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YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, Sport, 2 pitches, 175'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Richard Rossiter, Serena Benson,1998
Page Views: 681
Submitted By: Ivan Rezucha on Oct 18, 2003
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BETA PHOTO: Sleeping Beautry, Main Wall center.
Flood damaged road reopens MORE INFO >>>


Arcanum is a "mixed" route, some trad, some bolts. The crux section is short but steep, hands and fingers. The bolts are where they are needed--gear would be non-existent (pitch 2) or small and funky (bottom and top of pitch 1). The rock on the first pitch is a little ugly, but solid and reasonably clean.

Begin near a large pine, a few feet left of a big flake that leans against the wall. This is right of the flake of Eight Miles High/Mind Bender.

Pitch 1: Climb a moderate slab past two bolts, then make a few hard moves up a steep finger and hand crack (crux). Continue past another bolt to the anchor and a small stance. (10a, 90 feet)

Pitch 2: Clip a bolt, then make an 8 or 9 move to gain the low angle slab. When it steepens, place a red Alien or equivalent (I used a #1 offset Friend) to protect the second clip. This clip is not that hard, but you are way run out, and you need to step onto the steeper wall to make the clip. A few 8ish moves lead past 2 more bolts to the anchor. Just below the anchor is a bolt without a hanger. Perhaps the was going to be the anchor, or perhaps the hanger was removed to add some moderate spice (it's pretty easy at this point). (5.8-9, 85 feet)


Pitch 1 (10a, 90 feet): 3 bolts, doubles of blue to yellow Aliens or equivalent, single cams to hand-sized. Pitch 2 (5.8, 85 feet): 4 bolts, red Alien or equivalent to protect 2nd clip.

Photos of Arcanum Slideshow Add Photo
Bart Calkins at the second crux on Arcanum.  The roof can be turned on the left or the right.
Bart Calkins at the second crux on Arcanum. The r...
The final headwall on the second pitch of Arcanum.  A red Alien protects the move to the second bolt.  The final bolt is missing a hanger; thread it with a wired nut or run it out on easy climbing.
BETA PHOTO: The final headwall on the second pitch of Arcanum....
Bart Calkins at the first crux on Arcanum.
Bart Calkins at the first crux on Arcanum.
The first pitch of Arcanum.  Climb the slab past two bolts, then tackle the steep finger and hand crack.
BETA PHOTO: The first pitch of Arcanum. Climb the slab past t...
Dane Casterson emerges from below onto the slab of Arcanum (10a) on Sleeping Beauty wall, in Boulder Canyon. Photo by T. Bubb, 8/06.
Dane Casterson emerges from below onto the slab of...
Comments on Arcanum Add Comment
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By Bruce Pech
Aug 6, 2004
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a

Nice route with a trad crux. .10a seems about right. Ivan's gear recommendations are spot on -- but if you don't have a double set of Aliens, a single set complemented by #6-#8 Stoppers and a 0.5 Technical Friend should do the trick. Cams larger than a 2 1/2 Friend are unnecessary.

On the other hand, test the 2"x24", decomposing vertical flake in the crack below the last roof carefully. It's an attractive hold but felt loose to me.

By Ron Olsen
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 30, 2004
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a

A fun route. Two cruxes on the first pitch: at the start of the steep crack, and at an overhang near the top of the crack. Be sure to finish the pitch in a right-facing corner with a bolt; don't angle left or you'll wind up on Sunshine Makes Me Paranoid.

The entire climb can be done as one 180' pitch, avoiding a tiny belay stance at the top of the first pitch. If you do this, be sure to work out rope signals with your partner, since you won't be able to hear each other.

By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Aug 5, 2006
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a

The route is closer to 180' as the comment and 2-pitch text beta above and NOT 130', as in the route description headers. It is a good as a single pitch though, with proper use of slings. The station at 1/2 way down makes it a single rope route, with 2 raps.
We re-cleaned this route on 8/5/06 and cleaned it hard. Removed some loose flakes, moss and dirt. The dust has not quite cleared, but the rain today should take care of that, and the route is better now.

By Pebby Johns
From: Boulder, Colorado
Sep 11, 2006

Tony, Thank you for cleaning the route!!! We have had some rain this summer. It has shut us down on many occasions. Congratulations on your new routes.
Pebby Johns

By Ivan Rezucha
From: Fort Collins, CO
Aug 17, 2009

I looked up the definition of "arcanum" and found this:
"1. mysterious or specialized knowledge, language, or information accessible or possessed only by the initiate—usually used in plural."