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Venus and Mars 

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

Type:  Trad, 4 pitches, 600', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Greg Collins, Rob Hess 1990
Page Views: 1,805
Submitted By: bob branscomb on Mar 24, 2009

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (6)
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Starting up pitch 3, up past the first bolt

  • Close gates after passing through MORE INFO >>>
  • Sticky situation MORE INFO >>>

  • Description 

    An outstanding route, but you have to really have it together (solid 5.9 leader) to keep your cool on the last pitch. This route starts in the sandy area below and right of the start to the Tree Route. A bolt will be seen about 25 feet off the ground on the slab. This is the only pro for the first pitch, which starts out 5.5 by the bolt but rapidly goes to class 4 as you ascend to a 2 bolt belay. The second pitch goes over a 5.8 wall above (bolts), then works up and left into a bowl (no pro) below and right of the chopped up looking pinnacle. Climb (5.8) directly up to the right of this pinnacle past several bolts. At the last bolt, traverse straight left the belay ledge at the top of the pinnacle(gear belay). The 3rd pitch is the crux. Proceed up and sltly right to a bolt, then over a couple of 5.9 bulges (bolts) to a horizontal seam. Traverse left to a bolt in a bowl. Smear left to the thin beginning of a small corner--the exposed crux for several 5.9 moves until the crack widens. Proceed to the two bolts of the third belay. The last pitch starts with some 5.8 past a bolt and then more or less straight up past sparse protection (some bolts, small cams, RPs) to the top. You need to wind a round a bit and be very cool and creative on this last pitch.


    This is on the beautiful clean wall to the right of the Tree Route. Identify by the interesting chopped up looking pinnacle about 300 feet up. Start in the sandy area the the base of the wall, behind some junipers, below and right of the class 4 crack system leading up to the Tree Route. Look for a lone bolt on the slab above, about 25 feet up. Descend by the Cowboy Route or the Red Nations rappels, or the Crevasse Route rappels.


    RPs, rack of stoppers, cams to #3 Camelot. Take a set of tricams and I find #0 and #1 Black D microcams (1 each) to be the only thing that fits in the tiny flared corner at the very start of the crux, as well as nice on the last pitch. Take lots of single length runners and a couple of doubles as there is a lot of winding around.

    Photos of Venus and Mars Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Profile of Venus and Mars from the summit.
    BETA PHOTO: Profile of Venus and Mars from the summit.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Lucas finishing Pitch 2. Note the awesome rock qua...
    Lucas finishing Pitch 2. Note the awesome rock qua...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Axel, Lucas and Janelle crusting Pitch 2.
    Axel, Lucas and Janelle crusting Pitch 2.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Bout to finish 'er off
    Bout to finish 'er off
    Rock Climbing Photo: Up p2.. next to the "chopped up pinnacle"...
    Up p2.. next to the "chopped up pinnacle"...

    Comments on Venus and Mars Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Jared Spaulding
    From: Central WY
    Feb 17, 2012

    I did this several years ago and there was only a single bolt at the first belay. Has someone added a second bolt?
    By bob branscomb
    From: Lander, WY
    Feb 28, 2012

    Ed DeLong and I placed a second bolt in the first belay and another one in the third belay a couple of years ago, so those belays have double bolt (3/8") anchors.
    By Dapper Dan Rogers
    From: Driggs, ID
    May 21, 2012

    You can also skip the first pitch by traversing over to the 2 bolt belay from near the base of the tree route. As the description says, You definitely want a solid leader on the 2nd/3rd pitches of this route, as it seems to get kind of run-out, and scary on the upper pitches at times.
    By Cameron Sumpter
    From: Lander, WY
    Jun 1, 2015

    As the others have said bring a cool head and a solid leader to hop on this. I dont know how long it has been since this has seen an ascent but some of those bolts could probably use replacing soon as some of the bolts in the water runnels were looking rather dark.

    Thank you to Bob for placing those extra bolts at the belays.

    I think you could get away with nothing bigger than a #2 camalot, doubles of smaller cams, and a single set of nuts.
    By Mike McMahon
    From: Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah
    Jul 8, 2016

    I rarely say this, but I found this route one of the single best rock climbs I have ever done. There are just enough bolts to keep you alive, but spaced out enough to really not want to fall. The location is pretty wild, miles and miles from anywhere; it almost has an alpine feel. I loved it.
    By Mike Anderson
    From: Colorado Springs, CO
    Jul 23, 2017

    Incredibly good route. Wyoming is known for good rock, and this route is true to form. It is an adventure...I have to admit that I was fooled (by the proximity to the highway) into thinking otherwise. I was very excited to make it back to pavement.

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