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Member Since: Apr 5, 2002
Last Visit: Mar 14, 2015
Contact L. Hamilton

Point Rank: # 1,232
Total Points: 532
Last Year: 3
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Areas = 15
Routes = 10
Photos = 5
Page Improvements = 3
Comments = 1

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All 236 | Routes 13 | Areas 1 | Photos 58 | Page Improvements | Comments 92 | Posts 2 | Stars 48 | Ratings 22
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Contributed Comments


Location: OR : Northeastern Oregon : Spring Mountain : Gidrah (5.9+)
By: L. Hamilton When: Jul 27, 2014

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Comments: As of 7/22/2014 the chains and hangers are missing from anchor bolts on the right head of Gidrah. There are hangers but no chains on the middle head; we left a couple of slings to rap off.

Location: UT : San Rafael Swell : San Rafael Swell - South : Eastern Reef Area.. AKA The... : B Crags (Spotted Wolf Canyo... : Dancin' in the Dark.II 5.6 (5.6)
By: L. Hamilton When: Mar 23, 2014

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Comments: A 5.6 route for climbers who lead harder -- I would not recommend this if 5.6 is your limit. It's an interesting, varied and quite scenic route but (as typical for the Reef) there are places where you're routefinding on fragile rock with no protection in sight, while keeping the rope away from flakes perched above your belayer (we trundled some of those after passing). The diagonal line is challenging for followers too.

We did 3 double-rope rappels down Scorpion Slab to reach 3rd class slabs at... more >>

Location: UT : San Rafael Swell : San Rafael Swell - South : Eastern Reef Area.. AKA The... : B Crags (Spotted Wolf Canyo... : The Dark Side (5.9)
By: L. Hamilton When: Mar 23, 2014

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Comments: We placed nothing larger than a gold Camalot, but also a small tcu and some stoppers. Steep parts are well protected and fun. Two less-steep sections have easy climbing but loose rock and no protection, so tread lightly on those!

Location: SD : Mount Rushmore National Mem... : Monster : Monster : Dark Tower (5.8)
By: L. Hamilton When: Aug 26, 2013

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Comments: Excellent pitch, more complicated and a bigger lead effort than Pointy Little Devil next door. The long traverse makes it challenging for your second as well.

Location: UT : Moab Area : Onion Creek : Sari : East Face (5.6 A3)
By: L. Hamilton When: Jul 29, 2013

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Comments: Very minor historical note: Tom and Jean Ruwitch, with Leslie Hamilton and me, made an early ascent of this uninspiring formation in April 1972. We found no rap anchors or other signs so we imagined that our ascent was the first, but it sounds as if Bill got there before us.

I recall a short but awkward aid section.

Location: CO : Alpine Rock : RMNP - Rock : Glacier Gorge : Arrowhead : Warhead (5.9)
By: L. Hamilton When: Nov 29, 2012

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Comments: Mitch Musci's topo/photograph accurately locates the original line, although it sounds like our 1975 ratings might have been a bit off. If you look closely, the "5.10a lieback" section in Mitch's photo is same corner (with 2 flakes to its L) seen at closer range in my photo of Tom Gries on P2 of the FA. Below Tom in my photo is the route's slab crux, which we called 5.9 but Mitch suggests should now be considered 5.10b R.

We thought Warhead was a fine outing at the time. Adding to our excitemen... more >>

Location: NH : Band M (CLOSED) : 3 Wogs (5.10a)
By: L. Hamilton When: Sep 14, 2011

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Comments: 10a seems the right grade but I'd add a PG-13 rating to caution leaders -- it stays tricky for 10' above the 2nd bolt, and a fall from up there would be nasty.

The clean corner on the second pitch is "old school" 5.7, awkward in places. Protects well with cams and nuts, although you can see daylight through the crack.

As noted above, you can rap with one 60m from bolt anchors at the top of P2. There's some old tat at the P1 belay not worth clipping.

Location: UT : Moab Area : Fisher Towers : Ancient Art
By: L. Hamilton When: Oct 16, 2010

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Comments: That second bolt was still missing as of 10/11/2010, but its absence did not slow down the traffic. Competent leaders just free climbed past it.

