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Wind of Change 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Sport, 60'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Tony Lusk and Mike Witt -- 1993
Page Views: 2,135
Submitted By: Desicon on Apr 3, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (61)
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Topping out on Wind of Change


Moving from the west to the east, Route #6 on Ridgeline is listed in Fazio-Rhicard's StL II as "Wind of Change." A dead ponderosa pine marks this line if you wish to try a direct, "plumbline" approach. But, be warned, the moves are thin, and reachy (they felt 5.9b in difficulty) and there is a full 15 feet of "unprotectable" rock separting the leader from the first bolt. This is not the original start, and most people opt for the saner 5.6 start that is found 4 to 5 feet further to the west (left) even though this brings one very close to the bolts for "Never to be the Same."

Most of this route felt 5.6 to 5.7 in difficulty, with, perhaps two separate 5.7+ sections: one on the rolling face/ bulge between bolts #2 and #3; the second coming between bolts #5 and #6.

The "fun" really starts above bolt #6, where the line of the route bends some 20 degrees to the left as it runs up to the chain anchors. Here, I have some major problems with the ratings assigned to "Wind of Change." This route is rated in FR's book as a flat 5.7, while an older book by Trent Baker ("Select Sport Climbing/ Toproping Guide to Mount Lemmon" 1996) actually demotes it to a 5.7-. As I remember it (from about 1994) "Wind of Change" once ended on the same set of anchors used for "Two Birds with One Stone," so, back then, it may indeed have been a simple 5.7. But now, the finish has apparently been altered (some time after 1996?) so that "Wind of Change" currently ends some 10 feet to the left (west) of the anchors for "Two Birds."

This seems a small alteration -- but one that has upped the difficulty of Route #6 considerably. Nowadays, the 10 feet at the top, between bolt #6 and the anchor chains, is rather more annoying than its appearance might suggest. Although the rock is highly textured here -- and it even slants favorably inward a bit -- the majority of its knobs are shallow, rounded and not particularly comfortable for either hands or feet. After just having led the 5.8+/ 5.9- "Glowing in the Distance," I had expected "Wind of Change" to be a more reasonable ascent -- it was not. In fact, on this particular day, I felt less secure on "Wind of Change" than I did on "Glowing." I certainly was forced to pay much more attention to foot placements here on Route #6. While there are some serviceable holds in this finishing section of "Wind of Change" (even a few 1/4 inch pockets for single digit placements) they are not readily apparent and it requires a good deal of effort to find them. Also, there are no real bucket rims like those on "Glowing in the Distance." Climbers expecting a genuine 5.7 experience will probably be surprised to find that this altered crux section for "Wind of Change" is at least a solid 5.8, and as I dragged my way to the chains on arthritic fingers I was mumbling (under my breath) that it felt more like a 5.8+. Good, sticky, shoe rubber is a definite plus on this finishing sequence!


6 Bolts, Two anchor chains.

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Starting moves on Wind of Change

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By Scott Tucker
From: Tucson, AZ
May 9, 2006
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Originally shared anchors with Two Birds with One Stone. You can still bear right to these chains to keep the grade easier (5.8), or go straight up for a harder finish (5.9). I find this one slightly harder than Two Birds with One Stone, even with the easier finish.
By Jerry Cagle
From: Tucson, AZ
Jul 9, 2006
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

.9b? What the heck is a .9b...?
By A.P.T.
From: Truckee,Ca
Jul 10, 2006

Definitely a 5.7b or c... with some 7d moves.Just kidding :)
By Desicon
Jul 13, 2006

My Goodness, Cagle! Not know a 9.b! At your ripe old age you should by now be a seasoned climber, capable of expressing your feats with nuanced precision. Sigh, OK, I'll help you out, this once. Go do a climb you consider to be just barely a 5.9 -- call it a 5.9a. Then dump exactly 5 pounds of dry sand into your psychedelic climbing tights, and climb the route again. That's a 5.9b! Add 5 more pounds and you have 5.9c, etc. -- but here things get tricky, for a true 5.9d experience the sand has to be saturated with the most readily available fluid...

5.7d??? andy peter T -- you are on your own!

Oops, I fear these three most recent posts may require some adult supervision, lest we topple further into "jerkines."
By Jerry Cagle
From: Tucson, AZ
Jul 13, 2006
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Ahh.... I see... it's "clear as mud", uh "sand" now...

How did you know I had psychedelic tights?
By A.P.T.
From: Truckee,Ca
Jul 13, 2006

My comment wasn't meant to be sarcastic or offend you "Desicon." Actually I was just giving "Jerry" a bad time when I posted my comment.When someone starts giving letter grades to climbs below 5.10 people will definitely start commenting on it. + or - appears to be the thing on Mt. Lemmon.
By Desicon
Jul 13, 2006

andy peter tretiakoff -- No, no! I took both Jerry's post and your's to be good natured kidding, and replied in like fashion. Climbers do tend to rib one another, and let's face it, my long-winded style of commentary leaves plenty of room for humour. When I get to the point where I classify a climb as a 5.7c8 (meaning, almost, but not quite a 5.7d, then I'll be truly certifiable!

Hmmm, I wonder if it is possible to create a route description that prints out longer than the actual route... Yowl!
By jim whitney
Jul 4, 2012

I personally find secure climbing about as boring as an extension ladder. the small, dishy holds such as the ones near the top of this one are what keep me interested

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