed the route) has a problem with adding a bolt at the lip of P5 to keep the rope away from the lip's sharp edge. The bolt would only be on the free variation and wouldn't affect the original aid route.|