Location: UT : San Rafael Swell : San Rafael Swell - South : Eastern Reef Area.. AKA The... : O Crags (Three Finger Canyo... : Knights-Errant (5.8)
By: L. Hamilton When: Oct 14, 2010

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Comments: We had fun making the 5th ascent. The adventure level on this route felt higher than popular Red Rock climbs at the grade. You can't rappel the route after P1.

A few other words of wisdom:
  • Two days after an October rain is not long enough for the sand to dry back into sandstone.
  • Be prepared to start each pitch with a runout on moderate but sandy or breakable rock.
  • Wandering up P2 to the horn belay is a 5.7 adventure in itself.
  • As noted above, P4 starts up the steep wall out left from ...
 more >>

Location: UT : Saint George : Prophesy Wall
By: L. Hamilton When: Apr 27, 2010

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Comments: To end on a more positive note, we liked Red Dog Cafe too.

Location: UT : Saint George : Prophesy Wall
By: L. Hamilton When: Apr 27, 2010

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Comments: There appear to be four bolted variations now to the first pitch of Sticky Revelations -- bright shiny metal everywhere you look, some just an arm's span apart. What a mess!

There's quite a spray of bolts along and below the traverse ledge near Secrets of Fatima, too. Secrets of Fatima is a proud line well separate from its neighbors, but is gym-ification the sad future of this cliff?

Location: NV : Red Rock : Oak Creek Canyon : Solar Slab - Lower Tier : Solar Flare (5.10-)
By: L. Hamilton When: Sep 27, 2009

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Comments: One of the beta photos above notes that a "direct variation takes wires well." Anybody got other info about this variation, like its difficulty, quality, PG or R feeling, whatever? How's the rope drag if you link all the way through P2, as the photo suggests?

Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Tuolumne Meadows : Lamb Dome : On the Lamb (5.9)
By: L. Hamilton When: Aug 19, 2009

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Comments: Agreed, the "bushy ledge" you should start traversing from (drawn with three little trees on SuperTopo) isn't bushy anymore. This is confusing because there's an obviously bushier ledge one unpleasant pitch higher that has lured some climbers way off route.

Location: CO : Alpine Rock : RMNP - Rock : Glacier Gorge : McHenry's Peak : Dog Star (5.8)
By: L. Hamilton When: Aug 19, 2009

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Comments: Greg, that "killer LFD" you jumped on might have been our original FA line. I recall two crux pitches (we called both 5.8) in fairly obvious dihedrals, the first about pitch 2 and the second through the steep section at mid-height. Both were clean and fun, if I remember right. Since Dog Star was the FA of that whole buttress, not just a new route, we tried to take it from the lowest point to highest point of the wall. Quite the cruise -- wish I'd shot more photos.

Location: CO : Alpine Rock : RMNP - Rock : Notchtop : Laid Back (a.k.a. NE Ridge) (5.8)
By: L. Hamilton When: Aug 3, 2009

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Comments: Another rarely-done adventure route! Sounds like Greg's "tremendously fractured, steep, big blocks" are the same part I called "rotten climbing." Requiring caution no doubt, though I don't recall feeling too sketched out -- Dakers & I thought we were having fun in the sun.

We didn't see or place any pitons, however. Hammerless was the thing in those days. That ring piton Greg mentions must have been a later addition, possibly from somebody who bailed?

As for how high we pushed 3rd class at... more >>

Location: NH : Whitehorse Ledge : 5. Children's Crusade Wall : Children's Crusade (5.11a)
By: L. Hamilton When: Jul 20, 2009

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Comments: As of 7/17/09, there is a loose flake just below the belay on pitch 2. It's not necessary to grab it, but could be nasty if someone carelessly did.

The small 10c roof halfway up pitch 4 has a fairly sharp edge -- it's tough to keep the rope away from this, for leader or second. Double ropes might not be a bad idea.

The 10c slab moves on pitch 5, just above the belay, are protected by an old 1/4" bolt with spinning SMC hanger. Adds to the sense of exposure.

"A tremendous adventure," Ed Webs... more >>

Location: UT : Saint George : Snow Canyon State Park : Island In The Sky : Circus Wall : Trapeze (5.10b/c R)
By: L. Hamilton When: Mar 22, 2009

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Comments: "The guidebook says this one is not worth the effort due to hideous rope drag."

There's no significant rope drag if you use double ropes.

Location: UT : Saint George : Snow Canyon State Park : Island In The Sky : Circus Wall : Roar of the Greasepaint (5.10a)
By: L. Hamilton When: Mar 22, 2009

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Comments: Our 70m rope worked fine to climb in one pitch, then lower off the top anchors. Watch out if yours is shorter, though.

This pitch is definitely 5.10, with a lot of good moves.

Location: UT : Saint George : Snow Canyon State Park : Island In The Sky : Circus Wall : Freak Show (5.9)
By: L. Hamilton When: Mar 22, 2009

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Comments: Using double rope technique, rope drag on this route (or Trapeze) is no problem. Doing one long, wandering lead is just fun.

Location: NV : Red Rock : Willow Spring : Hidden Falls Wall : Black Track (5.9)
By: L. Hamilton When: Mar 22, 2009

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Comments: Bring your old hexes -- they work as well or better than those newfangled cams on this route.

Location: NV : Red Rock : Pine Creek Canyon : Mescalito : Centerfold (5.10a R)
By: L. Hamilton When: Jan 2, 2009

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Comments: I recently re-scanned my old slides and took a close look to figure out where our route went. The topo photo for this entry is wrong, but so was an alternative photo I posted myself, and more recently removed.

Jeremy Handren's guidebook, however, contains a detailed topo photo that matches well with my slides from the route itself -- Jerry must have studied this wall with the original route description in hand, to get it right. The one correction I'd add to Jerry's guidebook topo is that we b... more >>

Location: CO : Alpine Rock : RMNP - Rock : Notchtop : Optimismus (5.9)
By: L. Hamilton When: Oct 4, 2008

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Comments: Minor historical note: Walt Fricke's 1970 guidebook rated Optimismus 5.8 A1 (one move of aid). John Byrd and I made the first free ascent, AFAWK, in 1974.

A photo the guidebook showed Optimismus as the only route ascending Notchtop's main face. The photo with all that unclimbed rock became the inspiration for Religion (1973), Laid Back (1974) and White Room (1974).

Location: UT : Moab Area : Castle Valley : Sister Superior Group : Unknown Sister (5.10d C1)
By: L. Hamilton When: May 7, 2008

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Comments: Sounds like clean aid is trickier than the old days -- I just hammered pins and called it A1. We only drilled once, though, probably a 1/4" Star dryvin, to reach the main crack. Then a couple more good Star bolts for anchors on the summit, so if there are more holes than those three, they are retro. It's a cool little summit.

Location: NH : Whitehorse Ledge : 2. South Buttress : Atlantis Area : Lost Souls (5.10a/b)
By: L. Hamilton When: Apr 27, 2008

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Comments: For the original first pitch of Lost Souls, start at the same gearing-up spot used for Atlantis, Inferno, Last Unicorn, etc. Instead of scrambling up the long 3rd class section that accesses those routes, look for a ledge with several trees about 30 feet up and right from the start of scrambling. The first bolt of the Lost Souls can be seen from the ground, on a slab about ten feet above the tree ledge. Scramble up to the tree ledge and set the first belay.

Slab climbing (tricky when wet) le... more >>

Location: NH : Cathedral Ledge : The Central Wall : Antline (5.10a)
By: L. Hamilton When: Sep 8, 2007

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Comments: An alternative to the deep chimney on pitch 2:

After the 5.9 cracks section of pitch 2, instead of stepping right into the chimney, continue leading straight up the striking hand crack on the vertical wall above (also 5.9). This is actually part of Bicycle Route, but linking it from Antline makes a consistent and outstanding pitch. The hand crack ends on the same tree ledge as Antline's chimney, so from there you can finish with more good jamming up Antline's pitch 3.

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